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Truck driver crushes traders to death, flees

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… Senate says it would not aggravate sufferings of Nigerians on Fuel subsidy

No fewer than three traders were killed on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway after a truck crashed into a van loaded with pepper.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the van with number plate, ZUR901XA, was conveying the traders inward Lagos State when the truck rammed into it in the Warewa area of Ogun State, killing the three traders on the spot.

The driver of the van was said to have been injured in the crash which happened around 3am on Wednesday while the truck driver fled the scene.

It was gathered that the remains of the deceased, whose names had yet to be ascertained, were later taken away by officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos Command, while the van’s driver was rushed to a hospital.

An eyewitness, Seye Adeleke, said he saw three bodies on the road, adding that the driver of the van was unconscious.

He said, “I was coming from Ibadan around 5am when I saw pepper on the road. Three lifeless bodies were also lying on the road. A man I met there said they were traders and that they were crushed by a truck. The van driver was bleeding profusely.”

A member of a vigilance group in the area, who identified himself only as Bayo, said he was close to the expressway when he heard the sound of the crash. He said the truck driver waited for a moment, but sped off before he could cross to the side of the road where the accident occurred.

“I shone torch to get the truck’s number plate, but I did not succeed. All the four passengers in that van were males. Only the driver is alive and he was seriously injured. Some FRSC officials later came to pack their corpses and take the driver to a hospital,” he said.

The Lagos State Sector Commander of the FRSC, H.U. Omeje, confirmed the accident and urged motorists to be cautious while driving.

He said, “At about 3.30am, our men got information of a crash involving a Mitsubishi pickup with number plate, ZUR 901 XA. Four people were involved. Three died instantly while the only survivor sustained injuries.”

Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday said it would not take any decision on oil subsidy that would aggravate the suffering of Nigerians. Spokesperson of the Senate, Sen. Aliyu Sabi, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Sabi said that the upper chamber had not taken a decision on removal of subsidy, adding that the chamber would not support any move that would put further pressure on Nigerians.

“As much as I will say, the senate has not come up with a position on that (subsidy removal); if we are going to remove subsidy or increase Value Added Tax (TAX), we must strike a balance.

“We cannot be putting too much pressure on the masses. The masses are in pains right now and we are surely going to do things that will ease that pain,’’ he said. 

Sabi said that subsidy in itself was not injurious because even the advanced countries provided subsidies to make life bearable for their citizens.

He, however, said that the major problem with subsidy implementation in the country was corruption.

“If we can deal with corruption for instance, what stops us from making sure that we look at the entire management framework of the subsidy?’’

On oil benchmark, the senate spokesman said the red chamber would note the advice by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) when considering the 2016 Appropriation Bill.

He said that the lawmakers would give priority to the consideration of the bill when they return from recess. He said that with emphasis on non-oil revenue and the political will to block leakages, the nation’s economy would rebound.

Punch with additional report from NAN

Accidents

5  Die In Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Accident

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19 die, 26 injured in Kano auto crash — FRSC

Five persons were confirmed dead in an accident at NASFAT turning on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Wednesday.

Ten others sustained injuries in the accident.

Mrs Florence Okpe, the spokesperson for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Ogun, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta.

Okpe noted that the incident occurred at 9:56a.m and it involved a Daf truck marked KUT 561 ZZ, a Toyota Hiace bus marked GGE 84 YF, and a Man diesel truck without a registration number.

She said that the likely cause of the accident was dangerous driving on the part of one of the trucks.

”A total of 15 persons were involved, which comprised 11 men and four women.

” Ten were injured (six men and four women) while five persons were killed from the multiple crash,” she said.

The FRSC spokesperson said that the injured victims were taken to Famobis Hospital, Mowe, while the deceased were deposited at Idera Hospital morgue, Sagamu.

The Sector Commander, Anthony Uga, cautioned motorists on speed and reckless driving, advising them to drive defensively for safety. 

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Accidents

Customs Suspends Noble Intention To Sell Rice At Rock-bottom Price

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Nigeria Customs Service’s noble intention to sell impounded rice to the masses at the rock-bottom price of N10,000 per half-bag has been suspended.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on the directive of Mr. President, announced the commencement of a noble intervention aimed at alleviating the hardships faced by Nigerians and improving access to essential food items through direct disposal of seized edible goods condemned in competent courts of law and certified fit for consumption by relevant government agencies. 

Consequently, according to the Chief Superintendent of Customs and National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, a pilot exercise was conducted on Friday, 23 February 2024, at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos state. 

Stated Maiwada: “The exercise was conducted following meticulous planning to address all potential risks that may emerge during the exercise. As part of our process and control measures, we had Nigeria Police and military personnel to ensure crowd control. We also fully equipped a medical team on the ground in anticipation of potential risks during an exercise of that magnitude. Their presence was part of our proactive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants.

“The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise. This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press. 

 

“However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome. The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded”, the Service Spokesman stated, stressing that the Nigeria Customs Service extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families during this challenging time, and we assure them of our unwavering support. 

“We are working with Hospital Authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps. Following this incident, an internal investigation was initiated to understand the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event. 

“As a service deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, we recognize the need for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. 

“Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024. 

“This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work towards addressing the challenges facing our nation’s food security”, the Imgemaker said further. 

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Accidents

LASG Lifts RTEAN- Ban; Dissolves State’s Parks And Garages Administrators’ Committee 

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…To boost peace 

In furtherance of this administration’s quest to foster peace and smooth working relationships among union members in the transportation sector, the Lagos State Government has lifted the ban on the activities of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the State.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa said on Monday that the government decided after careful consideration and extensive consultations with relevant Stakeholders, including members of the association, Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the general public.

Hon. Giwa further stated that the Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrators’ Committee which was set up to manage parks and garage facilities in the State has been dissolved with immediate effect.

He explained that the decision is made in the best interest of promoting unity and peaceful co-existence, ensuring the smooth operation of transport services within the State as well as helping to foster a more collaborative relationship between the government and the transport union, ultimately leading to improved services for the public.

The Special Adviser urged all parties involved to adhere strictly to the terms and conditions of the settlement reached for peaceful and sustainable operations in the transportation sector.

He also implored them to cooperate and work together towards building a better transportation system to benefit all Lagos State residents.

It would be recalled that the State Government suspended the activities of RTEAN across the State in September 2022 and constituted a Caretaker Committee to oversee the Affairs of the union.

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