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UPDATE: Massive explosion rocks FESTAC area of Lagos

There was a pipeline explosion in the #FESTAC area of Lagos State earlier this morning. According to eyewitness reports, many residents were awakened from sleep by the loud explosion.

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Gas tanker explodes in Lagos, Abule-Egba pipeline explosion: NNPC reacts, as over 45,000 incidents recorded in 18 years 

There was a massive explosion/implosion in the FESTAC area of Lagos State earlier this morning.

According to eyewitness reports, many residents were awakened from sleep by the unfortunate incident.

Some of them even scampered after hearing the loud explosion, out of fear that it was a bomb blast.

Videos on Twitter show thick black smoke billowing from the scene of the accident. This is the second major pipeline explosion that has rocked Lagos since the beginning of 2020.

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Nairametrics understands that there were were some casualties. An unspecified number of people are either dead or severely injured.

Many houses and cars were also damaged by the blast. On Twitter, eyewitnesses have shared images and videos showing the aftermath of the explosion/implosion, including this one by Mayowa Olagunju:

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READ ALSO: NNPC reacts to Lagos pipeline explosion

What exactly happened?

According to eyewitnesses, there was a loud explosion at about 8:45 am Sunday morning. The explosion happened around  Bethlehem Girls College in the Abule Ado part of Festac Extension, in Amuwo Odofin.

The school had some boarding students within its premises as at the time of the explosion. Unfortunately, there are strong indications that many of the casualties were recorded in the school.

The Chairman of Amuwo Odofin LGA, Valentine Buraimo, told Channels TV that some of the students were “trapped” and that efforts were underway to rescue them.

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Videos on Twitter also show some of the students running for safety, away from the school. Some men within the vicinity of the school mobilised and went about the rescue mission, long before any intervention from official emergency responders.

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Note a pipeline explosion?

Although initial reports suggested that this morning’s tragedy was caused by a pipeline explosion, the official account seems to suggest otherwise.

Nairametrics had earlier quoted Channels TV which reported that the explosion happened after a tipper caught fire near a pipeline while offloading a load of sand. The fire had reportedly spread to the pipeline, thereby triggering the explosion, according to the initial report.

However, a statement statement thatt was issued via Facebook by the Lagos State Fire Service, described the incident as an implosion. The brief statement said:

“Implosion in Lagos: Lagos State Fire Service is assuring the general public that the implosion is not connected with Pipeline but buildings on Fire in Ado Soba, Abule Ado, Amuwo Odofin & the situation is under control.”

A spokesman of the Lagos State Fire Service was later quoted quoted by Vanguard as saying that the explosion was not connected to a pipeline. He said:

“The effect was massive as people are currently trapped in the inferno which cause is yet to be determined. But I can tell you, it is connected with NNPC pipeline.

“Though, right now we have contacted authorities of NNPC to shut down supply through the nearby pipeline in the area which they obliged immediately in order to reduce possible incidents of carnage.

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‘We gave mobilized our men in collaboration with other emergency responders to site in order to rescue lives as well as salvage properties.”

Recall that on January 18th, 2020, a pipeline exploded around Ekoro area, in Abule-Egba, Lagos. At least, three people lost their lives, even as several houses and vehicles were damaged.

As Nairametrics reported, the pipeline  exploded exploded after some vandals allegedly ruptured it in a bid to scoop fuel.


NOTE: This article has been updated in order to reflect new findings regarding the explosion that happened earlier today.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs. He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor. Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan. If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Geoglitz

    March 15, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    God Help us in this country… I thought Naira decreased in value recently because of oil?

    • Anonymous

      March 15, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      So how does dat affect the explosion

  2. wyz

    March 15, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    God! Everywhere problem.. After fighting Coronavirus, this what comes up… God will protect us las las.. This is hard to take for the affected

  3. Etumadu Emmanuel

    March 15, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Comment:the explosion affected ijeododo and we are afraid if it may affect our electricity because it came from there.

  4. Anonymous

    March 22, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    That was a bomb blast tho ant a pipeline explosion

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Hospitality & Travel

US imposes $15,000 visa bond on 15 African countries, others

The US has issued a visa rule requiring tourist and business travelers in some countries to pay a bond of up to $15,000 in addition to the visa fees.

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Berger Paints' improved margins ride on the back of cost efficiency

The outgoing administration of US President, Donald Trump, on Monday, November 23, 2020, issued a new temporary visa rule that requires tourist and business travelers from 15 African countries and others to pay a bond of up to $15,000 in addition to the visa fees, which ranges from $16 to $300, in order to visit the United States.

According to TheCable, the US State Department said the visa bond pilot programme, expected to take effect from December 24 and end on June 24, 2021, is targeted at countries whose citizens have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travelers.

The Trump administration said the six-month pilot program aims to test the feasibility of collecting such bonds and will serve as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas. Hence, overstay places significant pressure on Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

The visa bond rule will permit U.S. consular officers to request tourist and business travelers from countries whose nationals had an overstay rate of 10% and above in 2019 to pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000.

The countries whose tourist and business travelers fall into this category and subjected to the bond requirements are 24 countries, including 15 African countries. While these nations had higher rates of overstays, they sent relatively fewer travelers to the United States.

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The countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen,

Nigerian travelers escaped paying the temporary visa rule, as their overall score was below the threshold of 10% and above overstaying rate.

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Economy & Politics

Senate approves issuance of N148bn promissory notes to Bayelsa, 4 others

Promissory notes worth N148,141,969,161.24 has been approved by the Senate as refund to Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun and Rivers States

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Senate approves issuance of promissory notes worth N148 billion as a refund to five states

Promissory notes worth N148.141billion have been approved by the Senate as a refund to Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun, and Rivers States for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

The approval which was given by the Senate at the plenary on Tuesday, 24th November 2020, came after the presentation of a report by the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, led by Senator Ordia Clifford (PDP-Edo).

According to a news report by NAN, this is a go-ahead to the Federal Government, who had sought the approval of the Senate for issuance of promissory notes for a refund on federal projects executed by State governments.

The request was contained in a letter addressed to President of Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan by President Muhammadu Buhari, and read at plenary. The Senate referred the matter to the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for further legislative input.

(READ MORE: FG inaugurates steering committee on Covid-19 economic recovery)

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Senator Ordia Clifford, while presenting the report of the committee, said the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Commissioners of Finance and Works in the five states, had briefed the committee on details of the projects.

He said the Committee was presented with documents relating to the approvals of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for the execution of the projects and certificates of completion, amongst other documents.

At the plenary today, Senator Ordia moved the motion that the Senate approves the Committee’s recommendations by approving the issuance of the promissory notes to the State governments.

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According to him, the amount due to the five states is N148.14billion.

  • Bayelsa was allotted N38.40billion
  • Cross River was allotted N18.39billion
  • Ondo was allotted N7.82billion
  • Osun was allotted N4.57billion
  • Rivers was allotted N78.95billion

What they are saying

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, disclosed that records showed PDP states had the highest refund, he said: “If you look at the list of states, only two are APC states and they have the least in terms of refund, this is fantastic and a mark of leadership by the Federal Government. This shows tolerance and leadership by this administration.”

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Business News

Interswitch Group becomes Finastra’s lead technology partner in Nigeria

nterswitch Group has unveiled a consolidated partnership with Finastra, one of the world’s most influential Fintechs.

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Interswitch Group becomes Finastra’s Lead technology partner in Nigeria

In a bid to further develop its market and expand, Interswitch Group has unveiled a consolidated partnership with Finastra, one of the world’s most influential Fintechs.

This is according to a verified post by Interswitch Group on Linkedin, as seen by Nairametrics.

What this means

The strategic partnership enables Interswitch to become Finastra’s lead technology partner and will avail the latter the opportunity to bring the broadest set of financial software solutions to financial institutions in Nigeria and across Africa, in conjunction with Interswitch’s strong understanding of the local banking and payments landscape, as well as the ability to deploy solutions across these markets.

Some of Finastra’s financial software solutions that will be incorporated into Interswitch’s digital solution include: Fusion Kondor and Fusion Trade Innovation, which will consolidate Interswitch’s position as a hub for financial solutions, including treasury and trade solutions.

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(READ MORE: 5 Nigerian startups selected to join 7 others at the Africa Tech Summit Connects (ATS))

What they are saying

Commenting on the partnership, the Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe, was quoted by Tech economy saying:Our partnership with Finastra is consistent with our strategic growth plan and we both share the vision of deepening access to financial services by providing world-class technology and innovative solutions.

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“The partnership enables Finastra to seamlessly deploy its technology in this market. For Interswitch, we will be leveraging our proven success and expertise in delivering transaction banking solutions to support Finastra in localizing and implementing their technology in this region.’’

On the other hand, the Head of Partner Ecosystem MEA & CIS at Finastra, Hamid Nirouzad, said: “Interswitch has a proven track record of delivering solutions to commercial banks, as well as, a strong understanding of the local banking landscape across Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Finastra is committed to providing its solutions to financial institutions across the world, and partnerships such as this will result in successful projects, with rapid delivery at a reasonable cost.”

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