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VIO to deploy Artificial Intelligence to manage traffic in FCT

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The Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) says it will deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) around some road interjections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to enhance free flow of traffic.

Mr Kalu Emetu, the Head, Public Relations and Enlightenment, DRTS, FCT, made this known in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.

The Artificial Intelligence is a robot that thinks like a human and can take the responsibility of a human.

Emetu said that with the growing traffic in the city centre, it had become imperative for DRTS to deploy AI to complement the effort of its personnel in ensuring that motorists obey traffic rules and regulations.

He said that the machine had not been put into use because its partners had not concluded their arrangements.

“Once our partners are done from their own end and the project comes on stream, definitely, the new way of ensuring a seamless traffic flow in the FCT, especially in the city will come to life.

“Traffic monitoring, which you know is one of our primary responsibilities, is one area we ensure that the city is clean and there is free movement.

“We have even gone as far as mounting all that is required and the recording is already on.

“So, what we need now is only very little time to perfect the whole process and then, we are good to go,” he said.

The spokesperson further said that traffic offenders would henceforth pay fines for traffic offences committed, including those that broke the traffic rules during the test run.

According to him, the service will start by contacting the offenders when, where, and how they beat the traffic.

“However, a lot has been done as we speak; the recording around the areas we have mounted the gadgets are already working.

“That is why we have been mounting serious pressure on our partners, a Chinese company, Huawei and Chit-Up to tidy up their own end, so it can take-off in no distant time,” he said.

Emetu expressed optimism that the interface between the personnel of the service and motorists would end by the time the project is completed.

He noted that new technology would give motorists more confidence than the usual interface with their personnel.

“At the same time, our officers will not be seen everywhere like before in most parts or interjections in the city centre.

“Since it is the machine that will be monitoring such activities, any offender will be picked, numbers picked and a message will be sent to the person’s cell phone for the necessary fine.

“This will be done in line with our e-booking and e-ticketing that was launched recently.

“When that is done, you will have no option than to use any of our payment channels to pay to the government,” he said.

Emetu added that when motorists pay the fine, the person would not be in doubt where the money had been sent

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EID-el-Kabir: Tinubu calls for reflection on sacrifice, duty, unity

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President Bola Tinubu has urged Muslim faithful to reflect on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir, an event that denotes sacrifice, faith, and obedience to the will of the Almighty.

“The President congratulates the Muslim faithful and prays that Allah accepts their supplications and acts of obedience,” Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, said in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.

Tinubu enjoined Nigerians to reflect on the essence of the occasion, which bears strong meaning and significance for the nation.

The President emphasised that sacrifice and duty were essential ingredients to nation-building, “noting that it takes collective purpose, will, and action to bring about great change.”

He called on citizens to spare a prayer for the nation for continuous peace and stability while working according to purpose in promoting unity, peace, and progress.

“The President acknowledges the sacrifices that Nigerians have made in the past one year as his administration sets the nation on a firm pedestal of growth and development.

“President Tinubu affirms that the sacrifices and great expectations of citizens will not come to nought as already propitious outcomes are beginning to manifest with the economy strengthening and vibrancy returning to critical sectors.

“The President reassures Nigerians that his administration is prioritizing their physical, social, and economic security and will not relent on this noble endeavour,” Ngelale said.

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Nigerian airspace fully covered by radar – NAMA

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This is contained in a statement signed by the Managing Director of NAMA, Mr Ahmed Farouk, on Saturday in Lagos.

Farouk said that the radar stations in Nigeria located in Kano, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt are all serviceable.

He described as false and misleading the claims by a blogger that an unidentified aircraft was spotted at the Presidential Villa, Abuja undetected.

According to him, radar services for Terminal and Enroute flights are positively identified and provide air navigation services to airspace users.

“The agency hereby wishes to state that the claim that the Nigerian airspace is not covered by radar is false and misleading.

“The radar stations in Nigeria (Kano, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt) are serviceable. Radar services for terminal and enroute flights are positively identified and provide air navigation services to airspace users.

“Yes, it is true that the TRACON system, like any other electronics systems, is undergoing an upgrade of software and modernisation to meet the ever growing demand for efficient, effective and seamless air traffic management services.

“Furthermore, the welfare of Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers in terms of salaries and allowances is not in contention, as to suggest that it is the lowest in the world.”

Farouk added: “The reported ‘unidentified’ aircraft is a security terminology. In real terms, the aircraft in question is known, but only to the ATC.

“The violation was in the interest of safety, as a result of adverse weather (serious thunderstorm) on the said date.

“The purported circular issued by the NCAA is for airlines to be guided from straying into the marked and published prohibited or restricted areas of the Nigerian airspace.

“It is obvious that the journalist in question does not understand the workings of the surveillance systems, hence his misconstrued and misguided information on Primary and Secondary Radar.

“The agency shall willfully volunteer information on her services to anyone who requires them at any time,” said Farouk.”

The NAMA boss assured of the agency’s commitment to ensure sustainable welfare packages for its staff, especially the Air Traffic Controllers.

According to him, NAMA remains committed to its responsibility to provide safe, effective, economic, and efficient air navigation services in Nigeria.

He said that the existence of robust, effective civil and military coordination and collaboration guarantees a secured airspace and air navigation.

“We are pleased to say that the Nigerian airspace is safe and secured,” he noted.

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Ohanaeze felicitates Okonjo-Iweala at 70

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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has felicitated with the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Okonjo-Iweala, as she clocked 70 years on Thursday.

The congratulatory message is contained in a statement in Enugu on Saturday by the Publicity Secretary of the group, Dr Alex Ogbonnia.

Ogbonnia said that the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Ohanaeze Ndigbo joined other numerous admirers to felicitate with Okonjo-Iweala.

Iwuanyanwu said “We felicitate one of our best; a cerebral modest woman of substance, a distinctive global icon and a renowned development economist.

“Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is a quintessential Igbo in character, ingenuity, elegance and integrity.

“Her trajectory is a veritable testament to the audacity of intellectual prowess, hard work, competence, self-confidence, humility, prudence and service to humanity.

“Our daughter, Okonjo-Iweala is a source of pride. She has distinguished herself in all the facets she has ever set her foot; at the Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Brookings Institution, World Bank and in the Nigerian government, among others”.

The Igbo leading group said Nigerians would always recall with nostalgia, the various economic reforms that Iweala introduced into the Nigerian financial institutions as a Minister of Finance; under President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He said she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club which led to the wiping out about $30 Billion of Nigeria’s Debt, including the outright cancellation of $18 Billion in favour of Nigeria.

Iwuanyanwu added that she introduced the monthly publication of the federal, state and local government shares of revenue from the country’s federation account.

“Back home, the keynote address delivered by Okonjo-Iweala at the South East Economic Summit at Owerri, Imo State, on Sept. 28, 2023 still reverberates with profound wisdom, and instructive reflections.

“On behalf of all the National Executive Committee (NEC), states and local government structures of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; and indeed all the sons and daughters of Igbo land, I wish you many more years in good health and full of more accomplishments.”

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