Apapa Gridlock: Lagos Task Force Begins Clearing Trucks On Highways

The Lagos State Government has set up a Joint Task Force involving security agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector to remove all containers trucks and tankers parked along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.

Tagged ‘Operation Restore Sanity On Lagos Roads,’ the Task Force involve 2,271 personnel drawn from the Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and Nigerian Military including Army, Air Force and the Navy.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Ladi Lawanson told journalists on Sunday that the Task Force was able to free the road from Toyota to Mile 2 in an operation which lasted for 72 hours between Friday and Sunday.

He added that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has extended the operation of the Task Force for another 48 hours, while he would also host a meeting involving all the stakeholders in Alausa on Monday to come up with a lasting solution to the menace.

“The Governor will be meeting with the Nigeria Ports Authority, Shippers Council, Tank Farm Owners, Department of Petroleum Resources, among others because that is where the problem is really emanating from.

“What we are doing now are just palliative measures and we have to solve the problem from the source. Even though this is not within the Governor’s jurisdiction but he is adopting a collaborative approach with these agencies of the Federal Government which are the root cause of the problem to look for a medium to long-term solutions in support of the palliative measure that the Governor has started,” Lawanson said.

The clearing operation by the task force also involved relevant unions within the maritime sector such as Amalgamation of Container Truck Owners Association, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NATO), Road Trasnport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), among others.

Giving further details on the operation, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan said over 2,000 articulated vehicles were removed from the road including Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue and Mile 2-Orile Road and taken to seven designated holding bays.

He said the State Government has also resolved to set up a Mobile Court within the axis to summarily deal with recalcitrant drivers of articulated vehicles who may want to draw back the recent gains recorded.

The State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Hyginus Omeje, LASEMA General Manager, Adeshina Tiamiyu, Heads of Military Formations in Lagos, among others were part of the inspection tour to assess the operation.

IGP Sets Up Task Force To Enforce Ban On Illegal Firearms Possession

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The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on Thursday set up a task force to enforce the ban placed on illegal and prohibited firearms, ammunition, weapons and devices across the country.

The operation is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act and to recover all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons.

This, according to a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, will enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with herders and farmers clashes, kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, militancy and terrorism.

READ ALSO: IGP Vows To Prosecute Perpetrators Of Zamfara Killings

“A police joint task enforcement team has been set up at the Force Headquarters by the Inspector General of Police, while the Commissioners of Police and the Assistant Inspectors General of Police in the States and Zonal Commands respectively have been mandated to immediately set-up similar Police Joint Task Enforcement Teams in their States and Zones,” the statement read in part.

The task force according to the statement will the mop-up, seize and recover all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from ‘wrong hands.’

“The operation will equally include cordon and search and raid, seizure from any premises, hideouts, dwelling houses or buildings or sites (completed or under construction) or any other location where these illegal/prohibited firearms are kept or on reasonable suspicion are believed to be kept or being used,” the force spokesperson said.

The IGP according to the statement also mandated Commissioners of Police and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police of the 12 Zonal Commands in the country; to immediately commence the mop up operation.

The categories of the prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition, specified under Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 Fire Arms Act include “artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades, machine-guns and machine-pistols, military rifles, namely; those of calibers 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches, Revolvers and Pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols), firearms such as pump action gun of all categories and Any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill.”

The police force also said individuals and groups such as vigilantes and neighbourhood watch group under state governments, local governments or town unions, hunters and watch night men who are currently possessing the illegal firearms are given 21-day ultimatum from February 22, 2018, to surrender them to the Commissioner of Police in their state.

FEC Approves N1.1bn Vehicles For Anti-Rice Smuggling Task Force

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N1.128 billion for the purchase of 50 operational vehicles to be deployed towards the purchase of anti-rice smuggling task force.

The Federal Government is still keeping to its words on zero tolerance to smuggling activities in the country.

The Nigeria Customs Service in an effort to curb smuggling says it is ready more than ever to tackle smuggling and revenue leakages across the country.

READ ALSO: Customs Restates Resolve To Tackle Smuggling, Revenue Leakages

The Service appealed to the public to only engage in genuine business ventures that will contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.

The National Coordinator of the Comptroller General of Custom’s Compliance Team, Mr Abubakar Azarema made the appeal on Wednesday at the Customs House in Aduwawa, Benin City the Edo state capital.

He spoke shortly after inspecting some of the goods seized by operatives of the Service at the Benin axis of the Benin-Ore-Lagos expressway.

The seized goods include 2,635 bags of imported parboiled rice with duty paid value of N80m, as well as a truckload of drugs such as chest and lungs tablets, said to have been smuggled into the country from India without an approval from the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Handing over the drugs to the Director-General of NAFDAC who was represented by an assistant director in the agency, Mr Godwin Tonwuru, Mr Azarema said the feat was achieved through intelligence.

“As you can see, these smugglers are devising all means to beat the Customs but I can assure you that we are ready for them. They beat the Customs at the Lagos port and other checkpoints on the route but through adequate intelligence, we were able to intercept them at the Benin axis,” he said.

On the impounded bags of rice, Azarema noted that the Customs would stop at nothing to check smuggling to give impetus to the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture and rural development.

Stolen Power Installations Recovered From Vandals In Kano

Power, Vandals, KanoThe Anti-vandalism Joint Task Force (JTF) recently inaugurated in Kano State has recovered electrical installations worth millions of naira from suspected vandals in the state.

The task force was constituted by the MD/CEO of Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc (KEDCO) Dr Jamil Gwamna, to protect electrical installations in the northwest Nigerian state.

A statement by the spokesperson for KEDCO, Mohammed Kandi, revealed on Wednesday that the JTF raided a warehouse at Ranji quarters in Tudun Murtala, suspected to be hideout for vandals.

Mr Kandi said that the operation followed an information that large items of power installation had been kept in a premises purportedly owned by a scrap vendor.

“One of the suspected vandals (name withheld), who was arrested at the scene, admitted during a preliminary investigation by officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) that he had been in the business for the past three years.

“He also claimed buying the items which comprised 40 bunches of vandalised copper cables and five rolls of vandalised aluminium conductor weighing about 360kg from a trailer-laden with scrap materials,” the statement read.

The spokesman informed that the suspects would be prosecuted and called on residents to assist the firm in watching over the power installations in their area.

He lauded the management’s decision to set up the JTF with a view to clampdown on vandals and reduce the tide of vandalism in KEDCO’s coverage area of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states.

FG Sets Up National Task Force On Rice, Wheat Production

Rice-Production-in-NigeriaThe Nigerian government has established a National Rice and Wheat Task Force to set up targets that will yield comprehensible and self-evident results in rice and wheat production.

At the inauguration of the Task Force on Tuesday Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said: “What we are trying to achieve is that agriculture is our main stay and we are trying to evolve a strategy for our economy, a strategy for employment and a strategy for feeding our people”.

Professor Osinbajo said that feeding the nation’s population was the focus of the Buhari administration.

“Rice and wheat is our main focus, and making sure that in one year we can show the world that we are serious,” he stressed.

Emphasising on the need to develop strategies to rejuvenate the whole value chain, he gave terms of reference to the panel.

The panel is to set up production targets for rice and wheat in the participating states, determine the scope and particulars for government support needed towards the attainment of the set targets and consider and proffer the best off-take and marketing arrangements that will encourage maximum effort among farmers  and millers.

They are to also determine the rice and wheat value chain deficiencies and recommend solutions for addressing them, mobilise farmers and millers in identified target states to engage the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and other available support facilities and establish timelines for the delivery of goals set by the Task Force.

After the Vice President listed the terms, the Chairman of the Task Force and Governor of Kebbi State, Mr Atiku Bagudu, thanked the Vice President for the consideration and stated that the disconnect between farmers and millers must be addressed.

He added that the two bodies in the value chain needed to be mobilised for maximum results.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said members of the task force include Governors of Kebbi State Senator Abubakar A. Bagugu, Dr. A. U. Ganduje of Kano State, and Mr David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

Others are the Minister of State for Agriculture, Lokpobiri Heineken, the President of Rice Farmers Association, Mr Aminu Goronyo and the President Wheat Farmers Association, Saliu Mohammed.

Joint Task Force Set To End Fuel Scarcity In Abia

 FuelA joint task force team comprising of officials of  the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) and Department of State Services (DSS) have met to find lasting solutions to fuel scarcity in Abia State.

The Petroleum Ministerial Joint Task Force from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), PPMC and DSS on Monday embarked on an inspection which was aimed at ensuring total compliance with sale of the PMS at the government approved price of 87 Naira per litre and to guarantee a steady and regular availability of products to consumers during the festive period.

It was a routine monitoring of filling stations as directed by the Petroleum Minister to checkmate the scenario of vehicular queues for PMS across the state.

The task force adjusted the pumps of some of the petrol stations who were caught selling the product above the government approved price.

They also warned that the challenges of fuel scarcity might not be over if the product continues to be unavailable at the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) designated depots but is being sourced from private depots by the independent marketers.







13 Killed In Fresh Plateau Attack

plateau attack13 people are reported to have been killed after gunmen, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, attacked lwa, Dum, Rachit and Dyang villages of Bachit district in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Spokesman for the Special Task Force, Captain. Ikedichi Iweha, who confirmed the attack, said soldiers were still conducting a mop-up operation.

Captain Iweha adds that the Task Force has apprehended 82 suspects mostly of Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad within Rikkos community in Jos north Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Smugglers Attack Customs Special Task Force In Oyo

custom attackYoung men suspected to be smugglers attacked some Customs officers at Igbeti in Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State brutalizing and damaging properties belonging to the Nigerian Customs Service.

According to the leader of the Task Force and Coordinator of the Comptroller General’s Task Force Team, D.C Shallangwa, the hoodlums attacked his men while on duty brandishing guns, cutlasses and other harmful weapons.

Shallangwa added that his men were well equipped to deal with such challenges but they refrained from the use of retaliatory force so that innocent people would not be affected.

The Deputy Comptroller of Customs further disclosed that the smugglers aimed at killing the morale of his men but they remain undaunted as any attempt to repeat such dastardly act would be resisted.

He also warned that the Task Force would not hesitate to use necessary force to curtail and discourage smuggling activities anywhere in the country.

Gov Ahmed Calls For Stiffer Penalties For Fake Drugs

Kwara State Governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed has called on the National Assembly and state houses of assembly to introduce stiffer penalties for the production and supply of substandard drugs.

Governor Ahmed made the call in Ilorin at the opening ceremony of the 86th Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.

The Governor noted that it was unfortunate that substandard drugs were still sneaked into the health delivery system across the country thus putting the health of patients in jeopardy.

He added that his administration has established the Fake and Counterfeit Drugs Task Force and a drug abuse control structure to check the menace of fake drugs and drug abuse.

He also charged members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria to ensure that the new drug distribution guideline was implemented in all the states of the federation, as part of strategies to check fake drug incidents in the country.

Governor Ahmed advocated a synergy between pharmaceutical and traditional medical practitioners in order to widen the horizon of medical care in the country as evidence supported the efficacy of traditional medicine.

He, therefore, canvassed for rigorous research into herbs to determine their efficacy and safety, so that the nation could benefit from the therapeutic and economic advantages of alternative medicine.

The Kwara State Chairman of the society, Mojeed Oderinde called on the Nigerian Government to exercise its political will in dealing decisively with producers of fake drugs, to serve as deterrent to others.

FG to create task force on crude oil theft

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin, on Friday said that the Federal Government has approved the constitution of a task force to curb crude oil theft in Nigeria.

The Air Marshall disclosed this while addressing journalists during a stakeholders’ meeting on security in the oil and gas industry in Lagos.

He said that the responsibility of the task force will be to halt the incessant oil theft in the country and that most senior army personnel and other security agencies would be included in the team to bring sanity.

“I quite agree with the collective decision of the stakeholders on ways to address oil theft in the country.

“All the security agencies will ensure adequate monitoring of the country’s oil thefts to logical conclusion,” Petinrin said.

Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, said that over 180 million barrels of crude oil were lost on daily basis in the country.

Translating the 180 million barrels into monetary terms the Managing Director of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu had on Thursday during a meeting with the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Zainab Ahmed in Abuja said Nigeria loses $5billion yearly to crude oil theft.

Mrs Allison-Madueke said the new task force would include both indigenous and international oil chiefs.

The minister said that it had been observed that in the last six months, the number of oil theft on Nigerian water was high.

“This crude oil theft affects both our environment and economic values in Nigeria,’’ she said.