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FG deploys engineers, scientists to unravel Kara Bridge deadly accidents



FG deploys engineers, scientists to unravel Kara Bridge deadly accidents

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed on Tuesday that engineers and scientists in the ministry had been deployed to find out the cause of endless deadly accidents on Kara Bridge on the outskirts of Lagos.

The Kara Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan highway has been a death trap for motorists with recurring incidents of deaths.

Fashola was speaking during an inspection tour of roads and bridges in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, which has been on lockdown because of perennial daily traffic jams.

He said that scientists and engineers were expected to analysis traffic patterns on the bridge to ascertain the causes of the endless crashes on the bridge.

The minister, however, blamed motorists, whom he described as reckless and inexperienced truck drivers for causing the deadly accidents on the bridge.

Fashola revealed that he used the COVID-19 travel restriction period to scientifically seek solutions to Nigeria’s infrastructure problems.

According to him, his long absence from the spotlight during the travel restriction period was used for planning and executing numerous projects in Lagos, where he served as governor a two-term governor few years ago.

He said, however, that he carried out his planning with officials of the Lagos State Government.

“Our team has been on ground since the past two weeks and now that the process has started, I think this is a good time to come back and lend support to all the people on ground.

“It is also to see how our plan is playing out. So, we have done all our laboratory work and now we are in the field to see how it is playing out.’’

Fashola assured that the Federal Government was responding to concerns raised by Lagos residents and Nigerians on the poor state of roads, thanking them for their understanding and cooperation.

He said that government was striving to fix the problem of aging infrastructure, due to long years of neglect by various administrations.

Also read:  Flood: Niger Gov. orders demolition of structures on waterways in Suleja, others

The minister said that rehabilitation on the main carriageway on the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway was almost completed.

He listed several portions of the road that had been completed and already in use, saying: “it is just the Port Gate entrance that needs to be completed’’.

The minister assured that work on the Gbagada toward Third Mainland Bridge portion of the highway would also be completed on schedule.

“Once we are done on the major carriageway, we would go to the service lanes. We can’t lock up everything at the same time. So, that is why we have left the service lanes.

“When we finish, we will move most of the traffic back on the main carriageway so that we can do the service lanes.

“So, you won’t see any ceremony after completion because immediately we finish any section, it has to be opened for use. It is being constructed while people use it,’’ he said.

Speaking on the other bridges, Fashola said the Eko and Marine Beach Bridges were undergoing repairs while rehabilitation of Obalende, Kara, Falomo and Ojuelegba bridges had been completed.

“Eko Bridge is also under repairs. We are working to see what can be done to ease off the pressure on Eko Bridge.

“We have to import the parts, the bearings and expansion joints because they are not made here. So they have to be ordered. They should come in some time toward the end of August.

“We are hopeful that if it comes in and we are able to deploy quickly, we may be able to open Eko Bridge before Third Mainland Bridge is completed so that it gives some relief,’’ he said.


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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