No fewer than 17 passengers escaped death in Kogi on Friday night when a bus rammed into a parked articulated vehicle, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state has said.
Mr Stephen Dawulung, the Kogi Sector Commander of the corps, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lokoja.
Dawulung said that two persons died while a person out of the 17 persons was seriously injured and rushed to Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja for medical attention while the bodies were also deposited in the mortuary.
The sector commander said that the accident occurred at Apamaru village, before Gada Biu on Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba road.
“The cause of the accident was high speed and poor visibility since it was already night.
“This is part of reasons we keep preaching to motorists to avoid night journey not to endanger their lives and those of their passengers at risk.
“That incident would have been avoided if the driver had not embarked in that journey knowing that his bus had poor lighting system.
“But we give God the glory that 17 out of the 19 person’s involved in the accident survived it.
“While I sympathise with families of the deceased, I wish to advise drivers to avoid night travel because visibility is normally poor at night.
“Beside that, drivers are also most likely to be under fatigue and sleepy at night and yet drive on top speed because the roads are relatively freer of traffic at night,” he said.
Dawulung said that drivers must therefore adhere to stipulated speed limits and observe minimum of 30 minutes rest after every four hours drive to avoid fatigue and sleep while driving.
He said that passengers should also understand that night journey could expose them to higher risks of being involved in a crash and should try and avoid it.
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has said that all tertiary institutions of the state will continue to run strike-free academic calendar in conformity with his administration policies.
The governor gave the assurance on while addressing students at the Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja, shortly after inspecting several projects executed by the TETFund in the institution.
“My administration is very.much aware of the danger and damages strike actions have on education and development and has vowel not the allow such to impede on the future of our youths and the state.
“It’s the desire of my administration to ensure that students enter into any tertiary institution of their choices and graduate within the stipulated time frame without any delay whatsoever.
“This, we will try and do till the last day of this administration purposely to allow and encourage our youths from discovering their potential and contribute to growth and development of the state and the nation as a whole,” he said.
Bello expressed satisfaction with all the projects executed in the polytechnic and thanked the federal government for assisting state tertiary institutions in their infrastructural development.
The governor also commended the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Salisu Usman-Ogbo, for his outstanding performance as a commited and dogged administrator.
Earlier in his welcome address, Usman-Ogbo, told the governor that all the TETFund projects were executed by local contractors and devoid of any delay.
The rector said: “This feat wouldn’t have been in position without your (Bello’s) support and cooperation and so we are so grateful to you and your administration.”
The Nigerian Export Production Council (NEPC) has urged farmers to step up efforts in the production of high quality and affordable produce for competitive export markets and economic growth.
Mrs Amina Abdulmalik, NEPC Kogi Advisor, gave the advice at a workshop on capacity building techniques on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for agriculture produce at Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi on Friday.
Abdulmalik explained that the workshop was organised following the enormous challenges faced by Nigerian farmers as a result of lack of compliance with international standards at the foreign markets.
“Farmers that produce affordable, yet high quality goods, will no doubt be able to keep up with competitive export markets and contribute to economic viability, social acceptability, food safety and quality.
“In fact, keeping to such practice can also enable farmers build their reputations before the public.
“Production of quality farm produce involves the application of available knowledge to address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm production.
“It also involves pre-and post-production processes, resulting in safe and healthy agricultural products,” she said.
According to her, it is on this backdrop that the NEPC has made it a matter of utmost importance, to train and educate farmers on new techniques and best practices for improved agricultural production and sustainability.
The advisor said that NEPC was committed to supporting small holder farmers and processors of major agricultural commodities.
She listed areas of necessary interventions to include capacity building, farm inputs as well as support to acquire vital product quality certification and grants to improve on productivity.
According to her, good agricultural practices are important because they reinforce responsible farm methods; from site selection and land preparation, to harvesting and handling.
She urged participants to listen attentively and participate fully at the programme for their improvement in modern farming techniques.
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) says the best way to fix some of Nigeria’s challenges, especially insecurity is by granting autonomy to local governments.
NULGE President, Olatunji Ambali, said this during a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
According to Ambali, Nigerians should not be allowed to disintegrate completely.
“The threat of insecurity, joblessness, youth restiveness, banditry, terrorism and poverty that is confronting the Nigerian masses need to be controlled and stemmed.
“The way to fix it is by granting absolute autonomy to the local government system in Nigeria.
“Our belief is that within the next one month, we call on all state Houses of Assembly to pass the Local Government autonomy Bill.
“We are also appealing to the House of Representatives and the Senate members who are representing their constituencies to go back home using this period to galvanise opinions.
“They should also prevail on the various Houses of Assembly for the quick passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill, ‘’he said.
The NULGE President lauded Kogi and Abia State Houses of Assembly for passing the Local Government Autonomy Bill.
Ambali urged the remaining 34 State Houses of Assembly to do the same and restore autonomy back to the local governments.
According to him, we are happy to inform you that Kogi and Abia State Houses of Assembly did pass the local government autonomy.
“We commend the government and Houses of Assembly of these two prominent states who took the lead and have chosen to be with the Nigerian people.
“We call on the remaining 34 state Houses of Assembly to see it as a patriotic duty in the quick passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill.
“We will commence advocacy visit to all Houses of Assembly across the country,’’ he said.
Ambali said the union would mobilize its members to be at the gallery when the debates on local government autonomy would be considered.
According to him, we want to see how the honourables will cast their votes on the issue.
He however, empathized with those who lost their primaries, adding that they should know that there was nothing left for them.
“The only thing they can do before exiting office is to vote for local government autonomy while those who won their party primaries should leave a good legacy by voting for local government autonomy.
“A vote for local government autonomy is a vote to promote your political career.
“A vote against local government autonomy is to destroy your political career and we will not rest. We shall continue to x-ray the voting pattern of the Honourables,’’ he said.
He added, “It is time to fix Nigeria and you can’t fix Nigeria without fixing the foundation and the foundation of Nigeria’s growth is the local government system. It is time to address that squarely.
He also hailed Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola for backing local government autonomy.
The NULGE president urged the minister to secure the buy-in of his colleagues at the Federal Executive Council to pursue the swift implementation of local government autonomy.
Ambali also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the All Progressives Congress (APC) state governors to ensure the quick passage of the bill.
He said this was the only legacy the president could leave for Nigerians in 2023.
The newly renovated Kogi Specialist Hospital is set to employ more doctors, consultants and nurses for effective and efficient service.
The Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Prof. Isah Adagiri-Yahaya, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lokoja on Thursday shortly after Gov. Yahaya Bello visited and inspected the renovated hospital.
“With the turnaround of the hospital by our hardworking governor, we are set to employ more doctors, consultants, nurses, lab scientists, amongst others, to give the general public better services.
“In fact, with the kind of facilities we have now, they (public) should expect better services from us; more so that the governor has given us a standing approval to employ qualified and determined staff.
“We presently have 50 doctors in our 14 departments and each of the departments must have a consultant.
“We have four consultants in Optics and Gynaecology, ENT Surgeon, General Surgeon, Opthalmology and Psychiatric but we need more of them,” he said.
Adagiri-Yahaya expressed gratitude to the governor for ordering for the purchase a Citi-Scan Machine and an Advanced Life Support Mobile Clinic or Ambulance for the hospital.
The CMD said that the ambulance, which had all the necessary facilities, would soon be delivered to the hospital alongside the Citi-Scan Machine.
He said that once they arrived. they would be kept at the newly constructed Diagnostic Centre.
According to him, the Citi-Scan Machine will go a long way in helping accident victims and cancer patients in and outside the state.