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Unrest: South-West senators seek FG support to rebuild Lagos

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Senators representing the South-West in the Senate, on Tuesday, visited Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to sympathise with him on last week’s destruction of public and private propery in Lagos by miscreants.

They expressed worry at the colossal damage done to the state by the hoodlums who set many public and private facilities on fire and looted a number places dry.

The visitors concluded that the state would need the assistance of the Federal Government to recover.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Gboyega Akosile, said the delegation led by Senator Ajayi Boroffice visited the governor at the State House in Marina.

Boroffice, representing Ondo North, described the destruction as “orchestrated tragedy” that must be thoroughly investigated.

He was said to have wondered why the youth protest was prolonged and allowed to degenerate to violence when the Federal Government had agreed to the five-point demand of the protesters.

The lawmaker said many youths working in the businesses that were destroyed would be rendered jobless, adding that it would take time for the owners of the businesses to recover, given the extent of loss.

He said, “Members of the South-West caucus in the Senate are here to console you over the demonic violence unleashed on Lagos. Government and private individuals suffered incalculable loss in the unfortunate destruction that trailed the EndSARS protest. No Nigerian is against peaceful protest, but demonstration that does not have a leadership will encourage hoodlums to hijack and wreak havoc.

“Adequate decision had been taken by the government to attend to the demands of the protesters. Of course, some of the demands require constitutional amendment and cannot be done immediately. The Senate showed its readiness to look into the issues with the necessary amendments. So, it was unnecessary for the protest to be prolonged to the point of being hijacked by those with violent agenda.”

Boroffice said the burden occasioned by the destruction could not be borne by the Lagos State Government alone, stressing that the South-West Senate caucus would be meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly to prevail on the Federal Government in assisting the state to recover and rebuild.

The lawmaker said the caucus would move a motion that would enable the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to catalogue the ugly images from the destruction and send to Nigerian embassies overseas for those in the Diaspora to see the proportion of damage wreaked.

He said, “We are concerned about the gravity of the damage on public properties in Lagos and other places across the country. We will be moving a motion in the Senate to urge the Federal Government to come with assistance to Lagos State because the burden of the destruction is too much for Lagos to bear alone.”

Sanwo-Olu thanked the lawmakers for showing solidarity, saying that law-abiding residents had suffered from the violence and borne the brunt in harsh way.

The governor expressed concern that some Lagos communities are now vulnerable to crime, following the attacks on police stations and facilities housing security operatives.

He condemned the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza by soldiers, insisting that until after a thorough investigation, no one would know how many lives were lost in the incident as against misinformation being spread in the social media, which gave conflicting figure of deaths.

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NURTW moves against highway crime, adopts vehicle e-tracking

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The National Union of Road Transport Workers says it will track members’ vehicles electronically as a way to address the spate of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways.

The union, during the National Executive Council meeting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, said it was imperative for them to use electronic tracking device in curbing the menace of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways in the country.

President of the union, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa, said the NURTW had lost many members to banditry while many were kidnapped.

He said, “We have resolved to use tracking to monitor our members’ vehicles. This will help us to alert our members of impending dangers.

“We admonish our members to be security conscious; the issue of insecurity in the country is worrisome. Many times our members are been kidnapped across the country, we have lost many members as a result of insecurity and there is no compensation from the government. So we really need to be careful and vigilant when we are on the steering. E-tracking will help passengers and our members after we put it to use”.

Baruwa thanked members for their support and confidence in his administration.

He said the administration was faced with serious financial challenges and the emergence of the COVID19 affected their revenue, adding that it was a miracle to have survived the devastating effects of the lockdown.

 

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EFCC arrests, grills ex-Imo governor, Okorocha

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.

He was arrested in Abuja and was later questioned by the EFCC over issues bothering on alleged corruption.

Okorocha, currently representing Imo West at the Senate, was grilled at the EFCC Abuja office on Tuesday.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the development but did not give further details.

 “It is true, he was arrested today in Abuja but we are not giving details,” he said.

Okorocha had been accused by the Imo government of looting the state’s treasury through various malpractices.

He was in February arrested by police from the Imo State Command for allegedly unsealing Spring Palm Estate linked to his wife, Nkechi.

Okorocha was later released but about 14 of his loyalists are being tried.

The Imo State Government had sealed the Spring Palm Estate and other properties claimed to have been “diverted” by Okorocha and his family members.

But the Senator said the properties were legitimately by him and his family members.

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NBS: Used vehicles, motorbikes, PMS top Nigeria’s imports

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Used vehicles, motorcycles, premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, and antibiotics were the major products imported by Nigerians from India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China in the fourth quarter of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics has said.

The bureau stated this in its just released Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020, according to a Punch report.

It also stated that the major commodities exported from Nigeria to the five nations were crude oil and natural gas.

The NBS said, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major exports to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were petroleum motor spirit, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

According to worldstopexports.com, Nigeria imported about half (49.6 per cent) of its imported goods by value from Asia in 2019; another 30 per cent from suppliers in Europe with 11.2 per cent arriving from North America.

Smaller percentages were said to come from fellow African nations (6.5 per cent), Latin America (2.3 per cent) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.3 per cent) led by New Zealand and Australia.

Given Nigeria’s population of 201 million people, its total $47.4 billion in 2019 imports translated to about $240 in yearly product demand from every person in the West African region country.

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