P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Transportation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Thu, 15 Jan 2015 17:32:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 FG urged to refloat National Shipping Line http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/14/fg-urged-to-refloat-national-shipping-line/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2015/01/14/fg-urged-to-refloat-national-shipping-line/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 13:14:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=226238 andoni

A marine engineer, Mr Alex Peters, on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to facilitate the re-establishment of a national shipping line.

Peters made the plea in an interview with NAN in Lagos.

NAN reports that the former Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), established in 1959, got deeply indebted and liquidated in 995 and all its 21 vessels were sold.

Peters, who is the Secretary, Institute of Marine, Science and Technology, lauded the initiative to bring back a national shipping line which fell within the jurisdiction of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

“If the Federal Government is asking NIMASA to refloat such a national carrier, that is a step in a right direction.

“It is important that in doing so, qualified, skilled and experienced management personnel are put in place,” Peters told NAN.

According to him, it was a great disservice to Nigeria to shut down the NNSL in the first place.

“The repercussions are still there to be seen.

“Shutting down NNSL was like throwing away the baby with the bath water,” the mariner said.

He said that the new national carrier should be made to operate in such a manner that it will grow many indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria. “There is adequate manpower to man the proposed national carrier,” the marine engineer said.

He said that a Private-Public arrangement for the proposed new carrier would be perfectly in order

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Tin Can Island Port trailer park almost completed http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/29/tin-can-island-port-trailer-park-almost-completed/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/29/tin-can-island-port-trailer-park-almost-completed/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 18:24:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224409 Tin Can Island Port: trailer park almost completed

Tin Can Island Port: trailer park almost completed

Here is cheering news for motorists usually caught up in the perennial gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Port expressway.

The trailers and tankers clogging the road will soon have their parking bay, according to the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos state, Mr Godwin Eke.

He said the construction of trailer park meant for 378 trucks at Tin Can Island Port has reached 80 per cent completion.

Eke told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that other facilities which were part of the project, put the entire project completion to 80 per cent completion.

He said that a few truck stands had yet to be to be completed.

“The Work is ongoing there; we have achieved more than 80 per cent completion.The trailer park as it is now, we only have a few truck stands for the place to be operational, but there are certain things that we need to put in place before we can open the trailer park.

“We need to fence it round for security reasons, we need to install gates so that all unwanted trucks cannot just enter and go out of the place. We also need to complete the access bridge so that trucks coming from Apapa quays can access the park when they are coming from Apapa.

“We have just 12 truck stands to go, if it is the truck park alone we have achieved more than 96 per cent. But there are some other ancillary facilities we need to put in place like fencing and gates and barriers.“

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FG replaces 48 damaged steel columns on Eko Bridge http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/26/fg-replaces-48-damaged-steel-columns-on-eko-bridge/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/26/fg-replaces-48-damaged-steel-columns-on-eko-bridge/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:45:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224096 Julius Berger Apapa

Julius Berger Construction Company have replaced all the 48 steel columns of the Eko Bridge damaged by fire in 2008 to prevent collapse of the bridge, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Godwin Eke, has said.

Eke told NAN that the columns were installed on a span damaged by fire in 2008 to make the bridge stable pending complete rehabilitation of the bridge.

He said that the repairs of the abutment of the Third Mainland Bridge as well as that of the Marine Beach Bridge, which was also damaged by fire, were ongoing.

“For Eko Bridge, Julius Berger has installed the steel columns to hold the bridge and we are now awaiting the procurement of the permanent works to do the full rehabilitation of the bridge.

“So, the question of the bridge collapsing is out of the question. 48 columns were installed to hold the bridge.

“We are currently working on the Third Mainland Bridge abutment by Borini Porini not Julius Berger.

“The Marine Beach Bridge has been closed for quite a while now, a local contractor, Build Well Plant Construction Limited, is handling that one, he has finished rehabilitating the under, he would start work on the surface next year.”

On the plans to evacuate the traders and artisans who caused the fire that damaged both Eko Bridge and the Marine Beach Bridges, the controller said that the Federal Government was planning to fence the areas.

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NIMASA tasks ship owners on abandoned wrecks http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/26/nimasa-tasks-ship-owners-on-abandoned-wrecks/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/26/nimasa-tasks-ship-owners-on-abandoned-wrecks/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 14:42:50 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=224052 Dr Ziakede Akpobolokemi

Dr Ziakede Akpobolokemi

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Friday expressed concern over the failure of ship owners to remove their abandoned wrecks at the nation’s sea ports in spite of numerous marine notices.

NIMASA Director-General, Dr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, expressed the concern in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He condemned the actions of the affected ship owners, who instituted legal cases against the agency, whenever such wrecks were to be removed.

Apobolokemi said government had awarded contract for the removal of the wrecks, adding that work had started in some areas.

He explained that apart from the fact that wrecks were detrimental to navigation, some people used the wrecks as “cover up’’ to carry out nefarious acts.

“Government has awarded contracts for wrecks to be removed in all our maritime domain. They have started. By the grace of God, the wrecks are going to be removed. The first phase of the job has been awarded in the South South and Lagos areas.

“It is not good for us to have wrecks. Let me tell you, you will give Marine Notice 20 times, ‘come and remove your wrecks’, you will not see Nigerians.

“The day you want to go and remove the wreck; a wreck that has been abandoned for five years, suddenly you will see crew.

“The next day, they have gone to court to get injunction.

“Okay, we have advertised; we have told you, we have the mandate under the law to go and remove these wrecks.

“If I tell you the number of litigation we have here; that is to tell you that we must change our ways. Somebody whose wreck is negative in terms of money; would go to court and say is N10 billion.

“Meanwhile, what they bought that vessel, it may not be up to one million dollars but after using it for 20 years, he is coming to ask you N10 billion. That is the situation.”

The director-general suggested adequate education of ship owners on wrecks, adding that wrecks could create “navigation problems, stowaway, and criminals hide.”

Akpobolokemi said there was also resistance because some people did not want NIMASA to remove the wrecks because the criminals were hiding there.

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China connects remote Xinjiang with high speed train http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/26/china-connects-remote-xinjiang-with-high-speed-train/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/26/china-connects-remote-xinjiang-with-high-speed-train/#comments Fri, 26 Dec 2014 04:51:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223993 China's high speed rail service, 300kms per hour

China’s high speed rail service, 300kms per hour

China tied the restive far-western region of Xinjiang closer to the rest of the country Friday, opening a high-speed rail line between its capital Urumqi and Lanzhou, in neighbouring Gansu, nearly 1,800 kilometres away.

A slick bullet train took off from Lanzhou West Railway Station at 10:49 am (0249 GMT), with female attendants in Uighur and other ethnic costumes serving 622 passengers, live footage on state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) showed.

The line, the first high-speed railway in China’s remote and poor northwest, stretches through the high-altitude Qilian mountain range, an ancient section of the Great Wall and five strong wind zones, slashing travel time between the two cities by half to less than 12 hours, CCTV said.

Another train left Urumqi for Lanzhou two minutes later, according to the report.

A stewardess on China's bulllet train

A stewardess on China’s bulllet train

Xinjiang, a vast area bordering Central Asia, is home to Uighurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups. It has long had a population of Han, China’s dominant nationality, whose numbers have increased strongly over the past half century through immigration.

Though rich in natural resources such as oil and gas, the region has been the scene of ethnic and religious unrest characterised by clashes between local groups and authorities as well as violence both inside and outside the region that Chinese authorities have classified as religious-inspired terrorism.

China is engaged in a crackdown on militancy in the region and earlier this month a court condemned eight people to death for two deadly attacks in Urumqi, state media said, bringing the number of death penalties or executions announced for Xinjiang-related violence to around 50 since June.

According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the line linking Gansu’s capital of Lanzhou to Urumqi is 1,777 kilometres (1,100 miles) long and its trains are designed to travel at a maximum speed of 250 kilometres an hour.

The line was one of several being opened this month, including one that cut train travel times between the commercial hubs of Shanghai and Guangzhou from 16 hours to seven.

Completion of another high-speed line linking Beijing and Lanzhou in 2017 will cut train travel times between the Chinese capital and Urumqi from 41 hours previously to just 16, Xinhua said in a report last month.

China has long had an extensive rail network but in recent years has emphasised the development of super fast trains that have slashed travel times between major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and made rail travel competitive with flying.

Only begun in 1999, China’s high-speed rail network has quickly become the largest in the world, with more than 11,000 kilometres of track in service during 2013, with the total expected to reach 16,000 kilometres by 2020, according to official media.

The high-speed network, however, has been plagued by graft and safety scandals following its rapid expansion, with a deadly collision in July 2011 killing more than three dozen people. The accident triggered a flood of criticism of the government and accusations that the authorities had compromised safety in its rush to expand.

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FG awards N12bn contracts for sea port projects in Lagos, Makurdi http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/18/fg-awards-n12bn-contracts-for-sea-port-projects-in-lagos-makurdi/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/18/fg-awards-n12bn-contracts-for-sea-port-projects-in-lagos-makurdi/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:43:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223271 Dr Nurudeen Muhammed

Dr Nurudeen Muhammed

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a 59-million-dollar (N9 billion) contract for the construction of Berth 21 at the Terminal ‘E’ of the Lagos Port Complex in Apapa.

Also approved was a contract for the construction of the Inland River Port at Makurdi at the cost of N3 billion.

These were some of the outcomes of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The supervising Minister of Information, Nurudeen Mohammed, briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting alongside his transportation counterpart, Sen. Idris Umar.

Joined in the briefing were the Ministers of Works, Mike Onolememen; Aviation, Osita Chidoka, and Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga.

Mohammed explained that the approvals of the contracts were based on a memo presented to the council by the Minister of Transport.

The Lagos port contract, according to him, was awarded to Greenview Development (Nigeria) with a completion period of 18 months.

“Council deliberated extensively and particularly noted that the project, upon completion, is expected to add 200 metres of Quay length to the existing 510 metres, thereby increasing the total terminal quay length to 710m for the handling of Dry Bulk Cargoes.

“The project will also provide direct and indirect job opportunities as well as enhance government revenues and having more efficiency and economy of scale which will lead to better pricing of bulk commodities such as cement, grains and sugar in the long run.

“Council approved the award of contract for the construction of the project within the unexpired term of the company’s concession period of 25 years on Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) basis, with a completion period of 18 months.”

The minister said that the Inland River Port project in Makurdi was awarded in favour of Evomec Global Services Limited with a completion period of 18 months.

He said that there was a provision of N600 million in the 2014 budget for the project, adding that the balance would be provided for in subsequent budgets.

“The Minister of Transport also presented another memorandum to seek council’s approval for the construction of the Inland River Port at Makurdi.

“The project will link the hinterland in the northern central states of the country to the coastal ports and among other things ease the process of evacuation of agricultural products, petroleum products, bulk cargoes and distribution of essential imports.

“The project is also to generate employment, expand riverine activities and greatly improve socio-economic development of Benue State and its environs.”

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FG approves N24bn for rehabilitation of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/17/fg-approves-n24bn-for-rehabilitation-of-onitsha-enugu-expressway/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/17/fg-approves-n24bn-for-rehabilitation-of-onitsha-enugu-expressway/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:55:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=223235 Dr Nurudeen Muhammed

Dr Nurudeen Muhammed

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved N24.2 billion for the rehabilitation of the outstanding section of Onitsha-Enugu Expressway and Amansea-Enugu.

The supervising Minister of Information, Dr Nurudeen Muhammed, stated this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said the project, which would be partly financed through the ministry’s 2014 budget as well as SURE-P 2014 appropriation, when completed, would enhance transportation in the area.

“The project upon completion will enhance transportation, communication, improve the socio-economic activities and standard of living of the citizens; reduce travel time and vehicle operating cost.

“It will also generate employment for not less than 25 engineers, 100 skilled and 435 semi-skilled workers in the course of execution of the project.

“There is a budgetary provision of N400 million in the ministry’s 2014 appropriation and N11billion under SURE-P 2014 appropriation, which is adequate for the takeoff of the project.”

He said that the council also approved the rehabilitation of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Yauri-Kontagora-Makera Road in Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger States and Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch in Benue and Cross River State.

He said the projects upon completion would enhance socioeconomic activities as the road projects passed through rich agricultural lands in Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Benue and Cross Rivers.

“There is a budgetary provision of N1.8billion in the ministry’s 2014 appropriation for the projects and the balance of funds for the project will be provided for in the ministry’s subsequent budgets.”

He said the council also approved the rehabilitation of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega-Birnin Yauri Road (186km) in Kebbi State at the cost of N19.8 billion, thereby revising the initial contract sum from N10.5 billion to N30.4 billion with a completion period of 36 months.

Muhammed further disclosed that the council approved an additional N10.6 billion for the completion of the rehabilitation of Sokoto-Jega-Kontagora-Makera Road: Kontagora-Makera (85km) in Niger State, thereby revising the contract sum from N8.9 billion to N19.5 billion, with a completion period of 30 months.

He also stated that the council approved the rehabilitation of Vandeikya-Obudu Cattle Ranch (completion of outstanding 12.5km) in Benue/Cross River states at the cost of N3.3 billion, thereby revising the contract sum from N3.29 billion to N6.6 billion, with completion period of 18 months.

He said the council approved N350.8 million for the procurement of Insurance cover for assets of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.

According to him, the insurance cover is required annually for the maintenance of the College’s Approved Training Organisation (CATO) Certificate issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) which precludes the operation of any aircraft without valid insurance cover.

He further stated that the approval was in line with the Federal Government’s directives that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should provide insurance cover against fire and perils on government’s assets and properties.

He said there was a budgetary provision of N450 million in the Service Wide Vote for the insurance cover for the College’s Asset.

The minister said the council also approved N200 million for the supply of Aviation Gasoline (AVGAS100LL) to the college.

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Hacking threatens airline safety, says aviation chiefs http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/11/hacking-threatens-airline-safety-says-aviation-chiefs/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/11/hacking-threatens-airline-safety-says-aviation-chiefs/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 00:22:27 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222504 plane

Cyber crime is a serious threat to safety in the skies, aviation industry heavyweights said Wednesday, vowing to fight the growing scourge before it causes a catastrophic incident.

Hackers, cyber criminals and other “terrorists” are stealing information but in a worst-case scenario could endanger lives by tampering with airline systems.

Among the five organizations getting together to take action against hacking are the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other bodies that signed a new cyber security agreement late last week, formalizing their front against cyber crime.

“Our common goal in developing this agreement is to work more effectively together to establish and promote a robust cyber security culture and strategy for the benefit of all actors in our industry,” said Raymond Benjamin, secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

He added: “As technologies rapidly evolve and become more readily accessible to all, cyber threats cannot be ignored.

“This is an important new area of aviation security concern and our global community will ensure that it is met with a strong level of commitment and response.”

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Julius Berger working tirelessly to finish Apapa roads – FG http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/10/julius-berger-working-tirelessly-to-finish-apapa-roads-fg/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/12/10/julius-berger-working-tirelessly-to-finish-apapa-roads-fg/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:12:09 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=222417 Julius Berger Apapa

The Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Godwin Eke on Wednesday said that Julius Berger has began working at night and weekends to hasten the pace on repair works on Apapa roads.

Eke told NAN in Lagos that the firm could not meet the completion deadline because of the unwholesome activities of articulated vehicles around construction sites.

NAN reports that the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen had in September directed Julius Berger to rehabilitate roads in Apapa within eight weeks to reduce the hardship being experienced by road users.

Onolememen also directed Julius Berger to get the job done by November.

The controller said that the truck drivers’ non-compliance with agreements reached with them at various stakeholders meetings to vacate the roads, slowed down the pace of work.

He explained that more than 15 kilometres of repair works had been achieved because of the resilience of Julius Berger, adding that the firm has began working at night and on Sundays.

Eke said that the 15 per cent of work completed included milling of asphalt and replacement with special binder materials.

“We have done more than 15 kilometres of rehabilitation of the roads but we are behind schedule, we want to work but we cannot access our site.

“We started working at night and even on Sundays so that we can do appreciable work to get close to our desired goal before the company closes for the year.

“The agreement at the stakeholders meeting was that tankers should give us space to work and use only the service lane, so that we can work on the main carriageway; but they don’t seem to remember the agreement, they block everywhere,” he said.

On the ongoing phase 2 reconstruction of the Apapa/Oshodi Expressway, he said that the project was 86 per cent completed and would be completed before the set time.

“We have about 14 per cent to go in completing the project which includes jobs like provision of gantries and road markings. There is no major work left apart from the rehabilitation of the ramp at Mile 2–it is under construction,” he said.

He said that 10.8 kilometres of construction was replicated on both bounds of the carriageway, in spite of traffic challenges.

Eke explained that the project has a percentage lapse of 91 per cent because it was originally supposed to be completed in March 2015, but would be delivered this December.

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Nigeria Awards China $12b Railway Contract http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/20/nigeria-awards-china-12b-railway-contract/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/20/nigeria-awards-china-12b-railway-contract/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:17:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220284 China Railway Construction Corp has signed a deal worth nearly $12 billion with Nigeria to build a railway along the West African nation’s coast, from Lagos to Calabar, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday.

The announcement comes shortly after Mexico abruptly scrapped a $3.75 billion high-speed rail contract with a consortium led by the Chinese firm over transparency concerns.

China is pushing to win railway construction projects around the world as part of plans to export its high-speed technology and lift its manufacturing sector up the value chain.

Beijing is also pumping money into the sector, with more than $100 billion worth of infrastructure projects approved in late October and early November in a bid to bolster slowing growth in the world’s second largest economy.

“It is a mutually beneficial project,” CRCC Chairman Meng Fengchao told Xinhua. He added the railway project will lead to equipment exports from China worth $4 billion, including construction machinery, trains and steel products.

Officials at CRCC could not be immediately reached for comment.

The project will create up to 200,000 local jobs, according to Xinhua, helping Beijing in its soft power push to gain a foothold in resource-rich regions of Africa.

The coastal railway will stretch for 1,402 kilometres, linking Nigeria’s economic capital Lagos in the west with Calabar in the east, Xinhua said.

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FG awards N272m contract for Abuja light rail http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/fg-awards-n272m-contract-for-abuja-light-rail/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/19/fg-awards-n272m-contract-for-abuja-light-rail/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:36:29 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=220179 File Photo: Moving train in Lagos

File Photo: Moving train in Lagos

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a N272 million contract for consultancy services for the feasibility study and conceptual design of Lots Four, Five, and Six of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System.

This was the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Supervising Minister of Information, Mr Nurudeen Mohammed, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, said the contract was awarded to Ladiom Associates with a completion period of 12 months.

“The Federal Capital Territory Rail Mass Transit system is designed primarily as a mover of people within and between the satellite towns and the different phases of the city.

“There is a provision of N280 million in the 2014 FCT Statutory Appropriation for the project.

“The projects, upon completion, will reduce traffic congestion, shorten journey distance and reduce pressure on existing public transport services.

“The project will also provide employment opportunities to about 5,000 skilled and unskilled workers, while about 4,500 skilled workers will be engaged in the direct operation of the system on completion.”

The supervising minister said the FCT Rail Mass Transit System would be integrated with the planned national rail network.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Bala Mohammed, who also briefed newsmen, said that everything about the project was on course in terms of the financial plan.

“Lot Four will carry passengers from Kuje to Karshi; Lot 5 from Kubwa to Bwari because there must be some provision for crisscrossing of commuters within the city.

“Lot 6 will carry people from the airport to Kuje and Gwagwalada up to Dobi, a satellite town that is far off Gwagwalada. That will complete the feasibility studies that we are set to do.

“You are aware we are executing the Lots One and Three and we have gone 60 per cent. Everything about the project is on course in terms of the financial plan.

“What we are doing now is to start building the stations – 13 in number – that are going to be used by the passengers. So, everything about the light rail is on course.

“Lot Two is the most viable one. Already, we have gotten expression of interest from the organised private sector to do it, which is very significant to us as a government as a mark of confidence shown in Nigeria and in Abuja because it is a bankable project and the passengers are there because it is going to provide rail transportation from Nyanya to the city centre up to Kubwa.

“In fact they (investors) are struggling for that.

“For the Lots Four, Five and Six, that is why we are doing the feasibility study. We want to run away from the previous practice where contracts were awarded on the basis of conceptual design.

“This time around, we are coming with the engineering design and the bill of quantities before we go to tender.”

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LAGBUS inducts 40 female bus captains http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/13/lagbus-inducts-40-female-bus-captains/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/13/lagbus-inducts-40-female-bus-captains/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 07:53:15 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219501 LAGBUS female captains inductees

LAGBUS female captains inductees

No fewer than 40 females were on Wednesday inducted as bus captain trainees of the LAGBUS Female Captains Training Scheme.

The Managing Director of LAGBUS, Mr Babatunde Disu, said this during an induction ceremony for would-be drivers in Lagos.

NAN reports that 80 female trainees were shortlisted from 300 applicants that indicated interest to participate in the training.

NAN reports that the training exercise would cover between four to five months. “We recognise the fact that driving in Lagos is not easy but you are ground-breakers in that we are starting you from the scratch without driving experience.

“The idea of doing this is to get more women involved in driving the buses. When women drive, they are more careful; they are more committed in their working; and the way the passengers react is different because a woman is involved.

“Being a woman generally, they tend to take better care of people. So you would see a better service operator and that basically, is what we want to achieve,” Disu said.

He said that though the company already had three qualified women adding, it was the first time the company would embark on a drivers’ training scheme for female bus captains.

“We would train them to the best of our ability but what we would want to see at the end of it is a more caring service provider that LAGBUS would be.

“We would teach you how to drive; from the van and then get on to the bus for you to qualify to be able to drive a bus in Lagos,” he said.

Disu expressed the management’s confidence in the ability of the female trainees, adding that successful trainees would be granted employment.

Earlier, Mr Adebola Adesanya, Human Resource Manager of LAGBUS, said the scheme was aimed at injecting well-trained and professional captains into the operations.

A trainee, Mrs Caroline Ekeledo, told NAN that she was excited to have been shortlisted for the scheme.

“I became motivated when I saw females driving the Lagos State waste vans and since then I had wanted to be in their shoes.

“I have no experience in driving and I feel I will make it. So, I am glad I now have the opportunity after my husband had enrolled me,” Ekeledo said.

Another trainee, Mrs Modupe Mohammed, who studied Accountancy in a polytechnic, said being married with children would not be a distraction.

“I am married with four kids and I have stopped having children. My last child is in S.S.1 and is in a boarding school.

“So, nothing will stop me from going forward in this career. I encourage other women to come into it. It’s a lovely idea to give women an opportunity to build a career in the transport industry,” Mohammed said.

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Emirates slashes fare to reward Nigerian customers http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/emirates-slashes-fare-prices-to-reward-nigerian-customers/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/emirates-slashes-fare-prices-to-reward-nigerian-customers/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:27:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219384 Emirates

As the holidays kick in, Emirates Airline, one of the world leading carriers and a global connector of people and places is offering its customers in Nigeria the opportunity to see more of the world at reduced fares for a limited period only.

Available on selected return Economy Class and Business Class tickets to numerous destinations across the GCC, Far East, Europe, Canada and the Indian Sub-Continent, the sale is valid for booking until November 18th. To avail of this offer, outbound travel must commence on or before 15th December 2014.

Fares start from as low as N134,800 in Economy Class to (Dubai); N167,152 to Munbai and from N182,991 to Guangzhou. Business Class passengers can enjoy fares starting from N671,810 to Hong Kong and N557,567 to London.

Some other exciting destinations covered in this offer include Delhi, New York, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Johannesburg, Chicago, Kolkata among others. All fares are inclusive of taxes and fuel surcharge.

On-board, customers will enjoy specially created regional menus and a wide range of movies, TV programmes, games and music through ice, Emirates’ multi-award winning in-flight entertainment system, while being served by Emirates’ multi-lingual cabin crew from over 160 countries around the world.

Emirates’ Travelers can enjoy a raft of rewards by joining the award-winning frequent flyer programme, Skywards. The programme offers four tiers of membership – Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum – with each tier providing exclusive privileges.

Members earn Skywards miles whenever they fly on Emirates and partner airlines, or when they use the programme’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners. Skywards Miles can be redeemed for an amazing range of flight, leisure and lifestyle rewards.

Launched in 2000, Emirates Skywards continues to attract new members extending its membership base to over 10 million members worldwide. For more information visit: www.emirates.com

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Eastern railway line to commence operation soon – Bamanga Tukur http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/eastern-railway-line-to-commence-operation-soon-bamanga-tukur/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/11/11/eastern-railway-line-to-commence-operation-soon-bamanga-tukur/#comments Tue, 11 Nov 2014 08:19:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=219285 Bamanga Tukur

Bamanga Tukur

The Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has said that train services in the Eastern Railway District will commence before the end of the year.

Tukur made the announcement in Enugu on Monday while inspecting ongoing projects on the Port Harcourt-Enugu railway.

The board chairman expressed satisfaction with the work so far done, hoping that train services might commence before the end of the year.

“I believe with what I saw on ground, train services may commence before the end of this year so that Nigerians will begin to enjoy what we used to have before now.

“Our railway has come alive again; the Bridge No.15 which nature brought down has been rehabilitated.

“It is a thing of joy that the transformation agenda of the president through the SURE-P, all the railway projects abandoned for years have been brought back to life with the help of the programme,” he said.

On the welfare of railway workers, the chairman said he would engage the National Salaries and Wages Commission to see how to improve their remuneration.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Adesiyi Sijuwade, said that all hands were on deck to ensure that train services from Port Harcourt to Makurdi commenced by December.

“Train services from Port Harcourt, particularly Port Harcourt mass transit, starting from Diobu, Elewon, Trans-Amadi to Imo River would be running on daily basis when completed.

“Ultimately, train will then start moving to Umuahia, Aba and Enugu. Our intention is also to have the services to Gombe and when the insurgency stops, it would be extended to Maiduguri,” he said.

In his address of welcome, the Railway District Manager, Mr Donatus Ogbodo, said the Eastern District lines covered a distance of 310 kilometers linking four states of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia and Rivers.

He said the rehabilitation of the line commenced in January 2012 following the award of contract for the collapsed Bridge No. 15 at Nyaba, Awkunanaw in Enugu South Local Government Area by the Federal Government.

Ogbodo said the rehabilitation had progressed steadily, adding that normal passenger train services would soon resume in the district.

According to him, the district has successfully completed the rehabilitation of eight coaches which are the first batch of coaches to be rehabilitated for operation in the district.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Railway Workers in the district, Mr Orji Kalu, urged the chairman to look into the welfare of workers, including the upgrade of their salaries and pension deductions.

He stressed the need for training and retraining of the workers, pointing out that virtually all the departments were left with one or no staff due to retirement of old workers.

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Ogun to Purchase Another 500 Metro Taxis http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/29/ogun-to-purchase-another-500-metro-taxis/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/29/ogun-to-purchase-another-500-metro-taxis/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:23:19 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=217788 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State

Given the level of cooperation and understanding from the transaction of the Metro taxis distributed to some people and organisations across Ogun state last year, the state government has concluded plans to purchase another round of 500 which will also be given out to alleviate transportation problem in the state.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun stated this on Tuesday while addressing people at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta where the interactive session on the preparation of the 2015 budget planning was held.

The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to provision of infrastructural amenities to the good people of the state which according to him enshrined in his administration five cardinal programmes.

It would be recalled that this administration had towards the end of last year bought and distributed about 150 Metro Taxis to people and organisations in the state at very low and moderate prizes. The recipient in turn pay back to the bank on a weekly basis.

“When we started this project, many people said it would not work, some of the transporters were even worried on how we would sail through. With God on our side, we bought the first batch of about 150 Metro Taxis through the support of a bank and it was distributed to many people in the state with the support of the transport union groups in the state. We gave them out at a very reasonable price and we took a lesser percentage while the transport groups that will be managing them were given the larger percentages to enable them effectively handle the taxis.

“The report I have been getting about the exercise has been impressive. I was told that those that got the taxis have been cooperating that they always bring forth their repayment as at and when due. As at this morning, I was informed that with what they have repaid back, we can conveniently buy another 200 taxis for distribution, but we will try to purchase 500 cars and that will also be distributed the way the first was distributed.

“Our roads are now in new conditions that will assist the life span of the vehicles and as well provide job opportunities for some people as well. What we only need from the people is your mutual cooperation and prayers as we will never renege on all our promises to the good people of the state,” Amosun promised.

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UNILORIN to embark on railroad project – VC http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/20/unilorin-to-embark-on-railroad-project-vc/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/20/unilorin-to-embark-on-railroad-project-vc/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:39:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216814 Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin on Monday said the institution would continue to source for fund to embark on its railroad project.

Ambali made the disclosure at a news briefing organised to mark the commencement of the 30th Convocation of the University in Ilorin.

“The transportation agenda of the institution which includes construction of a railroad track from the university to other communities is on the pipeline”.

He said that transportation was a challenge, which the university was ready to address, adding that a bus was recently donated to the institution.

The VC reiterated the position of the university to ensure best practices in its programmes and among students as well as staff of the institution.

File Photo: Moving train in Lagos

File Photo: Moving train in Lagos

Ambali said that the university was in need of funding to realise its dreams, adding that it would soon establish a virology laboratory to handle dangerous and communicable diseases such as Ebola.

Speaking on the recent national award he received, the VC said that this was due to the synergy of the collective energy of the council, senate, management, staff and students of the institution.

He said that the university was emerging as a mega-institution where several programmes were offered in response to the higher educational needs of the 21st century.

He revealed that the total number of graduating students in the university were 6,328 with 5,438 and 890 for first degrees and higher degree diploma, respectively.

He said that 48 had first class, 1,190 second class upper division and 2,814 second class lower division, among others.

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NUPENG Strike: Rivers residents, commuters groan over fuel scarcity http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/nupeng-strike-rivers-residents-commuters-groan-over-fuel-scarcity/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/nupeng-strike-rivers-residents-commuters-groan-over-fuel-scarcity/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:09:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215230 Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Heavy duty truck that fell due to a bad portion of Eleme-Onne road

Heavy duty truck that fell due to a bad portion of Eleme-Onne road

Commuters and business owners are now going through tough times in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, following the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural gas (NUPENG), Petroleum Tanker Divers (PTD) Port Harcourt Unit.

The union commenced its strike Thursday last week in protest against the deplorable condition of the Port Harcourt Eleme-Onne federal road that is the only access road to the refineries and petrol tank farms near the state

A make over of the road was done by Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, last year when the wife of the president, Mrs Patience Jonathan, buried her step mother in Okrika, her hometown, to allow easy passage for important dignitaries who attended the burial ceremony.

Tanker drivers blocked the refinery, depots and private tank farms in the state, making it impossible for dealers to buy from them.

The strike however has caused artificial scarcity and long queues in the few filling stations that have the products.

PM News which was at various petrol stations as early as 5:30 a.m. today found out that a litre of DPK now goes for N140 while a litre of petrol goes for N120 as against the usual N97.

Calamity: Another truck gives way on Eleme-Onne Ogoni road

Calamity: Another truck gives way on Eleme-Onne Ogoni road

Some drivers who spoke to our correspondent on their frustrations lamented that the products are not available at filling stations, noting that, the few stations selling petrol have long queues.

Cletus Nwato said the stations have begun to hoard the products preferring to sell to the black markets for higher profit.

Meanwhile, a tanker driver, Molekwu Obinna, recounted how a colleague lost 33,000 liters of fuel valued at N3.9 million on the road when his tanker fell and the products spilled off.

“On daily basis, our trucks get damaged”, he said, adding that, on more than one occasion, both products and vehicle go in flames as a result of the bad road”.

The Chairman of NUPENG, Port Harcourt, Godwin Eruba, said that the situation would remain as long as the Eleme-Onne road remains in such poor condition.

He said that the strike is also for the safety of both the tanker drivers and other road users because when a loaded tanker falls it spills it highly inflammable content causes losing of lives and property.

It would be recalled that the union, a fortnight ago, threatened to declare industrial action if Federal Government does not fix the bad road.

In a similar view, the youths of Eleme, in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers state also threatened few days ago that they would block entrance of the federal government owned Oil and Gas free zone.

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FG approves N1.1bn for purchase of locomotives http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/fg-approves-n1-1bn-for-purchase-of-locomotives/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/fg-approves-n1-1bn-for-purchase-of-locomotives/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:22:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215218 Senator Idris Umar, Transport Minister

Senator Idris Umar, Transport Minister

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a N1.1 billion contract for the purchase of two modern locomotives for the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line now under construction.

The Minister of Transport, Mr Idris Umar, said this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Umar said that the contract was awarded to CNR Darling Locomotives and Rolling Stock Company Limited and CCECC Nigeria Ltd. with a delivery period of 10 months.

“The two locomotives are to be used for mass transit services on the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“The scope of work includes the design and manufacturing of two number diesel electric locomotives with a capacity of 2,800 kilowatts for standard gauge tracks;

“Training of 30 personnel of the Nigerian Railway Corporation on operation and maintenance of the locomotives.

“Commissioning and test running in Nigeria, as well as one year maintenance and technical support with two resident technicians.

“As you are fully aware, government is committed to the revival of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, and as I speak to you today, we are working assiduously to see to the completion of the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge line.

“This is the first batch of the rolling stock that we are acquiring, specifically the locomotives, to be used for the transportation of passengers and indeed freight from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa”.

The minister said that the Federal Government would place orders for more locomotives in 2015 as part of efforts to modernise the country’s rail transport system.

He said that the government was also working hard to complete the ongoing rehabilitation of the narrow gauge line in order to have a complementary rail transport service in the country.

According to him, the overall objective is to eventually dedicate the standard gauge line to the transportation of goods.

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Ebola screening for ships’ at Apapa port http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/ebola-screening-for-ships-at-apapa-port/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/ebola-screening-for-ships-at-apapa-port/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:52:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213989 Sand is unloaded from the vast hold of the  MV Pintail cargo ship into waiting trucks at Apapa port

Sand is unloaded from the vast hold of the MV Pintail cargo ship into waiting trucks at Apapa port

Sand is unloaded from the vast hold of the Pintail cargo ship into waiting trucks at the port of Apapa in Nigeria’s financial capital, Lagos.

But on board, port health officials are keen to stop the crew bringing anything else into Nigeria, especially the Ebola virus, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives this year in West Africa.

In a cabin on board the 56,880 tonne vessel, which arrived in Lagos on Sunday, the 19-strong crew are undergoing daily temperature checks until they eventually weigh anchor.

Twenty people have contracted Ebola in Nigeria and eight have died, according to the World Health Organization.

But with no case since September 8 and no one under surveillance, officials are keen to keep it that way.

“This (the screening) is important because we still have an outbreak (of Ebola) in other parts of the (West Africa) sub-region,” Alex Okoh, director of point of entry health services in Lagos, told AFP.

Health officials takes the body temperature of an Ukrainian sailor on the MV Pintail ship

Health officials takes the body temperature of an Ukrainian sailor on the MV Pintail ship

“Whatever their route is, we want to ensure that the crew is safe.”

Screening — part of wider checks at all entry and exit points in Nigeria — is no small task at the sprawling port, which is west Africa’s busiest.

Apapa has 33 berths capable of accommodating three ships each and anywhere from 50 to 70 or more ships are docked at one time every day.

Port health officials, wearing protective masks and latex gloves, get crews to fill out health forms: last port of call, next port of call, plus the names and details of everyone on board.


Daily temperature readings are also recorded, allowing ship owners easy access to information, particularly if the vessels make stops along the west African coast, including in Ebola-affected nations.

Port authorities in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, which have been worst-hit by Ebola, as well as Senegal are conducting similar screening programmes, a spokeswoman for the UN health body said.

“The health of the crew is very important. It’s a priority. It’s good modern practice,” said Ruslan Rosenko, the Ukrainian master of the Cyprus-flagged bulk carrier.

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Funding, militancy, delay completion of East-West Road http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/funding-militancy-delay-completion-of-east-west-road/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/funding-militancy-delay-completion-of-east-west-road/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 17:17:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213795 Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Architect Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works

Architect Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works

C‎hallenges ranging from unpaid mobilisation fee, youth militancy and difficult terrain have been cited as among reasons delaying completion of the East-West Road.

The Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememen, who disclosed on this on Sunday during an interactive session with journalists in Benin, explained that the project was beset with a lot of challenges.

He said when the road contract was awarded, mobilisation was not paid to the contracting firm to enable it move to site until 2008, but that the funding challenge has been resolved by the Jonathan administration.

Architect Onolememen however announced that the road construction has reached 85 per cent completion, assuring that it would be completed this year.

He said in 2010, only about 4,000 km of roads out of 35,000 km of roads owned by the Federal Government were in good condition, but that the government in the last three years, has built 25,000 km of roads made up of 62 road projects across the country.

According to the Minister, the South-South like other parts of the country, has benefited from the President Jonathan’s transformation agenda maximally. He listed some of the projects his administration attracted to the area to include power stations, rail lines, Maritime University, Institute of Construction Technology and Oil and Gas Institute, among others.

While saying that Jonathan’s approach to governance has motivated ministers to perform beyond their expectations, Architect Onolememen explained that it was because of his good performance that the PDP party organs decided to give him the right of first refusal in a bid to re-elect him to enable him complete most of the projects he has initiated.

On whether he would join the Edo state governorship race in 2016, the minister said his focus was on delivering on his mandate, adding that, “it will be madness to start talking about governorship when you don’t know what would happen tomorrow. 2016 is in the hands of God.”

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