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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

12 Fear Dead In Kwara Road Accident

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Truck crushes 2 bike riders to death in Ogun

A total of 12 persons have been confirmed dead in a fatal road traffic crash involving three vehicles at Peke, along Olooru-Okoolowo, Ogbomoso Route, in Kwara.

Those involved in the accident included 21 males and one female, out of which 12 got burnt and sadly lost their lives, while the remaining 10 sustained various degrees of injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment.

The Kwara Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Corps Commander Stephen Dawulung, confirmed the unfortunate accident.

Dawulung said that the burnt corpses were given a mass burial by the authority of the Hausa Community of Okoolowo.

“On receiving the report of the crash, our operatives at Olooru Unit Command were immediately mobilised to the crash scene for rescue.

“Vehicles involved in the accident were a petrol Tanker, a Trailer, and an 18-seater Bus following a route violation.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the empty IVECO Tanker coming from Okoolowo committed route violation en route Ogbomoso, which led to a head-on collision with the oncoming DAF Truck, which ignited the fire,” he said.

The sector commander said that the Bus which was on its way to Katsina was behind the DAF Truck, but due to the driver’s excessive speed, he couldn’t stop and rammed into the crash.

He deeply sympathized with the families of the dead and wished the injured a quick recovery.

Dawulung advised drivers to avoid taking the wrong lanes, driving at excessive speeds, on night journeys, and ensuring they maintain a safe distance between vehicles ahead, to enable them maneuver whenever the need arises.

He reiterated that investigation officers had commenced a full investigation into the crash, assuring that the command was committed to discharging its responsibilities in ensuring the safety of all road users.

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9 Bodies Recovered From Niger Boat Mishap – NSEMA

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The Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) has said that nine bodies were recovered from a boat mishap that occurred in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

The Head of Relief and Rehabilitation in NSEMA, Alhaji Salihu Garba, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Sunday.

NAN recalls that ten persons were confirmed dead in a boat mishap that occurred on Thursday, November 16.

The victims, mostly traders, were reportedly conveying goods from the Zongoru Community of Bassa Ward to Gijiwa, ahead of Friday market in Kuta, headquarters of Shiroro LGA, when the tragic incident happened.

At least 34 persons were said to be on board of which 10 allegedly lost their lives, while 22 were reportedly rescued by local divers.

Garba gave the names of the deceased to include Farida Muntari, Sharhabila Sagir, Bubakar Sadiq, Na’ima Ibrahim, Amina, Safaratu Ibrahim, Sadiq Ibrahim and Rafiya Yakubu.

He said that the agency had yet to identify two of the deceased persons, adding that all the deceased were from Zangoro.

He further said that there were 24 male and female adults and 10 male and female children in the boat when it capsized.

Garba also said that a search operation was ongoing to recover the remaining bodies. 

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Niger Boat Mishap: NSEMA Recovers 9 Bodies

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Fisherman found dead on Badagry waterways

The Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) has said that nine bodies were recovered from a boat mishap that occurred in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.

The Head of Relief and Rehabilitation in NSEMA, Alhaji Salihu Garba, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Sunday.

It would be recalled that 10 persons were confirmed dead in a boat mishap that occurred on Thursday, November 16.

The victims, mostly traders, were reportedly conveying goods from the Zongoru Community of Bassa Ward to Gijiwa, ahead of Friday market in Kuta, headquarters of Shiroro LGA, when the tragic incident happened.

At least 34 persons were said to be on board of which 10 allegedly lost their lives, while 22 were reportedly rescued by local divers.

Garba gave the names of the deceased to include Farida Muntari, Sharhabila Sagir, Abubakar Sadiq, Na’ima Ibrahim, Amina, Safaratu Ibrahim, Sadiq Ibrahim, and Rafiya Yakubu.

He said that the agency had yet to identify two of the deceased persons, adding that all the deceased were from Zangoro.

He further said that there were 24 male and female adults and 10 male and female children in the boat when it capsized.

Garba also said that a search operation was ongoing to recover the remaining bodies. 

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