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FCT arrest 50 dispatch riders for alleged traffic violations

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) says it has arrested no fewer than 50 dispatch riders for alleged traffic offences within the city centre in Abuja.

The  Director, Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) of the FCT Administration (FCTA), Alhaji Wadata Bodinga made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja while briefing journalists shortly after displaying the seized motorcycles.

Bodinga warned that the conduct and activities of dispatch riders in the city would no longer be tolerated by the FCTA  and the motoring public.

He disclosed that the directorate had received a lot of complaints about the conduct of some of the riders within the city and would no longer tolerate it.

“We are here to parade the dispatch riders that we arrested for either riding against traffic in the city or beating the traffic lights.

“As you may observe, the number of dispatch riders has increased within the city, probably because of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging not only Abuja or Nigeria but the whole world.

“Because of their door-to-door services, dispatch riders can actually help with errands of people that are staying at home to deliver some of their needs.

“Just between Tuesday and today Wednesday, over 50 motorcycles and dispatch riders have been arrested for various offences.

“They are the major culprits of beating of traffic lights and riding against traffic in the city which is not acceptable because they are trading with their own safety and the safety of other road users,” Bodinga said.

He said that the FCTA had directed all the people arrested to go for emotional evaluation at a recognised hospital in the capital territory.

The director said that the enforcement was a continuous one, adding that all the Area Commands had been directed to ensure that traffic rules and regulations were respected in the city.

“This is Abuja and even where the traffic lights are not working, our men and officers of the Nigeria Police Force are there to ensure sanity.

“People should be seen to, at least, obey the traffic lights in the territory and sadly, that is not the case when it comes to these dispatch riders as you can see the results of the operation,” he said.

Bodinga disclosed that majority of them were not registered with the authority as dispatch riders as most of them were owned by individuals.

He said that the culprits would be prosecuted at a mobile magistrate court, face compulsory two weeks training on traffic rules with formal letters from their various organisations.

“For all the ones that have organisations, we have drafted a formal letter that we are going to send to their various companies and organisations, informing them of the conduct of their drivers.

“And also, the need for them to bring even their other drivers for mandatory training to update them on traffic rules and regulations,” he said.

He however, said the training was free but they would pay for their various penalties.

Bodinga further said that after the training, the FCTA through the Transportation Secretariat, would issue them Abuja Riders Permit but it would be limited to only the areas that motorcycles were allowed to operate.

In his remarks, Mr Ihkaro Attah, the Chairman, FCTA Ministerial Taskforce on Traffic Management, said dispatch riders who were allowed to operate in the city were already abusing the privilege.

“They break traffic laws regularly and it has become a source of worry to the FCT Minister, Mr Bodinga and his men swung into action and clamped down on them.

“We give the directorate pass mark for clamping down on these violators and some vehicles here are also involved.

“They will be going through psychiatric tests to ascertain if they are normal because if something is not wrong with them they must be wrong with something,” he added.

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Double taxation: Ogun govt. moves to harmonise taxes, levies

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Ogun Government says it is working round the clock to ensure harmonisation of taxes and levies to reduce incidence of double taxation that may affect the revenue base of businesses in the state.

Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adebola Sofela, said this during a visit to the Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria, Mr Wassim Elhusseini, on Friday.

Sofela said that his visit was occasioned by the need to boost the existing relationship between the state government and its various stakeholders and to further collaborate and share ideas on areas of common interest.

He expressed the Gov. Dapo Abiodun-led administration’s commitment to capacity building at all levels.

As a practical demonstration of this, the commissioner said that that technical schools across the state were being upgraded to ensure companies that did not have any gap in power to fill the technical needs.

Sofela, who was accompanied by top management staff members of the ministry, stated that the present administration had improved land administration system to enable investors get title documents without delay in order to leverage for financing.

He said that government had been creating new industrial clusters to take care of the new influx of investors and prepare for the future.

The commissioner appealed to the various companies across the three senatorial districts to consider the qualified residents of the state for employment, as part of efforts to promote their relationship with host communities.

“We are working to ensure harmonisation of taxes and levies to reduce the incidence of double taxation.

“The governor is particularly interested in creating an enabling environment for business to thrive, considering government’s huge investments in security and infrastructure,” he said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of the firm, said that 80 per cent of his company’s investments were domiciled in Ogun.

According to Elhusseini, the state government is in the right direction with its business-friendly policies.

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Reps committee to probes appointments of NASRDA, RMRDC DGs

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The House of Representatives on Friday unveiled plans to investigate the appointments of Director General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Martins Ike-Muonso.

The committee will also investigate the appointment of the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Dr Mathew Adepoju.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Olaide .

The committee chairman said that a six-member panel headed by Rep. Abiodun Akinlade had been inaugurated to carry out the probe.

He said both DGs were recently appointed by the Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnanji.

“The panel is to look at the procedure of the appointments qualification and the compliance with the relevant laws and regulations that established both agencies.

“The panel is to invite the Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Head of Service and both DGs amongst others.

“The panel has two weeks to within which to submit its report,” he said.

The chairman promised that the assignment will be free and fair saying that the aim is not to witch hunt anyone but to put the records straight.

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Tinubu to observe Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos

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President Bola Tinubu will depart Abuja for Lagos state on Friday ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, in Abuja.

The statement said the President would observe Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos, where he would also spend the Sallah holidays.

“The President will mark the occasion in prayers and reflection on advancing the transformation of Nigeria in line with his Renewed Hope Agenda,” said the statement.

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