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President Buhari Inaugurates 13-km Lagos Mass Transit Blue Line Rail



President Buhari Inaugurates 13-km Lagos Mass Transit Blue Line Rail

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the first phase of the Lagos Mass Transit Blue Line Rail Project.

The first phase is a 13 kilometres stretch from Marina to Mile 2 and has five stations — the Marina Iconic station; National Theatre; Orile-Iganmu; Suru-Alaba and Mile 2.

The Blue Line is one of the six metro lines identified in the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) master plan.

It is a 27 kilometres rail route that will run from Marina to Okokomaiko, when completed, and is being implemented in two phases.

Buhari arrived at the Marina Iconic Station at 11.25 a.m., in company with Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

President Buhari Inaugurates 13-km Lagos Mass Transit Blue Line Rail

He also witnessed the signing of the contract for the construction of the Second Phase of the Lagos Mass Transit Blue Line Rail.

The President took a ride on the train with Gov. Sanwo-Olu, Deputy Gov. Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and other dignitaries.

Giving his remarks at the inauguration, Gov. Sanwo-Olu said that Phase 1 of the Blue Line was expected to cover the stretch in less than 15 minutes, compared with the rush-hour time of 2.5 hours, if undertaken by road.

He said that the benefits of the rail line were obvious and unquantifiable, as it was a more efficient transport service that improved the quality of life of Lagos residents.

The governor said that the project would free up more of the residents’ time, reduce the pressure on the roads, and contribute to Nigeria’s lofty climate action obligations.

According to him, the Blue Line rail system will be powered end-to-end by high-voltage electricity, to be supplied by a dedicated Independent Power Producer (IPP), as well as backup systems.

”What this means is that the operation of this line will leave zero carbon emissions impact on the environment.

”This iconic Marina Station that is hosting us today will be the largest and busiest train hub in Africa, with a capacity to process as many as 400 passengers per minute, translating into 24,000 passengers every hour.

”When Phase 1 starts running fully, we envisage that it will transport a quarter of a million Lagosians daily, rising to half a million daily when the entire corridor is completed.

”Mr President, I thank you for the Federal Government’s support on this project and many others.

“You have made our work administering Lagos much easier in many ways, and we will eternally be grateful to you for this,” he said.

In his welcome address, Deputy Gov., Hamzat, said that the state government’s transportation strategy was multimodal.

He said it brought together the various elements of road, rail and water in a seamless manner that made commuting an interesting experience.

Hamzat said that the rail project would help to reduce the pressure on the roads, enhance the economic well-being of Lagos residents and put Lagos State on the same pedestal as others of its stature.

He appreciated the residents for bearing with the government, in the face of all the inconveniences thrown up by the implementation of the project.

In his goodwill message, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jianchun, said that the Blue Line rail project was a speed line, which would improve Lagos residents’ energy to do other things.

Jianchun said that the mass rail would give much energy and reduce the time of doing business.

”Today we really understand the meaning of time, we need to sustain the usage of time for greater efficiency.

”Nigeria and China have harmony in collaboration in sustainable development, the two countries have the same vision to move the countries forward,” he said.

The Chinese Ambassador said that Nigeria and China had identified 15 projects to collaborate on.

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NIMASA: Jamoh Bags National Productivity Merit Award 



 ….Dedicates award to stakeholders as   Ajani, and Offodile join Awardees List***

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, will on Monday be conferred, by the Federal Government with the 2021 National Productivity Order of Merit, NPOM, Award. 

Also in the category of awards is the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Agency, Chudi Offodile; while the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani was nominated as a 2022 recipient of the award.

The official conferment ceremony is scheduled for Monday, June 5, 2023.

The DG expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, noting that it is a call to greater service to our Fatherland.

“I am spurred by this award, particularly as it is coming from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, which underscores the ministry’s role in ensuring reward for hard work and productivity in public service”

Chudi Offodile

Let me also use this opportunity to dedicate the award to the industry’s stakeholders; external and internal, as they have made our work easier as an administration. We will continue to strive to make the maritime sector a viable economic driver, especially with the Blue Economy mantra, which is critical to the sustainability of the maritime sector”, Jamoh said.

Commenting the on the selection of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the DG said it is a well-deserved honour, as she has remained a core professional and astute administrator in the coordination of activities in the Ministry and the Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry.

“I am not surprised by her selection, as she is an administrator par excellence and has remained resolute and professional in the discharge of her duties. Little wonder she is commonly referred to as the “Head Mistress” of the Ministry and the Maritime Sector”. I congratulate her on the well-deserving award.

The National Productivity Order of Merit Award was instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to recognize and honour productive individuals and organizations in Nigeria in the year of the award for achievements made in the preceding years.

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NDLEA Destroys 3 Tons of Skunk In Edo Forest, Seizes 76.9kg Loud From Canada



…Recovers 390kg of illicit drugs in Kano, Kaduna, Borno, Oyo raids***

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have destroyed a large warehouse of skunks, used to store 231 jumbo bags of the psychotropic substance weighing 3,003 kilograms at Iwe forest in Owan West local government area of Edo state where they located a large warehouse of skunk, used to store 231 jumbo bags of the psychotropic substance weighing 3,003 kilograms (over 3 tons), which was set ablaze.

This was made known in a statement signed by Femi Babafemi, Director, Media & Advocacy of NDLEA. 

According to Babafemi, the operation involving hundreds of well-armed NDLEA operatives in the early hours of Tuesday 30th May following intelligence that a wanted drug kingpin had stored tons of the illicit substance in the forest ready for distribution to other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, not less than 76.9 kilograms of Canadian Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis were recovered from four used vehicles in a container marked MSDU6686346 from Canada at the Port Harcourt Ports Complex, Onne, Rivers state between Thursday 1st June, and Friday 2nd June during a joint inspection of the shipment with men of the Nigeria Customs Service. 

The Director, Media & Advocacy said the request for 100 percent examination of the shipment followed earlier intelligence received by the Agency on the container. 

In Kano state, two suspects: Ma’aruf Rabiu and Abubakar Mustapha were arrested on Tuesday 30th May along Zaria-Kano road with 260 blocks of cannabis weighing 139.4kg, while Auwal Ibrahim was nabbed with 38kg of the same substance following day Wednesday 31st May along Kaduna-Abuja road, same day 35-year-old female suspect, Bilkisu Isiya, was arrested at Birnin Yero, Kaduna in possession of 5.6kg cannabis.

In Borno state, two suspects: Abubakar Usman (aka Alhaji Mai Kero) and Adamu Yusuf were arrested at Bargu village, Shani LGA, on Saturday 3rd June with 165 blocks of skunk weighing 140.7kg. Their arrest was effected deep inside a fluid insurgents’ environment with military support. A female suspect, Hauwa Ibrahim, 25, was also nabbed in the same village with 6.4kg of the psychoactive substance, while another suspect Alhaji Abubakar, 27, was arrested at Njimtilo checkpoint with 4,200 ampoules of pentazocine injection and different quantities of D5 and excel-5 tablets.

A 30-year-old suspect, Iroko Wasiu was arrested at a drug joint at Sabo Aba-Owolowo along Oyo-Ogbomoso expressway on Tuesday 30th May and 31.2kg of cannabis was recovered from him, while two suspects: Deji Adelabu, 35, and Mutiu Salau, 37, were nabbed the following day Wednesday 31st May in Sabo area along Oyo- Ogbomoso road and Awuro Dada area in Orire local government area of Oyo state with a total of 8kg cannabis recovered from them.

While commending the officers and men of the Edo, Onne Ports, Kano, Kaduna, Borno and Oyo state Commands for their commitment and synergy with other law enforcement agencies in their areas of responsibility, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) urged them and their compatriots across the country to intensify the offensive action against drug cartels while ensuring a balance with drug demand reduction efforts.

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Group Backs Tinubu On Subsidy Removal, Calls For Restructuring



The Campaign for Democracy (CD), a pro-democracy, Civil Society and Human Rights Organisation, has backed President Bola Tinubu on the removal of fuel subsidy.

The group made this known in a communique issued by its North Central Executive Committee at the end of its meeting on Friday in Minna, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

The communique was jointly signed by the Chairman, of North Central Zone, Dr Abdullahi Mohammed, and Secretary General, Mr Abdulwahid Adeniran.

They urged the president to restructure the nation’s security architecture to effectively tackle the challenge of insecurity as well as Nigeria as a country.

They said the expectation of Nigerians were high in tandem with the renewed hope principle and focused policy of the administration.

According to the communique, the removal of the fuel subsidy was long overdue and welcome the development for the good of Nigerians.

The group also urged the government to do the needful by putting necessary palliative policy measures and logistics to soften the hardship that might accompany the new paradigm shift among the citizens.

“That there is a need for a national task force comprising of the Army, Police, Customs, Navy, Air Force, Civil Defence and non-state actors, civil society,  among other stakeholders, to check the arbitrary price increase of the product, stop the exploitation of the people by fuel marketers and their collaborators/dealers to tarnish the image of the new administration in the eyes of the public,” they said.

The group also called on stakeholders in the educational sector to come up with solutions to the challenges of 12.3 million out-of-school in Nigeria as a result of insecurity.

They also advocated that the president should give directions to child education through the resettlement of IDPs, and tackle banditry, poverty, food insecurity and socio-economic challenges confronting the nation.

Tinubu vows to sustain Nigeria’s progressive agenda beyond 2023
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The group recommended that federal government policy programme implementation be adopted at the sub-national state and local governments for the benefit of Nigerians.

According to them, this synergy is key to the collaborative building of the country.

Besides, CD called on Tinubu to restructure the nation’s security architecture for better performance to further curb crimes and criminalities.

They however commended the Armed Forces of Nigeria for taking the battle against insurgency, kidnapping, and banditry to the doorsteps of the criminals.

According to the group, the battle against insecurity is winnable by our gallant military men and officers in the theatre of the war.

They therefore called on all stakeholders to support Tinubu toward physical and economically restructuring of Nigeria for the common interest of all.

The group congratulated the new governor and deputy governor of Niger, advising them to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the peace and development of the state.

“We appeal to the incoming government to take the welfare of civil servants seriously by providing motivational incentives to improve the working conditions of workers and ensure commensurate take-home wages and salaries are paid as of when due,” the group urged.

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