Connect with us

News and Report

Oyo State Govt identifies culprits in Ibadan explosion, promises justice..

Published

on

The Oyo State government has identified the company that stored the explosives, which caused Tuesday night’s explosion on Dejo Oyelese Street, Adeyi Avenue, Old Bodija, Ibadan.

Addressing journalists at the briefing room of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, on Wednesday, Governor Seyi Makinde promised to bring the culprits to justice.

“Those who brought this tragedy on Oyo State will be brought to book,” he said.

Mr Makinde called for calm, assuring that the state government has been on top of the situation and that it was leaving no stone unturned regarding the search and rescue of victims at the rubble of the incident as well as the welfare of victims and the security of their properties.

He maintained that it was a trying time for the state and that its people must draw on their strength and resilience, and be their brother’s keepers.

A statement by the special adviser (media) to the state governor, Sulaimon Olanrewaju, quoted Mr Makinde to have stated that as part of measures by the government to address the situation, it had set up an Emergency Operation Centre to oversee search and rescue.

He promised that search and rescue efforts will continue until all lives in the vicinity of the blast were accounted for, adding that the government has also made provisions with hotels to accommodate victims and those living close to the site of the incident once they are able to identify themselves.

The governor disclosed that President Bola Tinubu had spoken to him to commiserate with families who lost loved ones to the incident, and promised the support of the Federal Government.

He expressed gratitude to the President for also deploying the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), which he noted was on the ground at the scene of the explosion.

The governor recounted that so far, there were three deaths from the incident and that the number of the injured was about 77.

He warned residents to be wary of spreading fake figures and misinformation regarding the fatalities and the number of casualties.

Ahead of the press conference, the governor visited some victims of the incidents at different hotels around Bodija, Idi Ape and Ikolaba, where the state government is providing accommodation and feeding for them.

“Since yesterday, our security agencies, first responders, emergency services and all other relevant agencies have been working diligently as they carry out search and rescue operations.

“Just this morning, another individual was recovered from the rubble. I want to assure you that the search and rescue operation will continue until all lives within the vicinity of the blast are accounted for,” the governor said.

Mr Makinde said the state government was aware that aside from the immediate perimeter of the incident, people as far as 25km away may have been affected physically or psychologically.

As such, he said said government set up the Emergency Operation Centre, headed by Temitope Alonge, to coordinate all search and rescue efforts.

“I would like to appeal to our people to remain calm as we do everything to provide succour to everyone concerned. Some numbers have been provided to reach out to the Emergency Operation Centre.

“I know the 615 is operational but there are additional ones: 07049948057 and 08147672009. If you have any information regarding any persons who may still be trapped within that perimeter, please call those numbers and we will respond to you,” he added.

The governor appealed to those staying in any of the houses within 250 metres of ground zero to move out to government-provided accommodation until structural integrity test was conducted on the buildings.

Mr Makinde also warned individuals who might be planning to take advantage of the incident to perpetrate crimes, saying that security agents would deal decisively with them.

He promised that the state would continue to provide regular updates regarding the actions it is taking through the EMO and its various back channels on and off social media.

While addressing journalists, the Head of the Emergency Operations, Alonge said an emergency response to the incident was to set up a team of about 40 doctors, 40 nurses and 25 medical students at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

He added that victims that were injured were receiving medical attention in private and government hospitals and that most of them were in stable condition.

“Aside from doctors and nurses, we have added to our team physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and they were on ground yesterday to assess the psychological state of the survivors of this unfortunate incident,” Mr Alonge said.

News and Report

NASRE Advises FG On Food Crisis, Forex Shortage Amid Calls To Suspend Import Ban

Published

on

By

 

As Nigeria finds itself at a critical crossroads, grappling with simultaneous challenges of a food crisis and a foreign exchange (forex) shortage.

 

This is even as the nation seeks solutions to mitigate these pressing issues, the debate over whether to open its borders for importation has intensified.

 

The food crisis gripping Nigeria has raised concerns about food security and access to essential nutrition for millions of citizens.

 

Adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, and other factors have contributed to dwindling food supplies and soaring prices, placing a significant strain on households and exacerbating the vulnerability of already marginalized communities.

 

Meanwhile, the forex shortage has hampered Nigeria’s ability to import essential goods and raw materials, further exacerbating supply chain disruptions and exacerbating inflationary pressures.

 

Industries reliant on imported inputs, including agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, have been particularly hard hit, impeding economic growth and development.

 

In response to these challenges, some stakeholders advocate for opening Nigeria’s borders to facilitate the importation of food and other essential commodities.

 

Proponents argue that increased importation could help alleviate immediate food shortages, stabilize prices, and provide relief to vulnerable populations facing hunger and malnutrition.

 

However, others caution against the potential risks of opening borders amid a forex shortage. Critics raise concerns about the impact on domestic production and self-sufficiency, as well as the long-term consequences of relying heavily on imported goods. They emphasize the need to prioritize investments in domestic agriculture and infrastructure to build resilience against future crises.

 

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the government faces the daunting task of balancing short-term relief efforts with long-term strategies for sustainable development and economic resilience.

 

Proffering suggestion on how the government can address the unending inflationary pressures, Forex shortages, food prices hike and revitalise the nation’s economy, the Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors (NASRE), has advised the Nigerian government to adopt collaborative efforts involving policymakers, industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and international partners to identify holistic solutions that address both immediate needs and underlying structural challenges.

 

On the debate over whether Nigeria should open its borders for importation amid the food crisis and forex shortage, the President of the advocacy group, Mr Femi Oyewale, underscores the urgency of coordinated action and innovative thinking.

 

According to him, now more than ever, solidarity, cooperation, and forward-thinking policies are needed to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians.

 

“The question of whether Nigerian borders should be opened for food importation in the face of a food crisis is complex and multifaceted. However, there are factors to consider, which basically, Domestic Agricultural Capacity. Because opening borders for food importation could undermine domestic agricultural production by flooding the market with cheaper imported goods.

 

“However, if domestic production is insufficient to meet demand, importing food may be necessary to avoid shortages,” he said.

 

On the economic implications of borders opening, the President of NASRE, Oyewale, said: “Importing food can have economic ramifications, both positive and negative. On one hand, it can provide access to a wider variety of foods and potentially lower prices for consumers. On the other hand, it may negatively impact local farmers and exacerbate trade imbalances.”

 

The resourceful editors, while commenting on Food Security, pointed out that relying heavily on imported food leaves a country vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations in the global market. Therefore, it urged the federal government to develop a robust domestic agricultural sector, which is crucial for long-term food security.

 

According to Oyewale, the Nigerian government must consider its broader economic and agricultural policies when making decisions about food importation. This includes evaluating subsidies, tariffs, and investment in agricultural infrastructure.

 

“Importing food often involves long-distance transportation, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Promoting local production can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with food consumption.

 

“Food is not just a commodity; it is essential for human well-being. Government policies should prioritize ensuring access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all citizens, particularly those most vulnerable to food insecurity,” he added.

 

The Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors, NASRE, therefore, noted that the decision to open Nigerian borders for food importation during a food crisis should be approached cautiously, taking into account the country’s domestic agricultural capacity, economic implications, food security goals, environmental concerns, and social welfare considerations.

 

“A balanced approach that supports both domestic production and responsible trade practices may be necessary to address immediate food shortages while also promoting long-term food security and sustainability,” the Association stated.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Lagos State Government to prosecute 11 suspects for extortion

Published

on

By

The Lagos State Government said 11 suspects arrested at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state will be prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others extorting residents and motorists in the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olawale Musa, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Wednesday.

He added that the suspects parade themselves as enforcement officers to extort unsuspecting motorists and residents in the state.

Musa said, “Lagos State Government has declared zero tolerance for extortion of unsuspecting residents, especially motorists, by miscreants parading themselves as enforcement officers at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state.

“We have announced severally that nobody is allowed to collect money for the local government on the street of Lagos, and the government has set up a team to ensure that anybody that does that is picked up and from that Lekki axis.

“They will be charged to court to explain themselves, and I want to sound a note of warning to others that do the same thing that we will not relent; the government is all out for them.”

He noted that it is unlawful for any local government area within the state to place personnel to conduct such operations on the highways.

“If you have any issues, you call us, and we will come and address them, but when you have people coming on the road on the guise that you want to have revenue at this hard time, collecting money from motorists on the road is not fair, and it is illegal in Lagos State to resist it.

“It is illegal for any local government area in the state to deploy people on the roads as it negates the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, Section 18, 2018, which empowers only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority to carry out such operations on the roads,” he added.

In March 2023, The PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Government arrested four suspected hoodlums in some parts of the state over extortion.

The suspects were arrested in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state while attempting to extort motorists.

 

Continue Reading

News and Report

N10bn fraud: EFCC to arraign Abdulfattah Ahmed, ex-Kwara Governor Friday

Published

on

By

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will arraign the immediate-past governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed, for alleged N10bn fraud on Friday, The PUNCH has learnt.

Credible sources in the anti-graft agency said the ex-governor would be dragged before the Federal High Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

“He is going to be arraigned on Friday at the Federal High Court in Ilorin for diversion of funds, amounting to N10bn,” the source told our correspondent.

The ex-governor has been detained by the EFCC since Monday when he honoured an invitation for interrogation.

His Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba, confirmed his principal’s visit to the EFCC office on Monday, stating that it was only “procedural and routine”.

“Dr Ahmed’s visit to the EFCC is procedural and routine. He was invited and he honoured them as he’s always done. He’s always ready to respond to any query or question regarding his tenure as a governor of the state.”

On Tuesday night, Oba lamented that the EFCC was still holding on to Ahmed, saying he was given stringent bail conditions.

“Yes, he is still with the EFCC and we are now in a dilemma over the issue because they keep changing the goalpost during the match. The case is taking a new dimension, which we don’t really understand for now.

“Initially they said they wanted him to produce two sureties who are federal directors. The sureties came and were asked to provide landed properties in Abuja. We see this as a contradiction. The case was initially handled by the EFCC office in Abuja before it was transferred to Ilorin over the issue of jurisdiction. Additionally, he has been denied access to his doctors, medication and direct access to his cook,” Oba said.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to the EFCC zonal office in Ilorin, where Ahmed was being detained.

The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, expressed displeasure over Ahmed’s detention.

Led by the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olusegun Adewara, the party members alleged that the All Progressives Congress in the state was behind Ahmed’s troubles.

Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “EFCC should stop being a tool in the hands of Abdulrazaq led-APC”, “Governor Ahmed was very transparent”, “EFCC is not a department in the APC, EFCC, stop the harassment”, “The opposition cannot be silenced”, “Maigida will not join the APC no matter the persecution”, “EFCC, don’t instigate political crisis in Kwara State”, “No to illegal detention. Respect the rule of law”, among others.

But addressing the protesters, the zonal commander of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, said Ahmed had been given an administration bail but he could not meet the conditions.

“We’re wrapping up. Once we wrap up, the law will take its course. The anti-graft agency, being a creation of law, would not go contrary to law.

“Everything we’ve done is within the ambit of the law. The former governor is cooperating with us and we’re making good progress following rules of law. As I speak, he’s with his lawyer, a SAN; he attends to everyone who comes to see him, and he has a doctor who has attended to him. He eats what he wants to eat. I urge us to allow the law take its course. We’re not partisan nor prompted by anybody. This body is solely sponsored by the Federal Government,” Nzekwe said.

 

Continue Reading

Trending