Mile 2: Motorists express worry over indiscriminate parking by truckers



Some motorists along Mile 2 — Orile-Iganmu axis in Lagos on Wednesday expressed worry over indiscriminate parking of trucks, saying the development was exposing other road users to danger.


The motorists, who spoke with the Nigeria News Agency in separate interviews, linked the persistent traffic jam and accidents along the route to the indiscriminate parking by the truck drivers.


“It’s becoming unbearable having these heavy-duty vehicles here. I tried as much as possible to leave my house at Ejigbo around 7 a.m. to beat traffic, but I still got stuck between Mile 2 and Orile-Iganmu area due to the way and manner the truckers reduced the road to one lane.


“Before I get to my shop, I would have seen more than 300 trucks parked along the road. We want the Lagos State Government to do something urgently about this,’’ Mr Joe Lekan, a businessman said.


Mrs Adaeze Chimezie, a civil servant, said, “it’s very risky having non-moving heavy-duty vehicles along the road, especially those parking permanently on bridge, due to the heaviness of the trucks.


“Government needs to stop the parking of the trucks on bridges in order to prevent unforeseen eventualities and build a permanent parking site elsewhere for them so that we can save lives, reduce traffic jam and accidents.’’


Another motorist, Mr Segun Fatai, also called on government to put a stop to parking of heavy-duty vehicles along the road and on the bridges.


A truck driver, Mr Samuel Waheed, told NAN that most of the trucks seen along the road were on the queue on their way to the ports.


He said that most of them were facing different terminals to off-load their empty containers.


“Why most of us park our trucks on the road is either because we want to off-load or we want to rest. We do off-loading at Port and Cargo or T.I.T.C Apapa Tincan Island Terminal.


“If the government can provide an alternative parking place that is affordable, somewhere better than that of Orile-Iganmu Tanker Terminal, we can gladly move in there,” he said.


The federal government, working with the state government, had, in the past, set up a task force to clear the bridges in Lagos of  parked trucks.


Months after, the trucks are, however, back on several bridges in the city.


(Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN))


Madrid’s “Golden Mile” of art prepares to reopen on Saturday




The 200-year-old Prado National Museum will be free to visitors on Saturday and Sunday and then only charge half its usual entry price until the middle of September.

As one of the most famous museums in Spain, it will not open all its rooms but has opted to create a special route taking in some of its most famous works, with requirement on social distancing.

“We don’t have everyone working, so we can’t open all of the museum, but we are going to open part of it which best corresponds to the 19th century and focus on the best-known Grand Masters,” explained Prado National Museum’s Director Miguel Falomir on Spanish TV network RTVE.

Meanwhile, the Reina Sofia Museum has organized a system to ensure that no more than 30 people can view Pablo Picasso’s world-famous “Guernica” at any one time.

The three museums have been prepared for their re-opening by erecting transparent shields to protect workers in the areas with public attention, while they have designated different doors for entry and exit to help maintain the flow of visitors, while protective face-masks and the use of hand gels will be obligatory.

“We are fulfilling all the security needs; limiting visitor numbers, sanitary controls, cleanliness and hygienic measures, barriers where there are the most visitors,” Evalio Acevedo, managing director of the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum told Xinhua.

Spain’s Ministry of Culture and Sport confirmed on Thursday that it will be opening the museums under its jurisdiction on June 9, while other museums, such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, opened their doors on Monday as a sign that cultural life is slowly returning to normal in Spain.

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2 flats affected in Mile 2 Estate fire, says LSFS



The Lagos State Fire Service (LSFS) on Friday said that  two out of the six flats of a block apartment were affected in the  fire incident that happened in Mile 2 Estate, Amuwo Odofin.


The LSFS spokesman, Mr Tijani Jamiu, also told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the cause of the fire outbreak was yet to be ascertained as  at the time of filling this report.


He, however, said the service suspected that  the fire might have been caused by a  faulty domestic equipment.


Jamiu also  said the worth of valuables  lost in the two flats could not be estimated.


The  spokesman said the service  responded to a distress call at about 11 a.m.


“However, the fire has been put off by  the service firefighters now, ” he said.


NAN reports that the affected building is located behind a central mosque in the estate. (NAN)



Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/ Peter Dada (NAN)
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United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) partners with Private Sector Players to reach the Last Mile with Digital Services




The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) announced partnerships with digital services providers aimed at increasing access to and usage of digital services in the North and West Nile regions of Uganda. Through this partnership, UNCDF is supporting private sector players to develop and scale digital solutions for communities that are often marginalized and denied digital innovation and technology due to social norms, societal status, and limited revenue and capacity.

The partnership is part of the ‘Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era,’ strategy, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which aims to build an inclusive digital economy in Uganda. The programme focusses on empowering rural communities to use digital services in their daily lives for development impact in agriculture, health, education, and finance.

“In line with our strategy of ‘Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era', the partnerships aim at breaking the obstacles that limit the reach of digital services in rural communities” said Jenifer Bukokhe Wakhugu, Deputy Head of Office at UNCDF Uganda. “Our goal is to enable at least one million people in rural communities of Uganda to use digital services that will empower them to lead productive and healthy lives while at the same time contributing to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

While the overall number of people accessing digital products and services in Uganda continues to grow, the digital access gap is widening, negatively impacting routinely excluded populations: rural communities, smallholder farmers, women, youth, MSMEs & refugees. Over the last four years, the Ugandan digital financial market has grown from 26% of the adult population actively using digital financial services in 2014 to roughly 56% in 2019. However, in rural communities, such as the Northern and West Nile Regions of Uganda, access to mobile digital financial services lags behind at dismal levels, at less than 30%.

To bridge this gap, UNCDF is partnering with mobile network operators (MNOs), Airtel Uganda and MTN Uganda, to increase mobile phone penetration, strengthen the rural agent network, improve liquidity, optimize connectivity across the target areas, and develop relevant and affordable products for rural communities.

UNCDF is also partnering with agri-techs, Ensibuuko Tech Limited and MobiPay Agrosys Limited, to create a network of digital community entrepreneurs (lead farmers) aimed at increasing last mile distribution of digital inclusion related services and products such as phones, off-grid energy solutions, bank accounts, farming inputs, and electronic airtime. Additionally, we are leveraging these partnerships to teach financial & digital literacy skills, with the aim of building and fostering an open payment ecosystem that empowers these communities.

“Through these partnerships, we aim at building the digital infrastructure in the rural communities to pave the way for digital technologies that will remove the major market constraints in agriculture, education and health, while at the same time creating impact in entire market systems.” Ms. Bukokhe added.
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Abia CJ expresses worry over dilapidated court infrastructure



The Chief Judge (CJ) of Abia, Justice Onuoha Ogwe, has expressed concern over the poor state of infrastructure in various courts in the state.

Ogwe made the observation in Umuahia on Wednesday when members of the Abia House of Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Justice visited him.

He decried the level of dilapidation in the courts, saying, “The court halls are in a mess.”

According to him, there are no good court halls in the state and some roofs of the buildings have either caved in or have no functional facilities.

The chief judge alleged that the contractor building a court complex in Umuahia was currently being owed by the state government.

The CJ, who said that the state judiciary was confronted with “a generic of problems”, also said that the paucity of funds was threatening its smooth operstions.

He alleged that the judiciary was under funded, adding that it got only two months’ subventions in 2017.

He also said that many months of its subventions in 2019 had yet to be released by the government.

Ogwe said: “Our financial situation is precarious. “Our requests are never funded.

“We can’t even hold sessions for dead or retired members because we don’t have the fund.

“The only little money we get, we use it well,” he said.

He said that he was impressed with the house for honouring the judiciary with their visit and interaction and pleaded for more synergy with the legislature to make Abia better.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Emeka Okoroafor, commended the CJ for his efforts and pledged the commitment of the 7th Assembly to collaborate with the judiciary.

He said that the visit was in futherance of the committee’s constitutional duties to examine the challenges faced by the judiciary, if any, and see how it could exercise its power to address them.

Okoroafor, who represents Isuikwuato constituency, said that it is the responsibility of the house to find why monies appropriated for the judiciary were not being utilised.

(Edited & Vetted By: Moses Solanke/Sam Oditah)



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