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Maritime workers seek NARTO, NUPENG support for port strike

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National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, may support the strike declared by the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria billed to start Wednesday to protest takeover of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway by heavy duty trucks.

The gridlock has negatively impacted Apapa, making made life unbearable for residents of the area.

It has also crippled business activities in the area.

The MWUN had called a meeting weekend to sensitise stakeholders in the maritime sector to support the strike.

President General of MWUN, Prince Adeyanju Adewale, on Sunday said the union would decide its next line of action after the three days and government failed to fix the roads leading to the two ports and the area and address the accompanying traffic bottleneck.

He added that the strike ought to have taken place before now but noted that it was suspended because of appeals by the government.

However, the Federal Government has appealed to the union not to embark on the strike, saying work on the expressway is delayed by COVID-19 and #EndSARS protests which took place nationwide recently.

The union leader said, “We have decided to put the warning strike on hold till Wednesday December 9, to sensitise other stakeholders in the ports why we have to embark on the warning strike.

“Since the information became public, many of them have been calling and begging for time. They insisted that they are not against our action because the seemingly intractable gridlock is also affecting them and that they are indeed in total support of our planned action.

“But they said it is too sudden and pleaded that we give them time to prepare. So, we have decided to give them two days to prepare. Consequently, the warning strike will now start on Wednesday, December 9, instead of tomorrow (today) as earlier resolved.”

Leaders of the union, while giving reasons the members would withdraw their services nationwide and embark on three-day industrial action, said they were disenchanted by the deplorable state of the access roads to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports which had claimed several lives and caused incalculable man-hour losses, among other dangers as a result of unending gridlock.

The three-day warning strike is one of the resolutions of the union’s National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held in Lagos.

Railway

As Abuja-Kaduna train resumes, NRC gives passengers Nov 6 for unused tickets

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Train operations on the Abuja-Kaduna route resumed on Saturday, after they were suspended on Thursday following an attack that damaged the rail track.

The Nigerian Railway Corporation has given passengers with unused tickets two weekends ending on November to make use of the tickets or forfeit them.

Two reported attacks on Wednesday night and Thursday morning said to have been executed with the use of explosives led to damage on the rail track.

In one of the attacks, the window of the driver compartment of the train was reportedly shattered. This prompted the corporation to suspend the train ride along the route.

But the NRC restored the train services on Saturday after carrying out adequate repairs on the damaged track and beefing up security along the route.

On Saturday when train services resumed along the route, there was a report of low turnout of passengers.

Some of the passengers, who acknowledged improved armed security presence on the train and along the track said they could not use their pre-purchased tickets as the railway officials claimed they had no order to accept them.

A statement issued by the NRC later said customers would have two weeks (ending November 06) to use tickets for rides scheduled during the period operations were cancelled.

The corporation also asked affected customers to give 48-hour notice before their scheduled trips with the unused tickets.

The statement read in part, “Dear esteemed customers, service has been restored on the Abuja-Kaduna service.

“Customers with unused tickets for the 21st and 22nd of October should kindly contact the customer care unit (customercare@tps.ng and 01 888 7741) for rescheduling.

“Kindly give 48-hour notice ahead of new travel date. This offer is open for the next 2 weeks and will expire on the 6th of November, 2021. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”

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Railway

Abuja-Kaduna train resumes operation Saturday – NRC

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Barely 24 hours after suspending the Abuja-Kaduna trains for safety reasons, the Nigerian Railway Corporation says the services will resume Saturday October 23.

The suspension followed an explosion attack by hoodlums on the Abuja-Kaduna rail track Wednesday evening, which the corporation said affected the locomotive tank of a Kaduna-bound train.

Although there have been conflicting accounts of the attack with some attributing it to bandit or terrorist attack, the Managing Director of the corporation said in an interview on Friday night that the NRC team of engineers and technicians had fixed the problem and was certified that the train service could resume on the route after carrying out extensive an inspection of the line.

The NRC also said in a statement issued Friday evening that the Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) would “resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am.”

The statement read in part, “The board and management of the Nigerian railway corporation (NRC) hereby inform the general public, particularly our valued passengers that Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am. Subsequent train services continue.

“The NRC once again sincerely apologises for the inconvenience.”

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Motorists, travellers stranded as Delta bridge collapses

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There was confusion in part of Delta State on Friday following the collapse of the Umutu Bridge in the Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state, leaving several motorists and travellers on the Agbor-Abraka-Eku road stranded.

The incident reportedly occurred in the early hours of the day, adding that the aged long bridge gave way as a Trailer conveying heavy duty construction bulldozer was passing through it towards the Agbor axis of the state.

The deplorable condition of federal road has been on the news, with report of the road project already awarded for reconstruction by the federal government.

The road link many communities in the state and connect the people with other parts of the country, particularly Northern and South-East states.

Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Ochor Christopher Ochor who hails from the area, regretted that the federal government had not given such an important road the desired attention.

Ochor who spoke to our Correspondent, described the collapsed of the bridge as unfortunate and sympathized with stranded motorists and travelers for the pains it may have caused them.

He said he had already contacted the Commissioner for Work in charge of Urban and Highways roads in the State, Mr Neol Omodion, who has promised to take necessary steps to address the ugly situation.

Ochor however stressed the need to beef up security in the area to protect the lives and properties of the stranded travelers, calling on the federal government to reconstruct the road due to its strategic position  to the socio economic development of the area.

 

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