P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Transportation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:57:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 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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Abuja light rail to be completed Oct. 2015 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/abuja-light-rail-to-be-completed-oct-2015/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/abuja-light-rail-to-be-completed-oct-2015/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 19:34:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213281 Nigeria rail project

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Bala Mohammed, has said that the ongoing Abuja Light Rail project traversing the Central Business District to Kubwa will be completed by October 2015.

Mohammed disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday during the signing of Memoranda of Understand (MoU) with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on the Addendum II of the rail project.

According to him, the Addendum II consists of final design and construction of Lot 1B of the Abuja Light Rail Project.

The minister said it was expected to take care of Garki I District, Wuse I and II districts, Utako and some districts in Phases II and III of the city.

“The ongoing Lots IA and 3 will cover a distance of 45.245km, while Lot 1B whose MoU was signed is about 31km, crisscrossing the FCT.”

Mohammed said the Lot 1B was expected to cost 792 million dollars. “The process has not been completed because it has to go to the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) for vetting as well as the Federal Executive Council.”

FCT Transportation Secretary, Mr Jonathan Ivoke, said the project was very significant to the overall development of the FCT because every modern city needed an effective transportation network.

Also, the Managing Director, CCECC, Mr Cao Baogong, said the company would ensure that the light rail was the best in Africa.

Baogong said the company had executed up to 50 per cent of the phrase one project and promised that it would be ready by October, 2015.

He assured the minister that his company would unfailingly deliver the Lots 1A and 3 of the ongoing rail project by October 2015.

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Jonathan’s priority is railway transformation – Tukur http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/jonathans-priority-is-railway-transformation-tukur/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/jonathans-priority-is-railway-transformation-tukur/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:48:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212232 Bamanga Tukur

Bamanga Tukur

Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chairman, Board of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), has assured Nigerians that transforming railway system was President Goodluk Jonathan’s topmost priority.

Tukur said this in an interview with journalists shortly after inspecting railway facilities during a familiarisation tour to the Railway Northern District in Kaduna on Wednesday.

“President Goodluck Jonathan had intensified efforts toward transforming the railway system to give it a new and dynamic face.

“With the determination of Mr President, board, management and the entire staff we will rebuild an enviable railway system in Nigeria.”

According to him, Nigerians should expect a new, vibrant, dynamic and consistent railway system very soon.

He said revitalising the railway system would facilitate job creation, boost business activities and strengthen bond of relationship among Nigerians.

Addressing railway workers earlier, Tukur charged them to be committed to their duties to complement the tireless efforts of the Federal Government toward rebuilding a new railway system.

On workers’ agitation for salary increase, the chairman promised that the board would look into the possibility of raising their salaries to boost their morale.

Earlier, the Railway District Manager (RDM), Northern District, Mr Akinwale Akintola, said Kaduna junction was symbolic to NRC because it was the hub of many passengers and freight services.

He said the NRC in collaboration with Kaduna State Government was presently running “four single directions daily intra-city train services” under public private partnership arrangement.

“The train cumulatively runs 24 train services per week and 96 trains per month, respectively,” he said.

He said in view of the successful delivery of the existing intra-city services, the “diesel multiple unit” has been proposed to be launched as additional intra-city for a segmented service in the state.

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53 per cent of Abuja Rail project executed – Minister http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/53-per-cent-of-abuja-rail-project-executed-minister/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/53-per-cent-of-abuja-rail-project-executed-minister/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 06:46:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211280 Nigeria rail project

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Bala Mohammed, has said that 53 per cent of work on Lot 1 and Lot 2 of the Abuja Light Rail project has been executed.

Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Obinna Chukwu, the Permanent Secretary in the FCT, made the fact known when he hosted participants of the National Defence College Course 23.

The minister spoke on the topic, “Investing in building a capital city”.

He said the integrated rail system was targeted at bringing thousands of commuters from the satellite towns into the city centre.

He said although contract for the project was awarded in 2007, the actual work began on the site with the procurement of the Chinese loan in 2012.

“The rail network when fully operational will provide full time employment for 20,000 people as the administration has set a benchmark of opening up, at least, 10 new districts by 2015,” Mohammed said.

While highlighting the infrastructure deficit challenge in the territory, the minister said the aggregate infrastructural development in the FCT, which had been funded mostly by government, was about 30 per cent.

He said that the infrastructure and services were over-stretched, adding the FCT was planned with only one million people in mind but its current population had exploded to five million.

“There is an increasing cost on resettlement and compensation which is becoming unwieldy. FCT requires N200 billion to resettle and compensate those living in the Federal Capital City.

“The demographics have shown the need for Abuja as emerging city to address the infrastructural deficit,” Mohammed said.

He listed some of the ongoing projects as the rehabilitation and expansion of Airport Expressway Lot 1 and Lot 2 which had reached 90 per cent and 98 per cent completion respectively.

Others are reconstruction of Lower Usuma Dam-Gurara Dam-Jere Road project was now 93 per cent completed.

He said with some efforts being made by the administration, the housing deficit would be reduced by 20 per cent and cost of leasing by 15 per cent.

Leader of the delegation, Mr Aliyu Lawal, said the 118 participants of the course, including eight foreigners, were on an environmental tour.

“Essence of the visit is to launch us into the environment we are operating.

“The way the course is designed is that we need to give respect to whom it is due. The course is an 11-month course.

“We start with our environment here then we go to other states and other region.

“At the end we will take our stance on environmental issues, especially with regards to the Ebola disease, then we will write our report,” he said.

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Zamfara distributes 200 tricycles to commercial operators http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/zamfara-distributes-200-tricycles-to-commercial-operators/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/zamfara-distributes-200-tricycles-to-commercial-operators/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 05:11:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211267 Keke Marwa

Keke Marwa

The Zamfara State Government on Thursday distributed 200 tricycles to members of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Association and WAZOBIA KEKE NAPEP Association in the state.

The tricycles were distributed by the committee set up by the state governor and chaired by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Sunusi Rikiji, in Gusau.

Speaking at the occasion, Rikiji said the state government decided to provide the machines to the associations because of their vital roles in moving people from one place to the other.

“It is unfortunate that women in the state use motorcycles while moving around; we, therefore, decided to bring a safer alternative and more affordable means of transportation to them.

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State

“The tricycles were provided to members of the associations to support their businesses and provide jobs to the teeming unemployed youths.”

He commended the state government for the gesture and advised beneficiaries against selling the machines.

In their response, the chairmen of the associations, Isma’il Abdullahi, WAZOBIA KEKE NAPEP and Aminu Haido of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Association, thanked the state government for the gesture.

They assured that their members would comply with the agreement reached before approval was given by the state governor to provide the tricycles.

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Cross River to inaugurate Nigeria’s first monorail http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/cross-river-to-inaugurate-nigerias-first-monorail/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/cross-river-to-inaugurate-nigerias-first-monorail/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:07:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211061 Monorail


Ten rail cars expected to power Nigeria’s first operational monorail will be inaugurated in Calabar in March 2015, Mr Bassey Oqua, the Cross River Commissioner for Special Projects, has said.

Oqua told journalists in Calabar on Wednesday that the train would convey passengers between the Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) and Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort.

He said the CICC and Tinapa resort were conceived by the State Government as “landmark tourism development projects in West Africa.

“There are currently three stations; these are located at the CICC, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and the parking lot close to Studio Tinapa and the shopping mall.

“Each of the 10 rail cars is equipped with an automatic sliding door, two-way communication, air-conditioning and large panoramic windows.

“The large windows will give passengers an amazing view of the Calabar River and the surrounding rainforest during the two-minute ride across the lake,” he said.

He said that the monorail, which he said is a thoroughly modern transport system, would be powered by electricity generated by an independent power plant to ensure sustainability.

“In addition, the power plant will serve Summit Hills, a development that consist upscale residential units, an 18-hole championship golf course, specialist hospital, four-star hotel and the CICC.

“By connecting Tinapa to the CICC, the monorail will make it convenient for delegates and organisers staying at the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel to attend conferences at the CICC, in style and with ease.”

The commissioner stated that during their free time, delegates could visit the shopping mall or water park at Tinapa Resort for a much-needed break.

“For very large conferences, the monorail will serve as a quick connection between the CICC and breakout meeting rooms across the lake at Tinapa,” Oqua said.

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Akwa Ibom acquires 14, 900 hectares of land for seaport http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/akwa-ibom-acquires-14-900-hectares-of-land-for-seaport/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/akwa-ibom-acquires-14-900-hectares-of-land-for-seaport/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:06:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209447 Governor Godswill Akpabio

Governor Godswill Akpabio

Akwa Ibom government on Friday said it had acquired 14, 900 hectares of land for the take-off of Ibaka Deep Seaport in Mbo Local Government Area of the state.

The state governor, Godswill Akpabio, made this known in Uyo when the chairman of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Senator Ken Nnamani, visited him.

Akpabio said that the development of the seaport would be done through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), and therefore solicited the involvement of ICRC in the project.

“We have worked really hard to fast-track the emergence of Ibaka Deep Seaport, which has a free trade zone. We have also received a license from the Federal Government for the commencement of the project.

“The Ibaka Deep Seaport would change the matrix of the unemployed in the country; it will attract investors to the state,” he said.

He restated that his administration was committed to building a sustainable economy through infrastructure development in the state.

Akpabio thanked the chairman of ICRC and his team for the presentation made on the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport. He said that their visit had rekindled the hope that the seaport project would be realised through PPP.

He also called on the commission to partner the state government on the construction of dual-carriage way on Uyo-Aba Road, saying that the road would have a toll gate as approved by the Federal Government.

Sen. Nnamani said that the team was in the state to “share current issues in the commission with the state government.”

Nnamani, who is a former President of the Senate, commended Akpabio for promoting the concept of uncommon transformation of the state through infrastructural development.

He noted that the state had had infrastructural development and that the next phase was industrialization. He also said that the governor had laid foundation for investment in the state and assured that the commission would encourage him to do more.

In his presentation, Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Executive Director, Public Private Partnership, ICRC, said that the visit was to discuss how to sustain the infrastructure development in the state.

Izuwah said that the projects executed by Akpabio’s administration needed a framework to be developed for them for sustainability. He assured that ICRC would partner the state government on the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport.

The seaport, according to him, comprised a terminal for containers and cargoes, free trade zone and industrial city. Izuwah said that the seaport was a project for the state, country and the world and that PPP was the appropriate choice for the maintenance of projects in the state.

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FG approves dredging of Calabar channel http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/26/fg-approves-dredging-of-calabar-channel/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/26/fg-approves-dredging-of-calabar-channel/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:36:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208814 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the dredging of Calabar channel to boost the economy of Cross River and the country.

The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, made this known when he received South-South and South-East traditional rulers led by Edmund Daukoru, the Amanyanabo of Nembe, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Umar said the delay in the dredging of Calabar channel had impacted negatively on the economic activities of Cross River and the entire country.

“The delay had also affected the economic fortunes of the area and the entire country. Tinapa Resort, Calabar has been a little bit dormant because of the non-functionality of the channel.

“At last the matter has been concluded and President Goodluck Jonathan has graciously approved that work should commence at the channel.

“The remaining part of the channel that has not been dredged will now be dredged and the Calabar Channel Management Company will take charge of the capital and maintenance,” he said.

The minister thanked the council on the approval granted by the president for the commencement of work at the Calabar channel.

He said the present administration was determined to transform the transport sector, saying that government had revitalised the railway system, which had been out of operation for two decades.

The minister said that the Federal Executive Council had approved development of additional deep seaports which included Lekki, Badagry, Ibaka and Warri seaports, in an effort to improve the maritime sector.

He said the present administration recognised the support and continuous cooperation of the council of traditional rulers.

Earlier, Daukoru commended the Federal Government over the contract, and described the approval of the presidency as gratifying news.

According to the monarch, the economic significant of the award of the contract is enormous.

“The Calabar port is of strategic importance because it links Port Harcourt, Warri and Lagos and any effort made to open up the port will improve the country’s economic growth.

“Any kind of maritime activities in Cross River generally will be of immediate benefit to the entire geo-political zone,” he said.

NAN learnt that the delay was caused by some controversial issues surrounding the award of the dredging contract since 2005.

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