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LASWA Collaborates with Whispering Palms to Boost Tourism, Passenger Traffic



LASWA Collaborates with Whispering Palms to Boost Tourism, Passenger Traffic

In its efforts to boost tourism and passenger traffic, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) is collaborating with the Whispering Palms, a tourist centre in Badagry.

The idea is to improve tourism patronage and reduce the stress that passengers experience in connecting to the location.

The General Manager, LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, made the disclosure during a courtesy visit with some stakeholders to the Whispering Palms on Sunday in Lagos.

Emmanuel said the visit is to deliberate on how the collaboration can be effective.

The Whispering Palms is one of the tourist centres with a history of over 31 years of existence on the waterways in Lagos.

He said the partnership was also to create an enabling environment for such tourist centres to thrive in business.

He stated that LASWA’s main collaboration with Whispering Palms is to see ways in which it can drive traffic and allow its infrastructure which are jetty terminals to be patronized.

“We want our jetties to be avenues through which they can pick customers and all their possible clients while living from our jetties to their own location- Whispering Palm in Badagry.

“In the main run, they should have middlemen who are the boat operators, who will take them from our own jetty terminals to the actual location,” Emmanuel said.

He said that the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been promoting Lagos as a tourist location.

He disclosed that La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort had a stand with LASWA at the Falomo Jetty Terminal, adding that they could collaborate with any of the terminals when traffic occurs.

Emmanuel said the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) would assist the management of the Whispering Palms to get boat operators.

According to Emmanuel, there was a need for the management of the resort to have strategic relationships with different boat operators to enable its customers to have more options.

He advised the management of the Whispering Palms to encourage companies to brand certain sections of the resort to generate more funds.

The Head of Marine, NIWA, Lagos office, Mrs Elsie Egwualu, assured NIWA’s support in encouraging the use of water transportation in getting more customers to Whispering Palms.

Egwualu urged the resort to improve on its online advertisement so that many of its customers could easily access its service on the go.

A tourism officer with Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr Peter Mesewaka, advised the management to extend similar collaboration with Whispering Palms to other players in the industry.

Mesewaka added that such an opportunity would allow the tour guides who serve as intermediaries between the destination and the tourists to also benefit from the collaboration.

“The feelers we are getting after the demise of professor is that Whispering Palms is facing managerial issues that is no longer positioning well.

“There is a need to gather both local and foreign tour guides to come and access the relaunch facilities so as to tell people in the tourism industry,” Mesewaka said.

Mr Hakeem Odusina, Assistant Director, Public Relations, Lagos State Ferry Service Company (LAGFERRY), said the agency was ready to collaborate with the resort.

Odusina urged the management of the resort to take its advert to jetty terminals to make more people to be aware of the new development.

A staff member of SIFAX Ferry Terminal Operator, Mr Felix Omoyele urged the management of the Whispering Palms to use traditional means of advertisement.

According to him, this can be done by visiting the ferry terminals with flyers to enable more passengers at jetties to be aware of the resort.

Omoyele suggested the need for the resort to also embark on jingles in different languages to attract more traffic to the place.

The Managing Director of Savvy Marine, Mr Lekan Taiwo, said he would like to test-run the service by bringing some people to the resort during the next holiday.

This, he said, would also allow him to know the cost of using a ferry to the resort.

In her speech, Mrs Mimi Ade-Odiachi, daughter of Late Prof. Olufemi Pearse, founder of Whispering Palms, who is the managing director, said there was a need to collaborate with water transport operators to enable her to fulfil her father’s last wish.

She said that the visit was to also tap ideas from stakeholders on how they could give customers a good experience at a reasonable price.

“We are still one of the most responsible resorts when it comes to charging because we know that we are in a rural area and we want as many Nigerians to be able to enjoy our facilities, Ade-Odiachi said.

She identified challenges affecting the business to include bad roads, insufficient power supply with the expensive cost of supplementing it with generator.

Ade-Odiachi said that many guests had a phobia of water adding that their collaboration with the NIWA and LASWA with other stakeholders would build customers’ confidence on water transport.

The General Manager, Whispering Palms, Mr Chris Newsom, said that easy accessibility to the locations would enable people to drive down as well as come through boats.

Newsom said that would also enable a different class of people to patronise the resort with low transportation costs.

The Whispering Palms Resort was established in 1991 by Late Prof. Olufemi Pearse, who died in December 2018.

He retired into the hospitality industry to establish the famous seaside Whispering Palms Leisure Resorts located in Aradagun area in Badagry, Lagos.

The facilities at Whispering Palms include restrooms for different classes, a small zoo with monkeys, tortoises, fish, crocodiles, chicken, turkey, and baboon, as well as swimming pools for adults and underage among others.


Health and Safety

Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 



Police Begin 24-hour Bike Patrol On Third Mainland Bridge 
…As Troops neutralise 7 insurgents, recover weapons, motorcycles in Kaduna

The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Police Command in Lagos State have begun a 24-hour bike patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

RRS made this known in a post it shared on its official X handle @rrsLagos767 on Monday.

It stated that the Commander of RRS, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, had directed the squad’s motorcycle riders to begin a 24-hour patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge.

“RRS Commander, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi has directed the squad’s Bike Riders to commence a 24-hour patrol of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos as a way of protecting the infrastructure on the bridge.

“Also to prevent the incidence of harassment of road users by miscreants.

“This is in line with the directives of the State Commissioner of Police, CP Adegoke Fayoade to the squad for the protection of lives, property and public infrastructure on the newly renovated bridge,” it stated.

RRS said that Egbeyemi appealed to motorists and road users to cooperate with the riders so that they could serve them better.

In another development, showing observable security improvement, the 1 Division Nigerian Army, said its troops have neutralised seven insurgents and recovered weapons and motorcycles in Kaduna.

This is contained in a statement issued by Lt-Col. On Monday in Kaduna, Musa Yahaya, the Acting Deputy Director of Army Public Relations 1 Division Nigerian Army.

Yahaya said, “Troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army deployed at a blocking position at Udawa carried out a fighting patrol along Udawa – Kurebe road on May 19.

According to him, during the aggressive patrol, troops made contact with insurgents and terrorist elements. They engaged them with a heavy volume of fire leading to the annihilation of five terrorists and violent extremists.

 He disclosed that items recovered during the encounter included,  one pump action gun, six cartridges, one empty AK 47 rifle magazine, one MP3 radio, one phone battery, two Baofeng radios,  two Baofeng radio chargers, four memory cards, two sim cards and four charms.

Some of the weapons recovered by troops of 1 Division Nigerian Army from the terrorists in Kaduna.

He said, “Relatedly, the division deployed at Sabo Birni in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna State intercepted suspected movement of terrorist elements at Baka general area on 19 May 2024.

 Yahaya said the troops swiftly mobilised to the area and engaged the terrorists.

“In the firefight that ensued, the terrorists who could not withstand the superior firepower of the troops cowardly fled to nearby hills in disarray with several degrees of gunshot wounds.

 “The troops exploited the general area and recovered one AK 47 rifle and two motorcycles while blood stains were seen all over the scene of the incident.

He also disclosed that troops of the Division while lying in wait at Kwaga village in Birnin Gwari local government of Kaduna state, made contact with terrorist elements and neutralised two of the criminals.

 “Items recovered included two AK 47 rifles, two magazines and two motorcycles, “Yahaya said.

The spokesperson said Maj-Gen. Mayirenso  Saraso, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division NA and  Commander of Operation, Whirl Punch, commended the troops for their aggressive posture.

He charged them to sustain the tempo and make life unbearable for terrorists, insurgents, violent extremists and their cohorts.

He equally appealed to all law-abiding citizens to report to the NA or nearest security agencies, persons seen with gunshot wounds seeking medical attention.

 Yahaya also appealed to the good people of Kaduna and Niger States to avail the Army and other security agencies with timely and actionable intelligence for prompt action. 

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Health and Safety

ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week



ONSLAUGHT: Troops Eliminate 227 Terrorists, Apprehend 529 In 1 Week

 The Defence Headquarters says troops have within the last week, eliminated no fewer than 227 terrorists, apprehended 529 and rescued 253 kidnapped victims, following ground and air operations across the country.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja on the operations of the Armed Forces.

Buba said the troops recovered 231 assorted weapons and 6,441 assorted ammunition, comprising 89 AK47 rifles, 40 locally fabricated guns, 59 Dane guns, 250kg bombs used by NATO and Eastern Bloc aircraft and one MRAP.

Others according to him are; 4,198 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 841 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds of 5.56mm, 16 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm, 99 rounds of 7.62x51mm, 956 rounds of 7.62x54mm, 242 live cartridges, one PKM magazine, 24 magazines among others

In the North East, Buba said the troops of Operation Hadin Kai neutralised 83 terrorists, arrested 59 suspects and rescued 58 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a large cache of arms.

He said that 219 terrorists comprising 29 adult males, 65 adult females and 125 children surrendered to troops within the theatre of operations between May 8 and 14.

In the North Central, Buba said the troops of Operations Safe Haven and Whirle Stroke, neutralised 27 insurgents, arrested 154 violent extremists and rescued 42 kidnapped hostages.

In the North West, he said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, also neutralised 58 terrorists, arrested 125 terrorists and rescued 105 kidnapped hostages.

Buba said the air component had on May 8, bombarded a new terrorist enclave in Faskari area of Katsina State following an intelligence trail and confirmatory ISR on the migration of notorious terrorist elements to the deserted settlement.

According to him, battle damage assessment revealed that several terrorists were neutralised and their structures as well as logistics destroyed

He added that troops of Operation Whirl Punch apprehended 68 illegal miners from an illegal mining site in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT Abuja during the week.

He said that the troops also neutralised 25 terrorists, arrested 97 suspects and rescued 32 kidnapped hostages.

He also said that in the South-South, troops of Operation Delta Safe recovered 1,442,700 litres of stolen crude oil and 154,650 litres of illegally refined AGO.

According to him, troops discovered and destroyed 18 dugout pits, 34 boats, five drums, four receivers, four reservoirs and 97 storage tanks.

”Other items recovered include 198 cooking ovens, nine vehicles, three pumping machines, two speedboats, one baofeng radio, one outboard engine and 57 illegal refining sites.

”Troops also neutralised three extremists and apprehended 16 suspected oil thieves and other violent extremists’’.

In the South East, Buba said the troops of Operation UDO KA neutralised 21 terrorists, arrested 45 violent extremists and rescued 12 kidnapped hostages as well as recovered a cache of arms. 

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Health and Safety

Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking



Senate Berths Death Penalty For Hard Drugs, Substance Trafficking

The irresistible attraction for drug pushing is set to wane as the Senate on Thursday, prescribed the death sentence as the penalty for trafficking in hard drugs and other substances in Nigeria.

This followed the passage of the  National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Amendment Bill 2024.

It also prescribed not more than 15 years imprisonment without the option of fine, for conviction on consumption of hard drugs and substances.

This followed the adoption of the Senate Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Drugs and Narcotics report on the NDLEA Amendment Act at plenary.

The report was presented by the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC -Borno).

Monguno in his presentation said the amendment sought to strengthen the operations of the  NDLEA, empower its operations to establish laboratories for forensic review and update the list of dangerous drugs.

He said the amendment was also designed to review penalties and enhance the powers of the NDLEA to prosecute drug-related offences and issue subsidiary legislation.

He said the Senate had on Feb.28, deliberated on the bill, which was transmitted from the House of Representatives for the Senate’s concurrence.

He said it was important to make a general comment on the bill,  especially on the classification of the offences and penalty categorisations of drug-related offences.

He said the categorisations were peculiar and different from other laws because of the sentencing guideline used in determining drug-related offences.

“These guidelines in drug laws are designed to promote fairness, consistency and proportionality in the criminal justice system while considering the broader goals of rehabilitation and public safety.

“It is also important to note that several variables are used to determine the penalties imposed on a suspect.

“This includes type and quantity of controlled substance, defendant’s criminal history, intent behind drug-related activities, aggravating or mitigating circumstance such as organised crime, violence, use of offensive weapon.

“Others like  endangerment of minors can aggravate penalties,  conversely mitigating factors like cooperation with law enforcement or lack of prior criminal record may lessen the severity of punishment.”

Earlier, before the passage of the bill during clause-by-clause consideration, Sen.Ali Ndume (APC Borno), had moved a motion for amendment to clause 11 of the bill, which initially prescribed life imprisonment for drugs and substances trafficking in Nigeria.

Ndume had called for stiffer sanctions and moved a motion for a prescribing death sentence.

The motion was seconded by Sen.Onyekachi Nwaebonyi (APC-Ebonyi), who said that drugs and substance trafficking were doing great harm to the nation and hence,  stiffer penalties should be given to offenders.

When the voice vote for adoption of the motion on the death penalty was put to the vote, the “Yes” had their way as the Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jubrin (APC- Kano), who was presiding ruled in favour of the “Yes.”

However, the decision did not go well for Sen.Adams Oshiomhole (APC – Edo), who objected to the ruling, saying that he was responsible to his constituents for every law passed in the Senate.

He said issues of life and death should not be passed based on a “Yes or No” response, advocating for a voting by every senator.

Responding, Barau said the best approach for the Edo lawmaker was to have called for a division immediately after the clause on the death sentence was adopted.

Barau said the decision to rule in favour of the “yes” was not the presiding officer’s making but on the members’ voice vote.

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