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Gov Sanwo-Olu launches 15 OmiBus boats to boost Lagos water transportation

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By Seun Ibiyemi

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commissioned 15 OmiBus boats to enhance the state’s urban transportation system.

The new boats, launched on Wednesday, aim to provide residents with safer, faster, and more comfortable trips.

This initiative is part of the state’s multi-modal transportation plan, which seeks to improve the daily commute experience for Lagosians.

The OmiBus boats will join the existing fleet, increasing water transportation options and reducing travel time for residents.

Sanwo-Olu said the 40-passenger modern boats—the first phase of the planned 25 boats—were fully built locally, except for their engines, with an eye on improving inland waterways transportation and setting standards.

According to him, the expansion of the water transport infrastructure is meant to achieve a more efficient, sustainable, and accessible transportation system, reflecting the government’s unwavering dedication to progress and innovation.

He explained that riding in the boat took 27 minutes from Falomo to Badore, for a journey that would have taken about an hour.

Noting that the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has distributed 20,000 live jackets in the past year towards enhanced safety, he tasked private operators to stick to safety regulations, including time of movement and passenger capacity, to ensure safety.

Towards safety and reliability on waterways in the state’s entire multimodal transport system, he said the state has made significant investments in jetties and other marine infrastructure, as well as road construction and rehabilitation, while the Cowry Card payment system enhances integration.

Sanwo-Olu further urged the general public to use the boats and keep them neat as part of their part in maintaining public infrastructure and contributing to keeping government property safe while ensuring its sustainable use.

He commended Carverton Marine, the builders of the boats, for their commitment and delivery of the boats.

On his part, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Seun Osiyemi, said the new Omi-Bus Ferries are a testament to the collective commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Lagos residents.

“The Omi-Bus Ferries project is not just about improving transportation; it is about transforming the way we live and move; it is about connecting communities, fostering economic growth, and reducing the stress and congestion that often characterise our daily commutes.”

He added that the ferries have modern amenities and safety features that “ensure passengers a comfortable and secure journey, heralding a new era of convenience and efficiency in Lagos.

Earlier, the General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the launch of the Nigeria-made modern ferries showed the state’s dedication to developing water transport and that LASWA is aligned with this approach in setting standards for inland waterways infrastructure and services across the nation.

According to him, through safety awareness strategies, LASWA has significantly increased ridership figures, reduced waterway accidents, and facilitated multi-modal transport connections and integration at several jetties by introducing the Cowry Cards payment solution, Last-Mile Transfer Buses, and Park-and-Ride facilities.

More so, with a state-of-the-art Waterways Monitoring and Data Management Centre, LASWA is committed to providing reliable services and is the ideal agency for providing reliable data, research materials, and accurate time information on Lagos inland waterways, as well as ensuring ferry services as a sustainable means of transportation in the state.

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Tinubu appoints Olatunji Bello CEO, Vice Chairman of FCCPC

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mr. Olatunji Bello as the new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, pending confirmation by the Senate.

A statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu’s media aide, noted that Mr. Bello is a lawyer, administrator, and renowned journalist.

He is the former secretary to the Lagos State Government and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos. He studied Law at the same university and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002.

Mr. Bello began his career in journalism at the Concord Newspapers in 1985 and held the positions of Group Political Editor, Sunday Concord Editor, and Editor of National Concord.

He is a winner of the US Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship and was appointed Chairman of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspapers in 2001.

He also served as Commissioner for Environment under various administrations in Lagos State.

Ngelale said the President expects that the new CEO of this important agency will ensure the holistic realisation of the commission’s mandate of protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of Nigerian consumers and ensuring the adoption of measures to guarantee the safety and quality of goods and services.

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NCDC reports 1,598 suspected cholera cases in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC, has reported 1,598 suspected cases of cholera across 107 local government areas.

The cholera outbreak is characterised by a case fatality rate of 3.5 per cent, significantly higher than the national expected average of one per cent, underscoring the severity of the situation.

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Jide Idris, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja while providing an update on the cholera epidemiological situation in Nigeria and ongoing prevention and response efforts at the national and sub-national levels.

Cholera is a severe diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease remains a significant health challenge, especially in regions with inadequate sanitation and clean water access.

Understanding the transmission mechanism of cholera is crucial to curbing its spread and implementing effective prevention measures.

Idris said: “Government is deeply concerned about the rapid spread and higher-than-expected mortality rate, indicating a more lethal outbreak.”

He emphasised that the fatalities represented significant personal losses, including those of family members, spouses, parents and healthcare workers.

“This situation can be compounded as the rainy season intensifies,” he added.

He disclosed that Lagos State accounted for the highest number of deaths with 29, followed by Rivers with eight, Abia and Delta with four each, Katsina with three, Bayelsa with two and Kano, Nasarawa and Cross River with one each.

He added: “This alarming trend highlights the urgent need for coordinated response to prevent further escalation of the crisis. Sixteen states accounted for 90 per cent of the confirmed cases, with Lagos being the epicentre of the outbreak. Lagos State, having the highest number of cases, has received significant focus, with ongoing support and resources directed to manage the outbreak effectively.”

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NAFDAC alerts public on unregistered B-GAG syrup

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has notified Nigerians about the illegal production and sale of unregistered B-GAG mist pot CIT syrup.

The alert is contained in a public notice No. 023/2024, issued by the agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, in Abuja on Sunday.

The unregistered product is alleged to have been sold by a company named Babban Gida Agalawa General Enterprises.

According to the statement, the product, being presented in a pet bottle, was discovered during a surveillance operation carried out by the NAFDAC Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate Officers in Maiduguri, Borno, and Keffi, Nasarawa States.

It said that the product was found to be without a NAFDAC registration number and a misleading label.

NAFDAC in the statement said that illegal marketing of medicines or counterfeit medicines posed a risk to public health.

Adeyeye noted that without compliance with regulatory provisions of safety, quality, and efficacy of such products were not guaranteed.

The agency gave the batch number of the fake product as 0070, the manufacturing date as 01/02/2024, as well as the expiring date as 01/02/2027.

Adeyeye also gave the address of the manufacturer as No. 883/884 Western Bypass Ring Road, Kumbosto Local Government, Kano State.

Adeyeye further said that NAFDAC Zonal Directors and State Coordinators had been directed to carry out surveillance to mop up the illegal products within the zones and states.

She advised consumers and caregivers to avoid the use of the product, adding that all medical products must be obtained from authorised and licensed suppliers.

Adeyeye said that products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked before buying.

She also advised healthcare professionals and consumers to report any suspicion of either the sale of substandard and falsified medicines or medical devices to the nearest NAFDAC office.

Adeyeye called on the public to report any adverse reaction to NAFDAC on 0800-162-3322 or via email: [email protected].

She encouraged healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of medicinal products through NAFDAC E-reporting platforms.

The e-reporting platforms, according to her are: www.nafdac.gov.ng, the Med- safety application available for download on Android, and IOS stores or via e-mail on [email protected].

She said the notice about the product would be uploaded on the World Health Organisation, Global Surveillance and Monitoring System.

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