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Third Mainland Bridge closure: Lagos assures road users of minimal pain

Sanwo-Olu appealed to Lagosians to exercise patience and bear the discomfort that will be experienced.

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FG discloses measures, diversion points for traffic during closure of Third Mainland Bridge, FG, Lagos to begin works on alternative routes

The Lagos State government has assured road users in the state of minimal inconveniences following the partial close down of the third mainland bridge for 6 months.

This assurance was given by the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday, July 23, while receiving the new Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Lagos, Olusegun Ogungbemile, who was on a courtesy call to the Governor.

The Lagos FRSC boss came in company of the Lagos Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr Adeyinka Ayinla.

The Governor appealed to Lagosians to exercise patience and bear the discomfort that will be experienced from the six-month partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge, which starts Friday (tomorrow) evening.

READ ALSO: FG hints international flight operations may resume before October

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The Governor said the closure of the 11.8km bridge, the busiest in the State, was inevitable, following physical deterioration observed on the structure after an integrity test conducted by the Federal Government.

Sanwo-Olu, while admitting that the closure of the bridge will bring about pain, however, said the development was necessary to prevent disaster that may result from the total collapse of the infrastructure.

He promised that men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would constantly be on the road with their Federal counterparts to ensure seamless movement of vehicles during the period.

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READ ALSO: Fourth Mainland Bridge to begin before December

Sanwo-Olu revealed that the State Government had carried out improvement work on alternative routes mapped out for diversions, while observing that vehicular movements on the Third Mainland Bridge would be disrupted by 25% of its regular traffic.

He said: “The partial closure of Third Mainland Bridge is not something that everybody should worry about, because this is an exercise that had been done before. For emphasis, the traffic disruption is only about 25 per cent of the regular traffic on the bridge. The 75 per cent of vehicles that normally ply the route will still have access to move on the bridge during the period of repair.

“We have furnished and improved the design of the alternative routes, and we are still working on other arterial routes so that our people can have seamless journey times to and from their places of work. So, there is nothing commuters should worry about in this period. We will ensure the repair work on Third Mainland Bridge does not overburden them. We will be deploying over 650 LASTMA officers on the road to control the traffic.”

The Governor said that during the period of the partial closure, a lane of the bridge would be opened to traffic for vehicles driving inward Lagos Island in the morning, while other lanes would be shut. The reverse would be done for vehicle driving inward Mainland in the afternoon, while others will be shut.

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READ MORE: Border Closure will save Nigeria over N144 billion revenue loss – RIPAN  

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To further ease the traffic gridlocks and inconvenience that may be experienced by commuters, Sanwo-Olu said the State had strengthened the State-owned Lagos Ferry Service (LAGFERRY) by doubling its capacity for mass movement, thereby giving the residents an alternative through water transportation.

He said: “We are also urging the commuters to explore the option of waterways in their journey. The jetty built in Ilaje area of Bariga has been activated and we are deploying more speedboats to raise the capacity of our ferry service. This is to ensure that many people are not on road at the same time.”

Sanwo-Olu welcomed the FRSC Sector Commander to Lagos, assuring him of the State Government’s readiness to work with the federal safety agency.

While responding, Ogungbemide said the FRSC played prominent roles in the smooth running of Lagos security architecture, pleading with the Governor to integrate the agency into the State’s Security Council.

READ: Lagos seals off 42 more buildings in Lekki over building collapse

The FRSC boss assured Lagos residents of his readiness to engage activities that would give road users a pleasant experience. He said 250 FRSC operatives would be deployed to work with LASTMA to maintain traffic on Third Mainland Bridge and alternative routes.

The complete repair work on the bridge is expected to take two years, out of which the carriageway will be closed to vehicles for six months.

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READ: Senate says agreement with Azura power plant is a drain on nation’s resources

Nairametrics had reported the plans by the Federal Government to shut down the third mainland bridge for maintenance work from July 24. For a period of 6 months. This follows reports of some worn-out joints of the bridge which has raised some serious safety concerns for the users of the bridge.

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The Lagos State in collaboration with the Federal Government later announced the alternative routes mapped out for road users after repair works on some of them.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Coronavirus

#EndSARS: FG expects increase in Covid-19 cases in the next 2 weeks

FG has warned that the ongoing #EndSARS protest may spark up a second wave of coronavirus.

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FG approves reopening of NYSC camps, extends tenure of PTF on COVID-19, FG commences process of resumption of international flight operations in weeks, COVID-19: Reactions trail FG travel ban on 13 countries

The Federal Government has warned that Nigerians should expect an increase in the number of coronavirus cases across the country in the next 2 weeks.

This is due to the total disregard of the preventive measures against the virus during the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protest which has been witnessing huge gatherings.

This disclosure was made by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the national briefing of the task force in Abuja on Monday, October 20, 2020.

He said despite the appreciable success recorded so far in the fight against COVID-19, the ongoing protest may spark up a second wave of the virus.

Mustapha said, “I can say it authoritatively that with the ongoing protest across the country, in the next two weeks the cases of COVID-19 would have increased. Each and everyone that attended the protest and did not put up any form of protection is likely going to spread the virus. When people contract the virus during the protest gathering, they will go back home and spread it.

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“This is one of the reasons why we must be extremely careful when we congregate because when you gather together in such an atmosphere where people don’t wear face masks or maintain the social distance you are creating a potential opportunity for carriers to spread the virus.

“So far we have done pretty well as a country but this protest is like a setback and we must avoid a situation where we will have a resurgence. Countries that thought they have overcome are dealing with the second wave. We are extremely lucky as a nation and we should be careful of any situation that can warrant the second wave.”

He said any mass gathering that does not adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions that have been put in place, like wearing of face masks, social distancing, and keeping personal hygiene, becomes a super spreader event.

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What it means: With the expected spike in the number of Covid-19 cases due to these protests across the country, Nigeria runs the risk of having a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak which had before now been on a decline. This could lead to the resumption of lockdown measures by the government, in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 19th of October 2020, 118 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,558 confirmed cases.

On the 19th of October 2020, 118 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 11,794 samples across the country.

To date, 61,558 cases have been confirmed, 56,697 cases have been discharged and 1125 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 590,635 tests have been carried out as of October 19th, 2020 compared to 578,841 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 19th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 61,558
  • Total Number Discharged – 56,697
  • Total Deaths – 1,1125
  • Total Tests Carried out – 590,635

According to the NCDC, The 118 new cases are reported from 10 states – Lagos (51), Rivers (26), Imo (12), Osun (8), Plateau (6), FCT (5), Kaduna (4), Ogun (3), Edo (2), Niger (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,696, followed by Abuja (5,923), Plateau (3,587), Oyo (3,415), Rivers (2,735), Edo (2,645), Kaduna (2,532), Ogun (1,983), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,657), Enugu (1,313),  Kwara (1,050), Ebonyi (1,049), Osun (916), Katsina (904), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 610 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (275), Niger (274), Adamawa (248), Sokoto (162), Taraba (117), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara and Yobe (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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Energy

Nigerian firm set to raise $1.2 billion to purchase electricity meters

MAPCo plans to raise N480 billion to purchase electricity meters and to help the DISCOs plug revenue gaps in their operations.

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), National electricity grid collapses again, as NUEE suspends strike action , FG to increase electricity tariffs in order to improve power supply, Power: Liquidity crisis-same old story in 2020?, GenCos urges NBET to pay up N1 trillion debt, Electricity Tariff: FG, electricity stakeholders to work on equitable rate , Power: NERC applies "brakes" on hike in tariffs, NERC to sanction 7 DisCos over uncapped estimated billing

A Nigerian firm, Meter Assets Finance and Management Company (MAPCo), has concluded plans to raise N480 billion ($1.2 billion) over the next 3 years, to purchase electricity meters and help the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) plug revenue gaps in their operations.

This is also in line with the Federal Government’s initiative to ensure that all electricity consumers are metered, which will put an end to estimated billing by the DISCOs.

According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, less than one-tenth of Nigeria’s 41 million households have their electricity consumption metered, and half of those are faulty. As a result, distribution companies have to estimate bills, resulting in constant conflict with the consumers that delay payments.

The Chief Executive Officer of New Hampshire Capital, Onion Omonforma, said the Meter Assets Finance and Management Co. hopes to end the practice of estimated billings by raising funds to purchase and supply meters to consumers.

New Hampshire Capital, FBNQuest and Kairos Investments Africa are helping to package and structure the venture, known as MAPCo, for investors to either buy equity or inject debt into the company.

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What they are saying

Omonformaa said, “The electricity distribution firms will then have the money to go back and buy more meters and the cycle continues, paving the way to close the metering gap. MAPCo will collect the cost of the meters from consumers at a premium over the next 10 years. The meters will be handed over to the power-distribution companies once paid off.’’

While disclosing that MAPCo plans to issue a N100 billion bond in the next year, Omonforma also pointed out that roadshows have been planned for the U.S. and Europe, and will include local institutional investors.

He said, “We envisage that a lot of people who are looking for a long-term instrument will key into it,”

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It can be recalled that apart from repealing the estimated billing methodology in determining tariffs for electricity consumers; the Federal Government had insisted that all consumers must be metered, as part of the condition for a tariff increase.

Also, as part of the agreement reached with the organized labor in respect of the tariff increase; the Federal Government disclosed that the National Mass Metering Programme will be accelerated, with the distribution of 6 million meters to Nigerians for free.

What this means

A huge number of electricity consumers across the 36 states and the FCT are still unmetered by their respective DISCOs. This initiative by MAPCo will help bridge the existing gap, with more electricity consumers acquiring a prepaid meter and doing away with the controversial estimated billing.

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