Nigerians are still protesting over cases of assault, illegal arrest, extortion, brutality, and killing of peaceful protesters by members of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu announced on Sunday 11th October 2020 that the group had been scrapped, and announced the setting up of a new outfit known as Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) yesterday, to take over from the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force.
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) October 11, 2020
However, protests have continued in major cities across southern Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory.
During Tuesday’s protests, Nairametrics spoke with protesters in Abuja who disclosed their reasons for continuing the protest. The reasons are police brutality, even after the announcement of the dissolution; general reforms; and mistrust of the FG’s plans post-SARS.
Franklin, an artiste who joined the protest for the first time, wants an end to police brutality and general reforms in the country. He opined that the country is very harsh towards youths.
“We are protesting for them to put an end to police brutality, it’s way beyond just ending SARS. Even after they have announced it, there are several other things we are talking about,” he said.
“There are things that worry Nigerian youths, that need to be addressed. It’s also about changing the country’s structure, we have gone through a lot; yet, we still complain about light. We are calling for an increase in the salaries of the policemen. Help us fix this nation, we have been through a lot,” he further added.
He said that the profiling from SARS, especially on the Creative community has been brutal, and that the shooting of protesters needs to end.
“We are Creatives, not thieves. I have dreads, I am a Creative…we go through a lot for having dreads, the Surulere shootings feels like a war that has been declared against the Nigerian youths. We deserve better!”
Jemine is protesting because Policemen still mete out violence on peaceful protesters, even after the announcement to scrap the unit was announced.
“I feel it’s not true, because there was still violence yesterday. So, if there is still violence, what we are agitating for has not ended,” she said.
“We are not just saying #EndSARS, we are saying stop the arrest, maiming, and killings! Stop harassing us! So, if you say SARS has ended and people are still dying during a peaceful protest, then it’s not over.”
Alex said reported cases of police brutality during the protests is why he is out and agitating for a complete reform of the organization.
“Actually #EndSARS is not over. They said SARS is over; but in Lagos, they killed somebody and still brutalize people. As it stands now, our demands have not been met, we also want the total reform of the Police Force.”
Bobby will only believe the FG is serious about ending SARS, when the Police Chiefs are sacked for the brutal attacks on peaceful protesters.
“Where is the proof? I was there from Friday to Sunday, we got teargased. Till we can confirm it, I personally feel they need to replace the Inspector General and the Minister of Police, maybe then we would stop,” Bobby said.
Despite the announcement of the scrapping of the SARS unit, there are still reported cases of police brutality on peaceful protesters. This is the main reason cited by relentless protesters who have refused to end the protest. They are also using it as an opportunity to call for reforms in the Police force.
Apapa gridlock: Nomalcy has returned to port, link roads – NPA
NPA attributed the development to the take off of its electronic call-up system (ETO).
Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) has said that normalcy has returned to Apapa Port and environs, as years of untold hardship witnessed by road users has become history.
NPA, in a tweet posted on Twitter on Sunday, stated that sanity has returned to Apapa, as the menace created by protracted traffic gridlock has been tackled.
The apex regulator attributed the development to the take-off of its electronic call-up system (ETO). It also had removed trucks that littered the port access roads – Apapa Oshodi Express Way and Western Avenue leading to Ijora.
A resident, Mr. Chukwuma Vincent, said, “If you have been to Apapa in the past you will know what I am talking about. Our businesses went down, property lost value and people were dying.
“We call on NPA to sustain this. I drove through to my house for the first time in many years and I cried. I thought we had no government in Nigeria again. This is worth celebrating and I can only hope it lasts.”
A resident, Mr. Chukwuma Vincent, said, “If you have been to Apapa in the past you will know what I am talking about. Our businesses went down, property lost value and people were dying.”
— Nigerian Ports (@nigerianports) February 28, 2021
What you should know
Apapa had in the past several years defied effort to solve its traffic problem. The efforts, including a presidential task team, were allegedly blighted by corruption.
Earlier in February, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, has given assurances to port users that the irresponsible parking of trucks on the port access roads would soon be a thing of the past, according to Nairametrics.
NPA boss said that the tour of the facility was to ascertain the degree of preparedness of the park for the formal take-off of the e-call up system later in the month.
She said, “The truck electronic call-up system which is being powered by a web application called “Eto”, will put an end to the perennial logjam caused by articulated trucks within the port corridor.
“It is critical we put an end to the intractable Apapa traffic to restore sanity to cargo operations at our ports in Lagos.’’
The NPA boss noted that the web application (Eto) would enthrone transparency and orderliness to truck movement as scheduling was done automatically on a first-come, first-served basis.
Nigerian-Canadian company to start gold export from Nigeria in June 2021
The Nigerian-Canadian company looks set to commence the exportation of gold in June this year.
The Nigerian-Canadian company, mining gold in Nigeria’s Osun State looks set to commence the exportation of gold in June this year.
This is seen as part of the government’s effort towards the diversification of Nigeria’s economy to create employment and earn more foreign exchange in addition to exploiting the country’s potential in the mining sector.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, in Abuja on Sunday, while speaking at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in which he described the Segilola Gold Project as a strategic investment for Nigeria’s economic diversification.
The minister described the company as a poster child and the first foreign investor that was doing genuine and serious business in Nigeria.
Adegbite revealed that the firm was supposed to have started gold exportation in the first quarter of 2021 but that the date was shifted, due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
What the Minister of Mines and Steel is saying
Adegbite stated, “The company will start exporting gold from Nigeria in June.’’
He said that the project is being executed by Segilola Resource Operating Ltd., a licensed operator and Canadian company, located in Iperindo in Osun.
He disclosed that the company which was listed and quoted on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada, the eighth largest exchange in the world by market capitalisation, commanding some 3.1 trillion dollars, is trying to ensure compliance with the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government.
The minister said, “Mining is a bit capital intensive. So, we need to attract serious players, people who can put in the money and then, of course, begin to make money after some investment because it has a gestation period.
“Mining is not like trading where you put in your money today and then realise profit tomorrow. When you do exploration, it can take a year to three years, then you discover the mineral and then start the exploitation before money begins to roll in.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that in August 2020, Adegbite had announced that Nigeria was set to commence gold production with the launch of the Segilola Gold Project in Osun State.
- The take-off of the project would make Nigeria a major gold producing country and hasten the diversification of the economy and reduction of unemployment.
- This is also coming after President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the first batch of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative gold, which is expected to be part of Nigeria’s external reserve after being purchased by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
- According to proven surveys, Nigeria has discovered large quantities of gold in Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, Osun, Kwara, and the FCT.
President Buhari to flag-off Eastern rail corridor on March 2, 2021
President Buhari will perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eastern rail corridor on March 9, 2021.
The Federal Ministry of Transportation has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari will perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eastern rail corridor on March 9, 2021.
The rail project which has generated a lot of debate especially from that region is part of the Buhari-led administration’s railway modernization initiative.
According to a press statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Transportation on February 28, 2021, and signed by its Director for Public Relations, Eric Ojiekwe, the disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, during an inspection tour to all the stations from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Ebute Metta to Ibadan station over the weekend.
Amaechi further disclosed that the President has also approved the redirecting of the Eastern line to 2 new spurs namely; Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and Awka, Anambra State.
The Minister also mentioned that the Federal Government has approved the commencement of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail project and is also negotiating loans for the Lagos-Calabar rail project.
On the take-off of the Ibadan-Kano rail project, Amaechi informed that the government is still seeking approval for a loan to enable it to take off.
Speaking on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, the minister noted that he has challenged Messrs China Civil Engineering and Construction Company to deploy global acceptable safety and security standards for the project. He directed that a central cooling system be installed in all the major train stations along that route.
This announcement by the ministry would come as a welcome relief to agitators from that region who complained about being left behind in the current administration’s railway modernization projects as rail projects are going on in other regions and none had taken off in the region.
The absence of a modern railway will adversely affect economic activities in the region.
In one of his engagements with the National Assembly, Amaechi, while denying exclusion of Eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri in the ongoing rail construction and modernization, said that the delay was due to bureaucratic bottlenecks caused by the Public Procurement Act.
FG TO FLAG- OFF EASTERN RAIL CORRIDOR 9TH MARCH 2021 – TRANSPORTATION MINISTER
The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, @MBuhari will perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the Eastern rail corridor on 9th March, 2021.
— Federal Ministry of Transportation (@MinTransportNG) February 28, 2021
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