A total of 1,700 personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have been deployed to oversee traffic activities on highways across Ogun and Lagos States.
Specifically, the personnel would be overseeing the Lagos – Ibadan; Sagamu – Ijebu Ode; Sagamu – Mosinmi – Ikorodu; Abeokuta – Sagamu; Abeokuta – Ibadan; Abeokuta – Ifo, Sango – Ota and Idiroko corridors.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Route Commander Florence Okpe Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ogun State Sector Command.
According to the statement, this deployment is part of the Ember Months Special Patrol Operations which will commence from Thursday, December 19, 2019, till Monday, January 20, 2020.
The Special Patrol Operations would focus on, excessive speed; dangerous driving; wrongful overtaking; lane indiscipline; use of phones while driving; seat belt violation; overloading violation; tyre violation (expired/ substandard) as well as speed limiting device violation; unlacthed vehicles violation; child restraint violation; passengers manifest violation by commercial vehicles and use of drugs & intoxicating alcoholic beverages while driving.
Meanwhile, the FRSC Ogun State Command has also embarked on aggressive motor parks public enlightenment campaigns across the state.
It has also concluded arrangements with the NDLEA to conduct joint drug tests on drivers suspected to have consumed illicit drugs as well as those that have consumed intoxicant alcoholic beverages beyond the legally tolerable level.
In addition, eye examinations would be conducted in partnership with the National Optometric Association (NOA), to ensure only drivers with good eye sights are allowed to drive passengers during the Yuletide.
Senate President Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu say Christians should use the festive occasion to pray for unity, peace and prosperity of Nigeria.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu said Nigerians should rededicate themselves to the service of humanity in line with the true teachings of Jesus Christ which emphasises tolerance, patience, brotherly kindness and care for the needy.
Senator Saraki also stated that the 8th Senate and the National Assembly will continue to strive to make life more meaningful for all Nigerians.
He added that the legislature would at all times work to ensure that Nigeria takes her rightful position in the league of nations through relevant legislation and timely interventions.
Also, Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu called on Nigerians to emulate the great virtues of humility, love, peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation which he said were the real reasons for the coming of Jesus Christ.
Ekweremadu, in his Christmas message to Nigerians, said Christmas was an opportunity to reflect on the humility of Christ and limitless love of God, who gave his only begotten son to be born as the man in order to save and reconcile mankind unto Himself.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris has directed immediate commencement of Stop and Search operations at flashpoints, black spots and vulnerable points on major roads and highways across the country, this yuletide season.
This security arrangement according to the IGP is to beef-up security and prevent crime and criminality to ensure a hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebration nationwide.
This was in a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood and made available to Channels Television.
“In order to ensure the free flow of traffic and ease movement of travellers, the stop and search point will not be located at areas susceptible to traffic gridlock or vehicular hold-ups. The Police teams on traffic control and observation patrols have been deployed to such points and sections to manage traffic and carry out Police observation duties,” the statement read in part.
The IGP further directed all Commissioners of Police to supervise the Police personnel deployed to these stop and search points to make sure that they are not turned to a roadblock, as the total ban on all forms of roadblocks is still in force.
Also, members of the public are urged to promptly report any roadblock seen mounted anywhere in the country to the IGP X-Squad.
The Inspector General of Police, therefore, calls on all Nigerians especially travellers and other road users to cooperate with personnel of the Force deployed in their localities as they carry out their duties of ensuring security and safety of lives and property all Nigerians.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that Nigerians need not exercise unnecessary fear over the availability of petroleum products during this yuletide season and beyond.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the corporation, Mr Makanti Baru in Sagamu, Ogun State on Thursday said Nigeria consumes about 35 million litres of the product per day and over a billion litres of petroleum is currently available in Nigeria.
”We are prepared and we have sufficient products that will last us through the end of the year and into next year. Our average consumption is about 35 million litres per day and at the moment we have well over a billion litres of petroleum products in my tanks,” he said.
Baru also appealed to motorists to be cautious and not save petroleum products in jerry cans as there is no cause for alarm or panic buying.
”We do not have any problem what I will appeal to motorists to please not put fuel in jerry cans and put them in your cars. That is very dangerous because at the slightest opportunity they could catch fire.
“I am assuring you, there is products in every filling stations as you could see around the country. We have trucks that are bringing fuel to filling stations across the country,” the NNPC Boss said.
He said further that the ugly scenes of long queues will not be seen at petroleum stations this yuletide season and then cautioned Nigerians against panic buying and unwholesome storage of petroleum products.
The Ogun state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Dayo Adeneye, has charged workers to put in their best to ensure successful implementation of government policies and programmes in its rebuilding mission.
He said this while welcoming the civil servants back to their various duty posts, after the Christmas holiday.
“As we say happy holidays, we say happy new year in advance, for some of us, we don’t really have any holiday, media doesn’t holidays but we are used to that. We do say welcome back to work, we thank God for his blessings and mercies, for giving us the opportunity to see another Christmas and another boxing day and by the grace of God the new year is going to be a prosperous one”.
“As our workers resumed to work after the long holiday, my charge is simply, let us continue from where we dropped off.
“We always pride ourselves as the best in the country, you can see the award held about two weeks ago.
“The governor rewarded five of them free houses for their diligence and dedication, that is to tell you that our workers are diligent and hardworking. So, my charge, let us continue to put in our best and continue to put Ogun state in its rightful position in the comity of states in Nigeria” he said.
A worker, sharing their experiences from the holiday, expressed that it has really reinvigorated them for maximum productivity.
“Sincerely speaking, the holiday has been so refreshing, interesting and exciting and relaxing.
As a matter of fact, it has been the tonic needed to really review, reform, and reinvigorate for the challenges at work. So, you can see that I am looking radiant, I am willing to get the ball rolling”. he concluded.
The Nasarawa state police command has assured residents of a hitch free yuletide celebration.
The State Commissioner of Police, CP Abubakar Sadiq Bello, in a press statement wishing them a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year, called on residents to use the period for sober reflection and offer prayers for the peace and stability of the state and Nation at large.
He stated that the command is committed to providing an enabling environment for a hitch free celebration.
“Sequel to this, patrol vehicles of the police have been strategically deployed to identify trouble spots on the highways, while undercover operatives have been mobilized to cover major towns, junctions, places of worship, recreation centres and other public places usually crowded during festivities”
He therefore enjoined the people of the state to remain peaceful and law abiding, urging them to report any likely breach of peace in their area for prompt police action.
“I enjoin the people of the state to remain law abiding and to report any likely breach of peace for prompt action”
Mr Bello also urged them to report any case of emergency or distress before, during and after the festive period.
The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has set February 2017 as deadline to deliver on a 21 megawatts Calabar power plant, as part of his determination to ensure that the Calabar metropolis has 24/7 uninterrupted power supply.
Speaking during his routine inspection of the ongoing construction work at the site along the Parliamentary Extension in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, Ayade explained that the power plant is a new technology which is cost effective.
Excited about the level of work done so far, Ayade said: “as you can see, there is massive construction work going on here at the site, we are putting the structural base for the installation of the 21 megawatt power turbines that have already been delivered on site.
“We have set February 17, 2017 as deadline to deliver uninterrupted 24/7 power supply to Calabar metropolis. With this singular effort, Calabar will be the first capital city to have uninterrupted power supply in the country”.
Speaking further he said, “the good thing is that this is the product and manifestation of the several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), I had signed early last year and today, we are at the construction stage to deliver on this all important project.
“As you can see, there is so much energy as several young men are already engaged and we are making plans to engage some of them permanently as maintenance staff after the construction.”
Ayade then revealed that the project was a Public Private Partnership (PPP) as the state was working in partnership with a Brazilian/American firm, which is also collaborating with the Cross River State Power Company “to establish and deliver on this world class independent embedded power plant here in Calabar.”
Offering further insight, the governor stated that he would ensure that “no contractor is paid until he meets the mile stones set.
“So, if you bring me an IPC, I must check to ensure that you have delivered as declared by the agencies concerned before you receive your payment.
“Secondly, I am driven by the passion and determination, which is why I am always on site instead of sitting in the office. This is rather very alien to me and that is why I am on site daily to ensure that we catch the pace because money is scarce, every little kobo will be accounted for.”
He expressed excitement that work is being done according to specification and approved designs.
Ayade assured residents that the state had concluded arrangement with Lilleker and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, to ensure uninterrupted power supply especially during the annual Calabar Carnival.
“In line with this effort, the state has provided 88 new transformers across the city centre for improved power supply to ensure that all parts of Calabar are lit during the yuletide.
He then used the opportunity to invite Nigerians to the festival.
“Let me use this opportunity to invite every Nigerian to stop searching for scarce dollars for overseas trips and come to Calabar for the festival and Carnival.
“We have everything you are looking for, hospitality, love, good treatment, everything you can think of is here in Calabar,” the governor said.
Few hours to the Christmas celebration, Nigerians are lamenting hike in cost of transportation, food items as well as other commodities needed to mark the birth of Christ.
In the southwest, residents of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital said that prices of essential commodities have slightly gone up while traders groan under low patronage.
According to them, the increase in prices of goods was caused by the scarcity of petroleum products which seemed to have paralysed commercial activities in the state.
A Youth Corp member decried that the transport fare to Lagos from the popular Kuto market in the Ogun State capital has risen to 1,000 Naira from 800 Naira.
Similarly, commercial activities have been on the rise in Osogbo, the Osun State capital as residents thronged various market places and motor parks ahead of the Christmas celebration.
Although the markets were filled with customers, traders still lamented low patronage which according to them may be due to the economic situation of the country.
Some motor parks in the Osun State capital also experienced low turnout of passengers as a driver, James Oyeniyi, lamented continuous hike in petrol price which according to them was being sold for 120 Naira per litre.
Christmas In South-East
In Nigeria’s southeast, transporters at different motor parks in Owerri, Imo State’s capital also complained bitterly about scarcity of the petroleum product which they also blamed for the low turnout of passengers.
At Aforigwe market in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State where residents believed items were bought cheap, both buyers and sellers criticised the exorbitant rise in prices of commodities.
However, some residents trooped into various supermarkets and stores at the busy business hub within the city, Ikenegbu business layout, saying they must celebrate Christmas to herald the birth of Jesus Christ not minding the economic situation.
Fuel Crisis In Kaduna
People travelling to various parts of the country from the northern region such as Kaduna and environs for the celebration are also groaning with the increase of transport fares by commercial drivers.
Transporters planning to convey passengers from Kaduna to other parts of the country decried shortage of passengers as they called on the Federal Government to urgently address the problem to reduce their sufferings.
While most filling stations across the metropolis were still locked up due to the petroleum scarcity, those that opened for business sold the product at over 80 per cent of the normal price.
As the transport fare from Kaduda to Akwa-Ibom rose to 8,000 Naira form 6,000 Naira, some of the travellers said with no end in sight to the scarcity, they could suspend their trips as the inter-state transporters had also inflated their fares.
While black marketers sold a four litre gallon of petrol as high as 1,000 Naira, most of the filling stations sold a litre of the product for 200 Naira to struggling and impatient motorists and those buying in jerry-cans.
The Nigerian Navy says it remains committed to the safety of the nation’s waters during and after the Yuletide.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-ete Ibas, said this at the end of the annual inspection exercise usually organized by the Navy, code-named ‘Operation Treasure Guard’, to make officers fit and combat ready for its operations.
The 3-day rigorous exercise on sea and the shores was witnessed by the Chief of Defence Staff, observers from the Defence Headquarters, as well as all Flag Officers leading their various ships.
The exercise kicked off from the Nigerian Naval base in Onne, after being declared open by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, with participating ships on guard and covered from the Calabar Waters East to the Delta regions in the central, the Gulf of Guinea waters towards the Atlantic in the Western Region.
The Chief of Defence staff urged the Nigerian Navy to be more vigilant and committed to securing the wealth of the nation on the sea and shores.
He commended the Navy for the acquisition of more ships, especially for the 30 most recent ones already in Nigeria from Sri Lanka.
The Naval Chief said that the Nigerian Navy in 2016 would not relent in policing the nation’s common wealth along the maritime domain, as presently, 139 illegal bunkeries have been destroyed between July 2015 till date.
While commending the government for its contributions, the Naval Chief made a case for more funding for the Navy in the coming year.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, said that the annual end of the year Navy sea exercise is designed to work up the ships and personnel, in line with the Nigerian Navy doctrine of operations.
A total of 14 ships, covering the Eastern, Western and Central Naval Command, participated in the exercise.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has commemorated with Muslims on the celebration of the Eid-el-Maulud.
Hon. Dogara called on Muslim faithful to imbibe the spirit of humility, gratitude and charity to one another, as demonstrated by the life and times of the Holy Prophet Mohammed.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker noted that the virtues of service and exemplary leadership as demonstrated by the Holy Prophet should guide both leaders and the led on the need to give their all in the overall interest of the nation.
“Let me use this occasion to call on us all to reappraise our commitment to the unity and progress of the country as entrenched by our forefathers,” he stated.
“On our part as lawmakers, we shall continue to come up with legislative intervention that will guarantee a virile and united nation.”
While wishing all Muslims a Happy Maulud Celebration, Hon. Dogara urged the Ummah to use the occasion of the Prophet’s birth to reflect on the essential lessons of his life and to pray for the continued well being of the nation.