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AMATO bans Drunk-driving and Driving without Container-hooks



AMATO bans Drunk-driving, and Driving without Container-hooks

… Flags off Self Examination Campaign, as it thanks Sanwo-Olu for Suspending Committee on Removal of Abandoned Trucks***

The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), a body of core haulage professionals has flagged off a membership-sensitization campaign, stressing that aside from dressing very neat, under no conditions should its members drive again under the influence of alcohol.

The Wake-up Call campaign also saw the AMATO, a highly respected group headed by Chief Remi Ogungbemi, with Mohammed Sani Bala as its Administration Secretary, specifically thanked the Lagos State Governor, for the suspension of the Committee on Removal of Abandoned Trucks, even as it stresses that truckers must self-examine, and ensure, that every container-laden truck on the road has Twist-lock or container hooks, properly gripping the container together with the truck.

Also read: Nigeria’s Infrastructural Decay Fuels Inflation, Insecurity and Corrodes Haulage Industry- AMATO

The AMATO full statement reads:

“In view of the mind-boggling and gory accidents involving containerized/palletized trucks on our highways, we summoned an emergency meeting where we painstakingly rubbed minds in order to ascertain and proffer solutions to the factors that are responsible for the falling of containers and palletized cargoes from trucks on the road.

“In order to forestall or mitigate the stories that touch minds, we are calling on every trucker to immediately embark on self-examination by ensuring that:

1. Drivers have VALID Driver’s license, do not drive under influence of drugs/alcohol, and always dress neatly.

2. The device known as Twist-lock or container hook that grips the container together with the truck must be in good condition and seen to be properly used always.

3. That our trucks have basic components, LE functional headlamps, mirrors, rear lights, and reflective tapes at the tail end of our trucks.

4. That all drivers loading general cargoes, especially palletized CARD-BOARDS to always insist on one pallet on the Two pallets that are already on the floor of the truck.

5. We applauded the indefinite suspension of the Committee on Removal of Abandoned Trucks by the Lagos State Governor.

Though, we considered the suspension a privilege.

Hence our resolve to embark on a road safety campaign so that the privilege would not be withdrawn.

“Therefore, we should ensure that our drivers do not park indiscriminately or cause obstruction to free flow of traffic on the road.

“We are also embarking on constant engagement with our drivers together with other relevant government agencies for further sensitization with a view to promoting a better working relationship that will enhance safety on our roads.

“In conclusion, we look forward to this safety campaign spurring us into the revolution of fixing our trucks REAR LIGHTS, MIRRORS, REFLECTIVE TAPES, and ensuring that containers are properly secured on the trucks with container TWIST LOCKS, and general cargoes are properly LATCHED on the trucks for the general safety of lives and property on the roads”, the Group stated further.



465 returned migrants to benefit from IOM intervention project in Edo



465 returned migrants to benefit from IOM intervention project in Edo

No few than 465 returned migrants and community members are to benefit from International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Managing Migration through Development project MMDP 2.0 in Edo.

The two-year project would be funded by the Italian government to empower returned migrants to acquire skills and education.

The Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Laurent De Boeck who made this known during the inauguration of the project on Monday in Benin, said that the first phase of the MMDP 1.0 impacted about 500 youths in the state.

465 returned migrants to benefit from IOM intervention project in Edo
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo

De Boeck noted that the project which would be carried out in collaboration with the Italian and Edo government was designed to help reintegrate returnees into society.

He explained that the project would provide need-based economic assistance to 225 returnees, vocational training to 150 beneficiaries, and rehabilitation of 90 victims of trafficking.

He said the project would contribute to the state government’s efforts to prevent human trafficking and protect vulnerable migrants and community members across the 18 local government areas of the state.

He noted that the choice of Edo for the implementation of the project was because the state accounted for the highest figure of over 30,000 returned migrants since 2017.

“It is an honour to welcome you all to the launch of the project MMDP 2.0 in Edo. The project was developed in collaboration with Edo government.

“This launch is to introduce the project to stakeholders that are involved in strengthening the socio-economic reintegration of returned migrants and providing livelihood support for local communities.

“Edo pioneered the establishment of a state Taskforce Against Human Trafficking in 2018 with a mission to combat human trafficking and irregular migration.

“This laid the foundation for MMDP 1.0 initiated by Edo government support by the European Union and world Bank which established shelter for returnees.

“This MMDP 2.0 will first all support the development of a migration management strategy for the state. The strategy is to define a coordinated approach for Migration Management,” he said.

According to him, the intervention will not only help returnees to better integrate into the society but will also create jobs by harnessing entrepreneurial drive of migrants and community youths.

De Boeck, however, appreciated Italian government for the generous financial support to the project.

The Ambassador of Italy to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo, said that the aim of the two-year project was to support Edo government to provide skills and education to returned migrants and to prevent human trafficking in the state.

“Partnerships and networks are increasingly important tools to tackle challenges in the long term.

“I am happy to inform you that the Governor of Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, has expressed his desire to explore opportunities of partnership with Edo State.

“I will discuss further with the governor and government representatives the best ways to move forward on this roadmap,” he added.

Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo said that the huge numbers of Edo youths travelling abroad to seek greener pastures was due to systemic collapse which his administration has addressed in the last six years.

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Rail Modernisation Master Plan: Nigeria needs Strong Implementation Committee for Dream Realisation- Opeifa 



Rail Modernisation Master Plan: Nigeria needs Strong Implementation Committee for Dream Realisation- Opeifa 

A Transportation Expert has urged the Federal Government to urgently set up a strong Technical Committee to review the implementation and updating of ‘Nigeria 25 Years Rail Modernisation Master Plan’ and the ‘Nigerian Rail Transportation System’ so as reinvigorate both the document and vision driving government’s dream and make it achievable.

The expert, who is the Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Mobility and Access Development (CenSMAD), Dr. Kayode Opeifa stated this last week, at the 4th National Transport Summit of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration in Nigeria, while delivering a paper on ‘Safety and Security of Rail Transportation in Nigeria’.

Speaking at the Shehu Musa Yar Adua Centre, Abuja on the theme: Transportation Safety, Opeifa noted that the Nigeria Railway Corporation is currently about 124 years old (1898 to 2022);  and stressed the need for very strong leadership, who would not only recognise the vision of Government, but also be dedicated enough to boldly pursue and midwife it as conceived.

He specifically pointed out that a bird’s eye view shows that the implementation of the milestone documents are seemingly lagging, especially, considering recent realities and opportunities facing the county; as well as considering the fact that even in 2022 we are still in phase! 

“Let me at this point call attention of the Honorable Minister of Transport to an urgent need to set up a strong Technical Committee to review the implementation of this fantastic and excellent document with a view to updating it as it seems the implementation of the milestones are lagging; and considering recent realities and opportunities facing the county, as well as considering the fact that in 2022 we are still in phase”, Opeifa stressed, emphasizing that the vision proposed in the document will materialize, only with “strong leadership, commitment, broad national support and participation.

Buttressing his view by the nation’s enviable antecedents, he called the attention of the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo to the fact that Nigeria is a strong integral part of the world community, hence, adaptation and flexibility must be the watchword for the years ahead. 

“As of date, we have about 4,174+km consisting of about 3,505km of Narrow gauge; and about 800km of standard gauge”, the former Lagos State Commissioner of Transportation stated, mentioning the NRC Network, Abuja Light rail System,

Calabar Monorail system, Rivers Monorail system in Port Harcourt and the Upcoming Lagos rail Mass Transit system; in addition to 156.5 Km Double Standard Guage Lagos to Ibadan Rail line with extension by 6.5km, to Apapa Sea Port (2020).

“The Nigeria Rail Transportation System pioneered the rapid opening of the geographical area called Nigeria”, he stated, adding that the railway act of 1955 (as amended 2004) mandates the Corporation to develop National Rail Infrastructure and Operate Rail service on both the Narrow- and Standard-gauge rail lines. 

“Nigerians will want the best value for their money and will therefore demand a rail system that will move them quickly, safely, and comfortably in a way that is environmentally friendly” he indicated, itemizing other reasons, below: 

*Nigeria is grossly underdeveloped with respect to rail service, as a study of the comparative mobility indexes for African States and other countries establishes this fact. 

*Technological change will influence developments in the Transportation Sector. 

*Operational and demographic changes will encourage integrated and intermodal transportation. 

*Potential investors will invest under conditions that enable them make fair returns on their investment.

“In all, what makes the Railway transportation system is not just the Rail tracks and the Rolling stock but much more, including the governance structure, safety and security systems; Passenger and freight services administration; statutes and legal framework/environment; ticketing systems, Data and information management systems; signaling Systems, among others; and the associated policies guiding them.

He thereafter distinctly identified the difference between Rail Safety and environmental security.

He maintained that rail Safety basically entails all activities involved and affected by internal day-to-day operations, administration, deployment, maintenance and passenger/freight movement under the direct and full control of the Rail Authority management/Board. 

While Security on the other hand will relate to issues such as:

Railway environment community relations; Stealing/ Pilfering/ Burglary/Theft Personal attacks/ Harassment within coaches and around corridor/ coaches

Kidnapping /Terrorism, 

Smuggling, Riots/Public disturbance/War situations/

Immigration and other related issues.

“From the above, the Nigerian Railway system or should we say the Nigerian Rail Transportation system has not been as challenged in recent times by securities-related issues except, for as a result of recent twin train terrorist attacks with kidnappings, killings and ransom demands. 

“The security aspect is managed by the Specialist security agencies, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) handled by a special Police Command headed by a Commissioner of Police rank Railway Police Command and the Nigeria Securities and Civil Defense Corporation (NSCDC). 

He cautioned the media, not to unduly create unnecessary panic or fear in the minds of the public via poor media reportage. 

“I am aware this is an open event and as such our media personnel needs to exercise some restrain in view of the current effort at repositioning our Rail system under the present administration at National and some sub-national with huge local and foreign investment in Rail infrastructure.

“Rail Transportation still remains the safest mode among Land Transport Modes.

“Let me at this point say that the situation in Nigeria is not that bad as it is similar to the situation in many African and developing countries.

 “Since 2002 and especially 2010 and 2016, we have improved and things changed for the better. Also because of our current level of operations, we face fewer risks as rail safety indices are often measured in Km travelled, Passenger moved, hours worked or in operations among others. In all, we ought to be better than where we are.

“Safety culture is critical and should be Top Management driven. Rail transportation safety and security is also about the quality and commitment of Top management as Rail safety measures are often very expensive with a Low Benefit-Cost ratio as a result of strong Institution, Legal and Political pressures. 

“Safety is a central issue that challenges decision-making during the planning and implementation of the modern-day railway systems, especially with the advent of High Speed Rail (HSR) and as such appropriate systems should be in place to ensure safe performance during operations.

“According to Hale in 2000, integrated safety approach to all modes of Transport, not just rail is necessary to gain the trust of the public and government.

“If it is perceived unsafe as with the Abuja-Kaduna line in recent time due to the twin attack society will choose not to use it, hence a waste of the infrastructure assets”, he also explained.

Taking a harder look at Rail Security, Opeifa stated:

“Experience of March 2022 has provided some opportunities. Let it be established that Terrorist attacks on transportation assets are not new nor limited to Nigeria as the sector and rail inclusive meet all the requirements of terrorist soft targets. Examples abound worldwide. 

“In addition to the ongoing efforts by the National government, FMOT and the Nigerian Railway Corporation as efforts are in top gear to not just resume the Abuja- Kaduna Rail line services but provide sustainable, secured and safer rail transportation services along all Rail corridors.

“We need to establish a National minimum security checklist for Rail operations in Nigeria.

“We need to be Proactive to provide Security systems based on modern technology taking advantage of innovations and Artificial intelligence. 

“We need to declare not just a Rail Transportation security system but a Transportation wide system as we move towards achieving an intermodal transportation system”, he observed, positing that since an attack on one, implies injuries to others; there must therefore be a regular safety review committee of top-level stakeholders with the office of the National security adviser.

“Beyond regular safety audits, we need to carry out regular Security audits of all Rail Infrastructure assets and systems to assure the passenger/freight, government, investors and relevant stakeholders.

“We need to encourage sharing of information among modes and between security operatives.

“We need to deepen on lesson learnt from the last twin terrorist attacks on the AKTS rail line as findings is key to preventing the next one.

“While deploying technology, we need serious engagement with host communities along rail infrastructure installation as part of our intelligence gathering system for a more secured corridor.

“We need to support the ongoing efforts of the National government, the FMOT, and NRC at resuming the AKTS Rail services, after the deployment of the appropriate security systems.

“In conclusion, we must adopt a Holistic General System, where safety and security are approached as the minimum standard of operation of the Rail Transportation sector just as we have done with the Air transportation sector. 

“We need National coordination with safety compliance information available freely and willingly by all operators and stakeholders on a monthly basis not just on request”, Dr. Opeifa also advised further.

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Alayande University Emerges as Gov. Makinde signs Bill Upgrading College of Education



Alayande University Emerges as Gov. Makinde signs Bill Upgrading College of Education

Gov. Seyi Makinde has signed into law an executive bill to upgrade the State-owned College of Education in Oyo to university status.

The State House of Assembly had on Nov. 25, passed the bill that would make Emmanuel Alayande College of Education Oyo become Emmanuel Alayande University of Education, Oyo.

In his remarks, after he assented to the bill on Monday at the Executive Chamber of his office, Makinde described the progress made so far on the upgrading of the institution as a landmark achievement of his administration.

He stated that education remained one of the cardinal agendas of his administration “as contained in our Roadmap to Accelerated Development in 2023”.

He said other relevant processes for the actualisation of the College’s upgrading to university status would be completed in a few days time.

The governor commended the leadership of the State House of Assembly and all its members, irrespective of political party affiliation, for the timely and successful passage of the bill.

Earlier, the Speaker, Mr. Adebo Ogundoyin, said the state legislature prioritised whatever would bring development into the state.

Ogundoyin commended Gov. Makinde for the good works being done to Improve the lives of the people of Oyo State.

NAN reports that the institution would become the third university owned by the state if eventually approved by the National University Commission (NUC).

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