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Okada Union Eyes Digital Identification to Members to Escape blanket Ban



Okada Union Eyes Digital Identification to Members to Escape blanket Ban

The Riders and Owners of Motorcycle Association of Nigeria (ROMAN) in the FCT, says plans are ongoing to issue digital identification to its members, in a bid to escape blanket Ban.

According to the association, this will go a long way to check criminality among them.

The National President of the Union, Alhaji Olusola Razaq, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said this during a sensitisation meeting organised for members at Karu, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to Razaq, the move by the union is to avoid the outright ban by the Federal and States governments owing to unregulated activities of commercial motorcyclists in the city centre.

He said his leadership had already engaged an ICT company that would carry out a digital image capturing of all members nationwide for proper Identification.

”The reason why we are here is to inaugurate the FCT executive ahead of the national reforms as ordered by the Federal Government.

”And like I said, we have gotten a company that will create a database for our members to ensure proper Identification of all members since there are other existing unions across the country,” Razaq said.

The president said plans were also ongoing to seek the establishment of a National Regulation Act for the association from the National Assembly (NASS).

According to him, the reason why the activities of commercial motorcyclists are despised is due to unregulated operations nationwide.

”Days are gone when Okada riders are used for political thuggery. Of course, we know that the new INEC electoral Act does not give room for such anymore.

”So our efforts now is to ensure that Okada riders are well sensitised like every other Nigerian who can also live their normal lives like good citizens of this country.

”We are also negotiating with the Federal Road Safety Commission and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) on the issue of members getting their number plates, to stop disobeying road rules, and avoid road crashes and sudden deaths.

”We are also doing this to help millions of Nigerians get out of poverty because many families have waited for white-collar jobs endlessly.

”So, what I am saying is that commercial motorcyclists have contributed and are still contributing to providing employment for youths.

“It will also interest you to know that we have set up a National task force in each of the states we operate to ensure compliance.”

The Chairman of ROMAN, FCT chapter, Comrade Maharazu Yahaya, said the exercise was in compliance with the strict order mandating every commercial motorcycle association in the FCT to ensure proper regulations for its members or face outright ban.

Yahaya said that the inauguration of a new executive would ensure a speedy response to all cases involving its members.

Also speaking, the Nyanya Area Commander, Habila Maikeffi, advised motorcyclists to always obey road rules, with special emphasis on plying one way to beat traffic gridlock.

Maikeffi, while reiterating police readiness to carry out an order from the FCT Police Commissioner, also advised the riders on the need to check their mental health, saying it was a byproduct of banned substances.

Maikeffi, said, “I will like you all to carry out your daily commercial operations with clean health, not under the influence of hard drugs as such makes you cause pandemonium at every little provocation.”

Chairman of Karu Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC),  Dr. Bathelomeo Agbo, urged the motorcyclists to always respect the law guiding their operations.

He appealed for proper understanding among the riders and the leaders to ensure efficacy of all regulations, as such would enable them enjoy the business of Commercial motorcycles to the benefit of their families


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Troops Destroy 51 Illegal Refining Sites, Recover Stolen Crude Oil – DHQ



….Destroy 7 dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, one outboard engine, others

The Defence Headquarters says  troops of Operation Delta Safe have  destroyed 51 illegal oil refining sites and recovered stolen crude oil and refined products in the Niger Delta in the last one week.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, disclosed  in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also apprehended 58 perpetrators of oil theft and denied them of  estimated sum of N668.7 million

He said the troops destroyed seven dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, 141 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, one outboard engine, one tricycle, one speedboat and one tugboat.

According to him, troops recovered 267,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 567,700 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,000 litres of DPK.

“Troops has maintained momentum against oil theft and arrested persons involved in oil theft in Bonny and Ikpoba Local Government Areas of Rivers and Edo States respectively.

“Troops also arrested suspected armed robbers and foiled illegal bunkering activities in Oshimili South and Ukwa West of Delta and Abia States respectively,” he said.

In the South East, Buba said  troops of Operation UDO KA arrested 15 suspected criminals and repelled attacks by IPOB/ESN criminals in Anambra, Abia and Imo States.

He said the troops conducted raids and rescued kidnapped hostages in Ishielu and Igbo Eze North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi and Enugu States respectively.

He said the troops neutralised three criminals, rescued five kidnapped hostages and recovered 14 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo.

In the South West, Buba said  troops of Operation AWATSE foiled armed robbery attacks in Orelope and Olorunsogo Local Government Areas of Oyo State and arrested a gunrunner in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun.

According to him, troops rescued 15 kidnapped hostages and recovered two vehicles.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” he added.

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NEPZA Boss Says Nation’s Free Trade Zones Not Really `Free’



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the country’s Free Trade Zones are business anchorages that have for decades been used to generate revenues for the Federal Government.

Dr Olufemi Ogunyemi, the Managing Director of NEPZA, said this in a statement by the authority’s
Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, on Monday in Abuja, stressing that the the widely held notion that the scheme is a `free meal ticket’ for investors and not a means for the government to generate revenue is incorrect.

Ogunyemi said this public statement was essential to clarify the misunderstanding by various individuals and entities, in and out of government, on the nature of the scheme.

He reiterated the authority’s commitment to enhancing public knowledge of the principal reason for the country’s adoption of the scheme by the NEPZA Act 63 of 1992.

“The Free Trade Zones are not hot spots for revenue generation. Instead, they exist to support socioeconomic development.

“These include but are not limited to industrialisation, infrastructure development, employment generation, skills acquisition, foreign exchange earnings, and Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) inflows,” Ogunyemi said.

The managing director said the NEPZA Act provided exemption from all federal, state, and local government taxes, rates, levies, and charges for FZE, of which duty and VAT were part.

“However, goods and services exported into Nigeria attract duty, which includes VAT and other charges.

“In addition, NEPZA collects over 20 types of revenues, ranging from 500,000 dollars-Declaration fees, 60,000 dollars for Operation License (OPL) Renewal Fees between three and five years.

“There is also the 100-300 dollar Examination and Documentation fees per transaction, which occurs daily.

“There are other periodic revenues derived from vehicle registration and visas, among others.

“The operations within the free trade zones are not free in the context of the word,” he said.

Ogunyemi said the global business space had contracted significantly, adding that to win a sizable space would require the ingenuity of the government to either expand or maintain the promised incentives.

“These incentives will encourage more multinational corporations and local investors to leverage on the scheme, which has a cumulative investment valued at 30 billion dollars.

“The scheme has caused an influx of FDIs; it has also brought advanced technologies, managerial expertise, and access to global markets.

“For instance, the 52 FTZs with 612 enterprises have and will continue to facilitate the creation of numerous direct and indirect jobs, currently estimated to be within the region of 170,000,” he said.

Ogunyemi said an adjustment in title and introduction of current global business practices would significantly advance the scheme, increasing forward and backward linkages.

“This is with a more significant market offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).

“We have commenced negotiations across the board to ensure that the NEPZA Act is amended to give room for adjusting the scheme’s title from `Free Trade Zones to Special Economic Zones respectively.

“This will open up the system for the benefit of all citizens,” he said.

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2023 CLPA: Policy Cohesion Imperative For Implementation Of AfCFTA Agreements, Others



Some policy experts and stakeholders have called for policy cohesion across Africa for the successful implementation of multilateral policy decisions.

They spoke on Wednesday during one of the plenaries at the 2023 Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA), held in Addis Ababa.

The CLPA, the fifth in the series, is organised by the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The 2023 edition has the theme, ‘Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation’.

Dr Medhat El-Helepi (ECA), chaired the plenary with the sub-theme: ‘Land Governance, Regional Integration, and Intra-Africa Trade: Opportunities and Challenges’.

Panelists at the plenary included Dr Stephen Karingi, Director, Regional Integration and Trade, ECA; Mr Tsotetsi Makong, Head of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance, AfCFTA Secretariat.

Others were Mr Kebur Ghenna, CEO, of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) and Ms Eileen Wakesho, Director of Community Land Protection at Namati, Kenya.

The event also attracted various stakeholders, including traditional leaders, Civil Society Organisations, and policy decision-makers.

Makong expressed worries over the reluctance of some participants to openly discuss some matters, pleading ‘no go areas of domestic affairs’.

He, however, noted that the issues of land were within the limit of domestic regulations, adding that tenure land security was the solution that would allow intra-African investment that is still low in Africa.

Makong pointed out that the success of the investment protocol under the AfCFTA would depend on countries’ domestic laws that should be in line with the AfCFTA.

“There are guidelines on land reforms that need to be turned into regulations within the domestic systems.

“Policy coherence has to be at the heart of what we do. This can be achieved by engaging everyone including women and youth at the grassroots level.

“Also, you cannot be talking of AfCFTA as of it is just about Ministers of Trade, Economy or Investment. The idea is a totality of the entire governance structure. This is very important,” he said.

Speakers also noted that inclusive land governance was one of the key pillars to enhance Africa’s drive to improve intra-African trade, food security, and sustainable food systems.

They said an inclusive governance system would allow stakeholders to create transparency, subsidiarity, inclusiveness, prior informed participation, and social acceptance by affected communities in land-based initiatives beyond their borders.

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