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C/River: 54 Die from 106 Road Crashes in 2022; Residents abandon 307,394 PVCs



Phone-Use-Induced Accident Claims 4 Lives On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 5 in Kogi

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Cross River, says no fewer than 54 persons lost their lives from 106 road traffic crashes recorded in the state in 2022.

Sector Commander of FRSC in the state, Mr Abdullahi Hassan, said this on Thursday in an interview in Calabar.

Hassan said that 158 vehicles were involved in the crashes with 258 persons sustained injuries varying degrees of injury.

He attributed most of the crashes to speeding and loss of control by drivers.

He told NAN that in the period under review, the Command apprehended 14,345 drivers for various offences.

He added that 8,376 offenders were booked for various traffic offences and brought to the command for appropriate sanctions.

He listed the non-use of seat belts, speeding, overloading, wrongful overtaking, and use of mobile phones while driving among the offences.

The Sector Commander said that the offenders were educated by officials of the corps on the need to obey traffic rules and proper use of the road.

“In the period under review, we held 332 rallies in motor parks, public places and government offices to sensitise motorists on the proper use of the road when driving.

“We are always at the top of our activities in educating motorists on the need for proper road usage.

“When we arrest any offender, we educate and enlighten him/her on the proper use of the road and the essence to know the traffic rules and regulations,” he added.

He advised motorists in the state to have a change of attitude towards road traffic regulations and offences, adding that it was one of the ways of keeping the roads safe from crashes.

In another development, the Independent Electoral Commission has highlighted that a total of 307,394 potential voters were yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in Cross River, INEC’s spokesperson in the state, Mrs Tonia Nwobi, said in Calabar on Thursday.

Iwobi also told newsmen that refusal to collect the cards could lead to voter apathy at the 2023 general elections.

She explained that 97,381 cards were produced for voters in Cross River in 2019, but only 8,045 PVCs were collected.

She added that of the 233,481 potential voters who registered for PVCs in Cross River in 2021/2022, only 68,073 persons turned up to collect the cards.

Of the 70,474 voters who transferred their voting points to Cross River, only 17, 824 persons collected their new cards leaving 52,650 cards uncollected.

Iwobi appealed to political parties and to civil society organisations to join hands with INEC to sensitise the electorate about the need to collect the cards.

She expressed regret that in spite of the fact that INEC took the cards to local governments and wards for ease of collection, their owners remained adamant.

“Our challenge is that people are not coming out enough in spite of the sensitisation through the media and through other stakeholders.

“They want INEC to decentralise the PVC collection centres to polling units’ level.

“INEC is also faced with the problem of failure to comply with the PVC collection procedures at the collection centres,’’ she lamented.

General elections begin with the presidential vote on Feb. 25, to be followed by the National Assembly, governorship and state assemblies elections on March 11.

Health and Safety

Over 73m People In Philippines Suffer From Tooth Decay



 At least 73 million Filipinos suffer from dental caries, making the disease a “serious health concern” in the Southeast Asian country, the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.

“Dental caries is a silent epidemic,” Manuel Vallesteros, a division chief at the DOH’s disease prevention and control bureau, said this after a committee hearing at the House of Representatives.

Vallesteros said the DOH data is based on the 2018 national health survey, noting that the number now is much higher compared to when the COVID-19 pandemic had restricted access to dental services for more than two years.

Merely for illustration…

He noted that eight of 10 Filipino children suffer from “childhood caries” or “decaying baby teeth” because they are fed with sweetened infant formula.

“The oral health status of Filipino children is alarming,” the DOH said, adding the oral disease “continues to be a serious public health problem” in the Philippines.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dental caries is a major global public health problem and the most widespread non-communicable disease. 

– Xinhua

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Health and Safety

5 Ugborodo Communities Picket Chevron Yard In Escravos



#EndSARS Protest: Hoodlums break into Benin custodial centre

Hundreds of residents of the Ugborodo Community in the Warri South-West Local Government area of Delta on Wednesday besieged the Chevron Yard in Escravos, protesting against the alleged insensitivity of the oil company to their plights.

The protesters were drawn from Ode-Ugborodo, Ogidigben, Ajudaibo, Madangho, and Ijaghala Communities under Ugborodo Federated Communities.

The aggrieved protesters, both young and old, were led by the Eghare-Aja of Ugborodo, Mr. Daniel Uwawah.

They were armed with placards of various inscriptions such as: “We want our PIA as host communities Ugborodo”; “Enough of Chevron Divide and Rule Policies”.

“All local content contracts must be brought to the community through the appointed organ”; “Ugborodo Community demands frequent and regular engagement with Chevron”, among others.

In his remarks, Mr. Terry Atete, the Igbajoh of Ugborodo Community, who spoke on behalf of the Eghare-Aja, said that the federated communities had written several letters to the oil company for dialogue in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021.

The Act is one of the most audacious attempts to overhaul the petroleum sector in Nigeria.

It seeks to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry.

If implemented diligently, the PIA will help facilitate Nigeria’s economic development by attracting and creating investment opportunities for local and international investors.

Atete said that since the inception of Eghare-Aja, the Ugborodo Community had also written to Chevron on the Act, concerning the award of contracts and employment.

According to him, the company had deliberately refused to address their grievances.

“We are faulting the PIA process. We are saying that Chevron should come directly and dialogue with our community in line with the PIA Act.

“We are not going to accept it until they come and dialogue with us.

“We will not relent until Chevron comes and dialogue with the host communities, which made up Ugborodo,” he said.

Also, Mrs Oritsematosan Nuko, a Woman Leader in Ugborodo Community, appealed to Chevron and the Federal Government to come to the rescue of the community and shore up the area.

Nuko said that indigenes of the community were almost being chased away by tidal flood.

She, however, urged Chevron to heed to the call and address the demands of the community.

Nuko said the oil company should come forward for a dialogue toward addressing the lingering challenges confronting the federated community, including unemployment and the award of contracts.

Commenting, a Chevron member of staff, who pleaded anonymity, said that all the issues raised by the aggrieved protesters were already being addressed at the company’s headquarters in Lagos.

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Health and Safety

Resident Doctors To Commence 5-day Warning Strike On Wednesday



… As FG fails to negotiate

Those planning to visit the hospital this week may as well think twice as the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), says it will commence a five-day warning strike on Wednesday.

The President of the association, Dr. Innocent Orji, disclosed this on Monday while speaking with newsmen on the outcome of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

According to him, the warning strike will begin by 8 am on Wednesday.

The association had on April 29 issued a two-week notice to the Federal Government to increase the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) or risk industrial action.

It said at the time that the increment should be to the tune of 200 percent of the current gross salary of doctors and also be in addition to the new allowances included in the letter written to the Minister of Health in 2022 for the review of CONMESS.

According to the association, it observed that in spite of several engagements with the Federal Government on the need to upwardly review CONMESS, which was last reviewed over 10 years ago, there are no changes.

“The Federal Government has neither called NARD to the negotiation table nor taken any tangible step in addressing the issue.

“This is against the background of the dwindling economic situation in the country, the serial abysmal decline in the value of the Naira, the imminent removal of fuel subsidy, and the consequent damaging effect on the cost of living in the country.

“There have been previous ultimatums issued to the government by NARD on account of this problem of the review of the CONMESS salary structure.”

It added that the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on CONMESS stated clearly that the salary structure would be due for review after five years, but this has not been done since the implementation in 2014, though the approval was given in 2009.

Orji, however, said that since the issuance of the two-week notice the association had not been called upon by the Federal Government to initiate negotiations.

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