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Nigeria turns to Russia for assistance to crush B’Haram

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Boko Haram terrorist now recruiting child soldiers – MNJTF

…As Defence Minister says: Region remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers!***

The Federal Government has finally solicited the cooperation of Russia to tackle Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali in a new approach towards bringing the insurgents to their knees, begged Russia on Wednesday, during the 8th Moscow “Conference on International Security.’’

Dan-Ali also sought Russia’s cooperation in securing the maritime domain of the Gulf of Guinea, noting in spite of Dakuku’s cosmetic statements, that the region remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers!

A copy of the minister’s speech was made available to newsmen in Abuja, showing Dan-Ali highlighting that Russia’s experience in counter terrorism operations may actually be what the country needs to bring the scourge of terrorism (Boko Haram) to an end.

“Military and technical assistance in this respect will be highly appreciated,’’ he said, adding that its cooperation in critical infrastructural development, especially the modernisation of Nigeria’s military arsenal is needed.

“It is the intention of Nigeria to leverage on Russia’s support to attain technological emancipation of our Military Industrial Complex and training of Nigerians especially in medicine, science and technology.’’

Dan-Ali expressed concern over the rise in terrorism and insurgency in the continent with specific reference to Boko Haram in Lake Chad Basin countries, Al-Shabaab in Somalia/Kenya, and Islamic State in Mali.

He said those “non-state actors tend to undermine the monopoly of the state over the use of coercive instruments of power as a result of widespread proliferation of small arms and light weapons.’’

“Since 2009, my country Nigeria has been combating terrorism engendered by an Islamic Sect called Boko Haram.

“Members of the Boko Haram sect have carried out series of bombings of public places and killed many innocent citizens.

“The group has over the years been receiving inspiration, training as well as mutual support from other transnational terror groups within and outside Africa.

“Nonetheless, owing to the sustained counter insurgency operations by Nigeria and other countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission which include Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, the Boko Haram terror network has been overwhelmed and the leadership structure is presently decimated,’’ he said.

The minister expressed gratitude to the Russian government for its numerous training and scholarship which have been of immense benefit to Nigerians over the years, as well as recent military hardware procurement initiative.

On the Gulf of Guinea, the minister said Russia’s assistance is needed to curb the incidences of sea robbery, piracy on the seas, hijacking of ships and other ocean-going vessels.

He said adequate policing of the waterways of the gulf would combat large scale pollution, impair incidence of illegal dumping of toxic or radioactive wastes.

Dan-Ali said the pervasive security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea include piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region.

“The region remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers.

“From the International Maritime Bureau Report of 2019, the Gulf of Guinea accounts for all six hijackings worldwide, 13 of the 18 ships fired upon, 130 of the 141 hostages taken globally and 78 of the 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom in 2018.

“These figures depict the inherent danger to commercial shipping activities in the region,’’ he said.

He promised that Nigeria would create the legal and environmental conditions to accelerate Russian investment in the country, expand trade and achieve better balance in the trade relationship.

According to him, at the moment both countries’ trade ties are lopsided in favour of Russia.

“Russia is the biggest market in Europe, while Nigeria is the biggest market in Africa.

“The trade relations have been below expectation leaving gap for many unexploited potentials.

“Nigeria will also be interested in Russia helping to build nuclear power plants, petroleum pipelines, railways and other infrastructural development investments in oil and gas sector,’’ he said. 

Health and Safety

LASG Unveils 24-hour Customer Service Centre To Enhance Traffic Management

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LASG Unveils 24-hour Customer Service Centre To Enhance Traffic Management

In a significant move to enhance the operations of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Lagos State Government has launched a 24-hour Customer Service Center, equipped with a dedicated Toll-Free Hot Lines, a Walk-In Complaint Centre, a Website, a Whistleblower App, and a new Department of Statistics, Research, and Data. 

According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, the centre is at the LASTMA headquarters.

Speaking at the inauguration, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Giwa officially opened the Customer Service Center and announced the dedicated lines as 0800-00-527862 or 0800-00-LASTMA.

Explaining the initiative, Hon. Sola Giwa said Motorists can contact the Call Center via the toll-free hotlines to report incidents, request assistance, or seek information on road conditions, including updates on the activities of LASTMA personnel. 

He said the centre will also enable drivers get real-time updates on road conditions and traffic advisories, enabling them to plan their routes more effectively, avoid congestion and reduce travel time.

Highlighting the features of the customer support centres, the Special Adviser further explained that the whistleblower app is designed to involve everyone in the state’s traffic management. 

“When you see something, say something,” he added. The app is available for download on the Android Play Store”, Sola Giwa said, stressing that the whistleblower app will allow Motorists and other road users to report dangerous driving and other reckless behaviours on the road, enabling LASTMA to take immediate action and uphold traffic regulations. 

He said the public can also earn points for every valid incident they report and get rewarded for their actions.

Hon. Giwa also mentioned that a walk-in complaint centre and a live interactive website (lastma.org) are available for citizens to engage with traffic management personnel, urging everyone to embrace the initiative.

Discussing the new Department of Statistics, Research, and Data, he explained that the department aims to provide a comprehensive breakdown and analysis of vehicles on Lagos roads. 

This includes real-time data on the number of vehicles impounded, categorized by private and commercial vehicles, and details on accidents and other traffic offences.

In the demonstration on statistics and data carried out between January and June 2024, the Special Adviser debunked the belief that the agency concentrates more on private vehicles disclosing that 5, 547 commercial vehicles were impounded for traffic infringement as against 3, 823 private vehicles. 

In his address, the Commissioner for Transportation Mr Oluwaseun Osiyemi emphasized that the customer support centres aim to improve communication between the public and LASTMA, streamline traffic operations, and significantly enhance the overall driving experience in Lagos State. 

He noted that with these new centres, Traffic Management Officers are now just a phone call away, at no cost to the public.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olalekan Bakare Oki, confirmed that officers managing the newly launched Call Center have been thoroughly trained by the government, noting that the agency will use multiple languages, including English, Pidgin, and Yoruba, to ensure convenient communication for all members of the public.

 

He reiterated the agency’s commitment to prioritizing public feedback, stating that input from citizens will aid in efficient traffic management across the state.

The event was also attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Lagos Ministry of Transportation Mr. Olawale Musa, Directors in the ministry and LASTMA Personnel.

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Health and Safety

Waterloo: NAF Kills Several Terrorists In Aerial Bombardment In Borno

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Waterloo: NAF Kills Several Terrorists In Aerial Bombardment In Borno

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) says the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai, has eliminated several terrorists in an aerial bombardment in their hideouts in Borno.

This is contained in a statement by the Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF, AVM Edward Gabkwet, on Thursday in Abuja.

Gabkwet said that the hideouts located near Degbewa and Chinene in the Mandara mountains in the state were known terrorists’ hideouts.

He said the air strikes became expedient after several days of aerial surveillance which revealed a consistent gathering of a large number of terrorists in the area.

According to him, the location is also suspected to be a site for manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices and a storage area.

”The terrorists were also observed to be loitering within the vicinity, clearly oblivious of what was to befall them, and probably confident that their location was safe and secured from any form of military bombardments.

”The air strikes were thus authorised with the aircraft bombarding the locations in several passes until the majority of the terrorists were eliminated.

”Others observed fleeing the location were taken out using canons,” he said.

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Health and Safety

Sumal: 1 Dies, 12 Arrested In Ibadan Palliative Protest – Police

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NEMESIS: Kogi Police Officer Detained Over Alleged Robbery, Car Theft– CP

… Affirms protest hijacked by criminal elements who forced their way into the factory

The Police Command in Oyo State says one person died and 12 suspects were arrested in a violent protest by workers of Sumal Food Company, Ibadan, over palliatives on Monday.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Adewale Osifeso, confirmed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Ibadan.

Osifeso said the protest broke out in the factory located at Oluyole Industrial Estate, Ibadan around 4 p.m. on Monday.

He said that the workers staged the protest to challenge what they called non-distribution of the palliatives allegedly given by the Federal Government to all private companies across the country.

Osifeso said that it was sad that the protest was hijacked by criminal elements who forced their way into the factory, thus destroying vehicles and other property worth millions of naira.

“One person died and 12 suspects were arrested in connection with the violent protest,’’ he said.

The spokesman, however, said that normalcy had returned to the area where the company is located, following the deployment of police operatives to maintain peace.

He also said that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ayodele Sonubi, had ordered the transfer of the matter to the homicide unit of the Criminal Investigations Department for further investigation.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the protest was premised on false information created and peddled by some workers over the disbursement of palliatives to privately-owned companies,’’ he said.

Osifeso said that the command would give further information on the matter as soon investigation was concluded.

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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