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2019 : Floods destroy 2,714 houses, claim 10 lives in Niger state- Official

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Prepare for devastating flood, NIHSA alerts Edo, Bayelsa, 3 other states

…Japan typhoon death toll climbs to 74, rescuers search for missing people***

Mr Ibrahim Inga, the Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), on Wednesday said the 2019 floods destroyed 2,714 houses and claimed 10 lives in the state.

Inga disclosed this when he appeared before the Niger State House of Assembly to brief it on the agency’s activities in 2019.

He said that a total of 21, 223 people were affected by the disaster in 20 local government areas with 123 communities submerged.

“The floods, which began in August as a result of a localised high intensity rainfall accompanied by torrential winds, triggered massive run off activities in streams and rivers.

“These violent river behaviours resulted in loss of 10 lives with some roads, bridges, culverts and residential buildings badly affected by the force of the water. 

“These excess waters have inundated several hectares of farmlands and displaced some dwellers in hinterland communities,” he added.

Also read:Flood drowns Gas retailer, throwing Magboro residents into mourning

He said the agency could not sufficiently respond to the disaster as it had exhausted its N200m capital budget for 2019 before the flooding season.

“The agency may not have responded with relief interventions due to the reasons mentioned but had acted within the conduct of the above assessment exercise.

“In view of the above therefore, the agency has requested for an emergency supplementary budget wallet,” he said.

According to him, in addition to its assessment exercise, the agency has forwarded request for assistance in favour of the victims from donor partners.

In the meantime, rescue workers in Japan continued the search for the missing on Wednesday as the death toll from one of the worst typhoons to hit the country rose to 74, public broadcaster, NHK, said.

Also many drowned by flooding after scores of rivers burst their banks.

Public broadcaster, NHK, said 12 were missing and more than 220 injured after Typhoon Hagibis lashed through the Japanese archipelago at the weekend.

Throughout the eastern half of the main island of Honshu, 52 rivers had flooded over.
Residents in Fukushima prefecture, which has seen the highest number of casualties, were busy dumping water-damaged furniture and rubbish onto the streets.

Many elderly remained in evacuation centers, unable to clean up their homes.

In Date city, not far from the site of the nuclear disaster in 2011, farmer Masao Hirayama piled damp books in the street in front of his house, adding to a mound of rubbish from the neighbourhood.

He said the water had reached about two meters (6.6 feet) deep in his house when he and his son were rescued by boat and taken to an evacuation center.

His wife and grandchildren had stayed with relatives through the storm.

“I feel down,” Hirayama, 70, said, adding that the flood had swept away all his green houses and farming equipment. “All that is left is the land.”

Hirayama said he had rebuilt his house in 1989, raising the ground level following a flood in 1986.

His family plan to live on the second floor until he can make repairs, which he reckons could take three months.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government would spend 710 million yen ($6.5 million) to facilitate disaster relief.  

-Reuters

Accidents

5  Die In Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Accident

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19 die, 26 injured in Kano auto crash — FRSC

Five persons were confirmed dead in an accident at NASFAT turning on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Wednesday.

Ten others sustained injuries in the accident.

Mrs Florence Okpe, the spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.

Okpe noted that the incident occurred at 9:56a.m and it involved a Daf truck marked KUT 561 ZZ, a Toyota Hiace bus marked GGE 84 YF, and a Man diesel truck without a registration number.

She said that the likely cause of the accident was dangerous driving on the part of one of the trucks.

”A total of 15 persons were involved, which comprised 11 men and four women.

” Ten were injured (six men and four women) while five persons were killed from the multiple crash,” she said.

The FRSC spokesperson said that the injured victims were taken to Famobis Hospital, Mowe, while the deceased were deposited at Idera Hospital morgue, Sagamu.

The Sector Commander, Anthony Uga, cautioned motorists on speed and reckless driving, advising them to drive defensively for safety. 

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Customs Suspends Noble Intention To Sell Rice At Rock-bottom Price

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Nigeria Customs Service’s noble intention to sell impounded rice to the masses at the rock-bottom price of N10,000 per half-bag has been suspended.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on the directive of Mr. President, announced the commencement of a noble intervention aimed at alleviating the hardships faced by Nigerians and improving access to essential food items through direct disposal of seized edible goods condemned in competent courts of law and certified fit for consumption by relevant government agencies. 

Consequently, according to the Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, a pilot exercise was conducted on Friday, 23 February 2024, at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos state. 

Stated Maiwada: “The exercise was conducted following meticulous planning to address all potential risks that may emerge during the exercise. As part of our process and control measures, we had Nigeria Police and military personnel to ensure crowd control. We also fully equipped a medical team on the ground in anticipation of potential risks during an exercise of that magnitude. Their presence was part of our proactive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.

“The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise. This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press. 

 

“However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome. The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded”, the Service Spokesman stated, stressing that the Nigeria Customs Service extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families during this challenging time, and we assure them of our unwavering support. 

“We are working with Hospital Authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps. Following this incident, an internal investigation was initiated to understand the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event. 

“As a service deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, we recognize the need for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. 

“Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024. 

“This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work towards addressing the challenges facing our nation’s food security”, the Imgemaker said further. 

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LASG Lifts RTEAN- Ban; Dissolves State’s Parks And Garages Administrators’ Committee 

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…To boost peace 

In furtherance of this administration’s quest to foster peace and smooth working relationships among union members in the transportation sector, the Lagos State Government has lifted the ban on the activities of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the State.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa said on Monday that the government decided after careful consideration and extensive consultations with relevant Stakeholders, including members of the association, Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the general public.

Hon. Giwa further stated that the Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrators’ Committee which was set up to manage parks and garage facilities in the State has been dissolved with immediate effect.

He explained that the decision is made in the best interest of promoting unity and peaceful co-existence, ensuring the smooth operation of transport services within the State as well as helping to foster a more collaborative relationship between the government and the transport union, ultimately leading to improved services for the public.

The Special Adviser urged all parties involved to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of the settlement reached for peaceful and sustainable operations in the transportation sector.

He also implored them to cooperate and work together towards building a better transportation system to benefit all Lagos State residents.

It would be recalled that the State Government suspended the activities of RTEAN across the State in September 2022 and constituted a Caretaker Committee to oversee the Affairs of the union.

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