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Osinbajo, Kachikwu, NNPC’s GMD Baru meet over cash-call Venture

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…As Many feared burnt following fuel tanker explosion*** 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting, it was gathered, was to‎ finalise government’s plan to exit from the joint venture cash call initiative.

Kachikwu told State House Correspondents after the meeting that government had indicated interest to leave the programme over alleged perennial abuse in funding upstream oil and gas joint venture operations with international oil companies in the country.

He said the meeting particularly dwelt on the issues raised by the management of Agip Oil concerning the firm’s oil fields and involvement in the cash call venture.

The minister, who said the closed-door meeting did not touch on the recent controversy bothering on the alleged oil deals in the oil and gas sector, said government was also working with relevant agencies and affected organisations to ensure the release of the four Britons recently kidnapped in Delta State.

He revealed plans by the NNPC to complete the opening of the escrow account but declined comment on whether or not the pump price of petroleum products would drop in the country before Christmas given the hike in price of petrol in the international market.

In the meantime, many were yesterday evening feared charred in a horrifying inferno following an explosion from a fuel tanker.

The tanker driver, who was reportedly driving recklessly, lost control of the wheel and in a bid to regain balance, tumbled on the expressway near Kyakyama Filling Station, few metres from the Ogere tollgate stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

According to an eyewitness, the impact of the fall on the tarred road led to a huge explosion, sending balls of fire and plumes of dark smokes into the sky. The eyewitness added that the fire soon spread and caught vehicles packed by the roadside, triggering a stampede and commotion as many scurried to flee the raging fire.

The inferno also caused a severe traffic gridlock as motorists on the busy expressway made frantic moves to escape the accident scene.

It is not yet certain how many people that were affected by the inferno when the tanker caught fire but the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE), Babatunde Akinbiyi, said field report suggested that three persons were inside the truck.

Akinbiyi also identified recklessness on the part of the tanker driver as the cause of the accident. “Reckless driving on the part of tanker driver caused the accident, it overturned and caught fire, which also affected the parked white bus. Fire from the fuel-laden tanker affected one white bus parked nearby.

According to eyewitness three people were still inside the tanker when it caught fire. “Our men are still on ground to confirm the actual figure of the victims and our operatives and men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) are on ground doing the needful. Traffic inbound Ibadan are being diverted to other lanes under close monitoring,” he added.

The FRSC advised motorists to divert to Iperu, old Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The number of fatalities could not be ascertained as at press time.

Meanwhile, truck drivers in Lokoja, Kogi State, on Wednesday blocked Abuja-Lokoja highway, protesting against alleged killing of one of them over non-payment of N5,000 toll.

The situation caused gridlock on the busy highway linking the northern and the southern parts of the country, as many travellers were stranded on both ends of the Murtala Muhammad Bridge in Lokoja.

A witness told newsmen at Akpanya, near the bridge, that the driver was flagged down around 1:00a.m. on Wednesday, October 18 by revenue collectors from Kogi Agricultural Produce Board.

The eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, said the deceased was on transit from the northern part of the country to the south when the revenue collectors allegedly demanded money from him. He alleged that the late driver told them that he had only N1,500 and could only part with N1,000 and this drew the collectors’ ire.

The driver, whose name could not be immediately ascertained, was allegedly hit on the head with clubs following the argument and he collapsed and eventually died.

In the ensuing milieu that followed the death of the driver, the Abuja-Lokoja road was blocked, resulting in heavy gridlock, which left many travellers from both sides stranded.

Chairman of the Kogi State chapter of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Tanko Ali, who also confirmed the development, said the truck was coming from Maiduguri and was accosted by the revenue men.

He said the failure of the driver to pay certain dues led to an argument, during which they allegedly descended on him and in the process, he was beaten to death.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, William Aya, confirmed that the tanker driver had issues with the agricultural produce revenue collectors. He also confirmed that the issue led to blockage of the road, but denied any knowledge of death of the driver or anyone else at the scene.

Guardian NG

Accidents

Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

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Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

 Pandemonium engulfed Ekololu, a community in the Surulere area of Lagos, on Monday night when the back tyres of a tanker transporting fuel to a Conoil filling station burst into flames near the station.

The News Correspondent who resides in the area reports that the explosion of the tyres and the ensuing billows of smoke made residents living near the filling station flee for safety.

Observations by the newsmen revealed that staff from the filling station hurried out with fire extinguishers to combat the fire, which erupted around 9:00 p.m., just a few meters from the station’s entrance.

Emergency responders, including Federal and State Fire Services, as well as the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), swiftly arrived at the scene following distress calls from the community.

The ill-fated tanker that caused the pandemonium

Upon arrival, the emergency teams assessed the unregistered truck carrying the petrol and raised concerns about safety measures while questioning the driver and filling station management.

They provided guidance and oversaw the safe discharge of the fuel using a long hose to transfer the petroleum product from the stranded tanker into the filling station’s reservoirs.

The Station Manager of the Conoil filling station, Mr Kunle Oniya, informed the emergency responders that the station possessed 20 fire extinguishers, which were promptly utilised to contain the fire and prevent its spread.

The incident led to a traffic gridlock, with vehicles unable to move in the area for nearly an hour.

Some residents shared their experiences of the ordeal with the newsmen.

A resident, Malam Shehu, recounted abandoning his dinner upon witnessing the fiery explosion.

He expressed gratitude that the fire was contained before causing further damage.

Another resident, known as Iya Abigail, described hearing people shouting while she was playing games, prompting her to flee in confusion wearing her nightclothes.

She prayed for continued safety in the community.

An elderly resident, who preferred anonymity, urged filling stations in the area to prioritise safety and the welfare of residents.

She noted that filling stations typically had insurance against fire and other disasters and suggested extending such coverage to vulnerable buildings in their host communities.

Recalling the chaotic events, she said that she heard the sound of an emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood before hastily evacuating her home.

“I was watching TV and when the incident occurred, I had to blow the emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood but I quickly dressed up before running out of the house,” she said. 

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

…As 15 people sustain varying degrees of injuries

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed the death of seven persons in a road accident that occurred on Ibadan-Iseyin road on Thursday.

The Public Relations Officer, FRSC, Oyo Sector Command, Mr Mayowa Odewo, said in a statement that the deceased were five male adults, one female adult and one female child.

Odewo said that 15 people also sustained varying degrees of injuries out of the 22 people involved in the crash.

He attributed the accident, involving a Nissan Urvan commercial bus, with registration number: SEY 254 ZY and a Mazda commercial bus, with registration number LGB 343 XA, to speed violations and fatigue.

Odewo stated that the 13 injured victims, including three male adults, nine female adults and one female child, had been taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

He said that four of the seven corpses of the victims had been claimed by their families, while the remaining three had been deposited at a morgue.

“The police from Motor Traffic Division (MTD) Police Division, Moniya, Ibadan, have taken possession of the two crashed vehicles, including bags and other valuables recovered from the scene,” he said.

The FRSC spokesperson noted that no victim was saved by the seat belt or other defensive gadgets.

He urged motorists to always obey traffic rules and regulations as well as adhere to all traffic cautions on the road to prevent avoidable crashes. 

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

Australian police had found a man’s body off Sydney’s coast while searching for a cruise ship passenger who went overboard on Monday.
The man fell overboard before dawn near Sydney Heads, about 18 kilometers from the shore, with police and other emergency services launching a search, New South Wales police said.

At about 10.30 a.m. (0030 GMT), officers located the body and retrieved it, police said.

Police would now prepare a report for the Coroner and have launched an investigation into how the incident unfolded.

P&O Cruises’ ship Pacific Adventure was due to arrive in Sydney Harbour on Monday.

“We thank guests for their care, understanding, and patience on what’s been a distressing day for guests and crew,’’
a statement from the company said, as quoted by local media.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the guest at this difficult time.’’

The ship was returning to Sydney from a three-day trip to Queensland’s Morton Island.

– dpa

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