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Monday Morning Rain Wreaks Havoc in Lagos, Environs, Destroys Buildings, Others

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A downpour that lasted about two hours, on Monday, wreaked havoc on different parts of Lagos and Ogun states, destroying property and telecommunications infrastructure, and uprooting trees.

Many residents of the two states could not go about their daily businesses as a result of flood that accompanied the heavy rainfall.

The downpour, which began around 9.30am, forced many residents to stay indoors, while others, who took the risk to leave their houses, got stuck in traffic and at various bus stops.

PUNCH Metro learnt that two buildings partially collapsed in the Abule Egba and Ladipo areas of Lagos, while trees fell on roads and vehicles in different parts of Lagos and Ogun states.

Our correspondents learnt that the roofs of several buildings, including those of two classrooms at a primary school in the Ayede area of Ogun State, were blown off by the rainstorm.

A source, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, stated that the incident destabilised the pupils.

She said, “The rain affected two classrooms in one of the buildings in the school and the pupils were unable to carry on with their studies, because the classrooms were flooded.

“The roof of the building was just fixed by the school management after several complaints to the state government. We reported the case last year when the roof was leaking, but the government did nothing until the management raised money to fix it and now the rain has spoilt it again. We hope that the incoming governor will help us to fix it and do more in the education sector.”

Another victim of the downpour, who identified himself simply as Johnson, stated, “The strong wind that accompanied the rain destroyed a billboard around the Sango tollgate area and blew off the roofs of six houses.

“The rain also destroyed some kiosks around the Singer bus stop, Ijako, Ogun State.

“There was traffic at the Iyana Ilogbo area of the state because of the water that filled the potholes, which Julius Berger refused to fix, and this caused drivers to drive slowly, which resulted in heavy traffic.

“Some electric poles fell in the Ifo area of the state, which will make some areas not to have power supply.”

A businessman in the Ikeja area of Lagos, Longimus Onye, who lamented the delay in displaying his wares because of the rain, expressed optimism of making a profit for the day.

“Because of the rain, I could not display my wares on time but I hope people will still come out and buy, but I want to urge the government to fill the potholes on the road from Agege to Ikeja in order to reduce the traffic problem,” he said.

The General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Adesina Tiamiyu, confirmed the partial collapse of some buildings as well as trees being uprooted due to the rainfall.

He, however, noted that no life was lost.

Tiamiyu stated, “What we had around Lagos today (Monday) were the wreckages of the heavy rain and windstorm. We had trees falling all over the place in Ikoyi, Alausa, Ikeja GRA and some part of Agege Motor Road, and we sent out our team together with the Lagos State Parks and Gardens officials to cut them into pieces and pack them off the road.

“We also had records of accidents caused by low visibility, but no life was lost in all the occurrences.”

According to the Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency, Sanusi Abdulateef, the rainy season comes with a lot of emergencies similar to what happened on Monday, adding that officials of the agency were on top of the situation to restore normalcy in the affected areas.

He said, “We have been up and doing since morning, because we had envisaged this kind of problem, and what we did was to divide the state into six regions. Each region is being managed by an emergency team.

“If you look around now, 80 per cent of the trees have been removed from the roads to put an end to the gridlock. Where we have not been able to evacuate the trees, we have put them away from the roads.

“The rainy season is accompanied by windstorm and once there is windstorm, it comes with a lot of emergencies like fallen trees and slashing of tree branches. We are on top of the situation and we are still on the road monitoring the activities of our operators. We have done it in Ogba, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and other places; by noon tomorrow (Tuesday), everything must have been evacuated from the roads.”

The state government, in a statement jointly signed by the Permanent Secretaries, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Fola Adeyemi, and Ministry of the Environment, Abiodun Bamgboye, urged Lagos residents to remain calm, adding that Monday’s experience was as a result of climate change.

The statement read in part, “Sometimes when it rains, we are likely to have flash-floods on our roads as it sometimes happens in other parts of the world, but the relief here is that the flash-floods will disappear in a couple of hours.

“We want to assure Lagosians that relevant government agencies like the Drainage Services Department, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency have been put on red alert to adequately respond to any unforeseen occurrence during rain of high intensity as well as cart away fallen trees, electricity poles and confront other emergencies during the rain.

“Similarly, the Lagos State Public Works Corporation is already on the ground to clean the drainage channels, drainage setbacks and other road debris.”

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Peter Obi Chides FG, Says Poverty on the Increase, Unemployment Rising

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, has criticized Nigerian leaders for their misplaced priorities amidst the country’s declining economic fortune. Obi, in a social media statement, noted that Nigeria’s GDP growth rate plummeted from 6.72% between 1999-2014 to 2.79% in 2015, followed by a recession in 2016 with a negative growth rate of -1.58% and 0.82% in 2017.

He lamented that the country’s economy has regressed significantly over the past nine years, with Nigeria losing its position as Africa’s largest economy. He said, “When Nigeria returned to democratic governance in 1999, it maintained an average GDP growth of about 6.72% for 16 years from 1999-2014. The impressive growth trajectory, unfortunately, was not sustained by the then-new government and our GDP growth collapsed to 2.79% in 2015 and then sank into a recession in 2016 with a negative growth of -1.58% and 0.82% in 2017. For the past 9 years, Nigeria’s economy has seen unprecedented retrogression on many fronts.

“In 2014, just before the inception of a new administration a year later, Nigeria had the biggest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product of $568.5 billion and a GDP Per Capita of about $3,200.

“Our economic indices pointed towards hope and prospects for the future growth of the economy. Nine years later, the giant of Africa has retrogressed to the 4th largest economy in Africa.

“Reports showed our GDP in 2023 stood at $375 billion with a per capita of $1700. In 2024, our estimated GDP declined further to $253 billion with an estimated per capita of $1087. These trends and figures show how our 9 years journey since 2015 has resulted in a sharp decline in our national prosperity.”

He added, “Today, poverty is pervasive and on the increase. Unemployment is rising. Food inflation has skyrocketed to over 43%.

Foreign and local investors are losing faith in the future growth of our economy and are leaving in large numbers.

“Businesses are shutting down. Urgent actions need to be taken to salvage the nation from further economic collapse and move it from consumption to production.” Instead of addressing these pressing issues, Obi accused leaders of prioritizing their selfish luxuries and lavishness while blaming others for the country’s problems.

According to him, politics should focus on serving the people and bettering society, committing to inclusive and sustainable growth to alleviate hardship and achieve a peaceful and secure society.

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Aftermath of Monopoly Allegation: Dangote Offers to Sell Refinery to NNPC

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Africa’s wealthiest man Aliko Dangote said he is willing to give up ownership of his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to the state-owned energy company NNPC Limited.

The billionaire spoke as a new dispute with one of the key equity partners in the plant heats up in the latest phase of a bitter row with regulatory authorities in Nigeria.

The 650,000 barrel-per-day refinery, which came to life last year after a decade of prolonged construction, cost $19 billion, more than double the initial estimate, promising to help wean Africa’s biggest oil producer off its reliance on fuel from overseas and save up 30 per cent of the total foreign exchange spent on importing goods.

“Let them (NNPCL) buy me out and run the refinery the best way they can. They have labelled me a monopolist. That’s an incorrect and unfair allegation, but it’s OK. If they buy me out, at least, their so-called monopolist would be out of the way,” Mr Dangote told PREMIUM TIMES in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

“We have been facing fuel crisis since the 70s. This refinery can help in resolving the problem but it does appear some people are uncomfortable that I am in the picture. So I am ready to let go, let the NNPC buy me out, run the refinery.”

The multisectoral investor’s big bet on oil and gas, which he ventured into following years of relatively stress-free dominance of Nigeria’s cement, salt and sugar industries, is turning out problematic in its early days.

Set for its first roll-out of petrol to the Nigerian market in August, the mammoth plant has been operating just above half its capacity since the January start of refining operations, constrained in part by difficulties in sourcing crude from international producers.

Dangote Refinery said those companies are either demanding outrageous premiums before agreeing to supply crude or simply claiming the product is unavailable.

NNPC, once a sweetheart of the refiner before the current dispute soured relations, had delivered only 6.9 million barrels of oil to the plant as of May since last year, according to S&P Global Platts, a tracker of supply data.

NNPC Limited has a supply deal with the company dating back to the commencement of operations and previously agreed to a 20 per cent equity participation, the refinery saying only 7.2 per cent has been fully paid for before the deadline issued to the company to acquire the stake.

Starving the refinery of the feedstock required to keep it running at present capacity means it has turned to countries like Brazil and the US to bridge the gulf in supply.

“As you probably know, I am 67 years old, in less than three years, I will be 70. I need very little to live the rest of my life. I can’t take the refinery or any other property or asset to my grave. Everything I do is in the interest of my country,” Mr Dangote told PREMIUM TIMES.

“This refinery can help in resolving the problem but it does appear some people are uncomfortable that I am in the picture. So I am ready to let go, let the NNPC buy me out, run the refinery. At least the country will have high-quality products and create jobs,” he added.

Mr Dangote said the obstacles his refinery is facing seem to have vindicated friends and associates who conselled him to tread with caution as he pumped billions of dollars into the Nigerian economy.

“Four years ago, one of my very wealthy friends began to invest his money abroad. I disagreed with him and urged him to rethink his action in the interest of his country. He blamed his action on policy inconsistencies and shenanigans of interest groups. That friend has been taunting me in the past few days, saying he warned me and that he has been proven right,” the businessman said.

Culled from Premium Times

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Media Office Alleges Plot to Arrest Peter Obi by Tinubu’s Govt

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The Peter Obi Media Reach has refuted allegations made by the presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, linking the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to a planned protest.

The media office described the allegations as wild, wicked and baseless, saying that the presidency was planning to use the planned protest to arrest Obi.

In a lengthy post on his verified X handle on Saturday, Onanuga claimed that Obi’s supporters are behind the planned nationwide protests against the Tinubu administration.

The presidential aide said Obi and his supporters should be held responsible for any mayhem that may occur in the protest, alleging that “they are not democrats but anarchists.”

Onanuga accused the protest organisers of lacking the patience to wait for another election in 2027 and instead, “destabilise Nigeria by staging a civilian coup against President Bola Tinubu.”

He claimed that those organising the protests were also behind the ENDSARS protest of October 2020, which later turned violent and urged security agents to interrogate the “agents of destabilisation” behind the demonstrations.

However, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Yunusa Tanko, on Saturday, the media office said the “unsubstantiated allegations are being orchestrated to arrest Obi and limit his freedom and association”.

Tanko also stated that the allegation was an attempt to stop Obi’s propagation of good governance, which the presidency found injurious to their lavish lifestyle.

He added that the former Governor of Anambra State has not in any way shown or been associated with violence, even in the most obvious provocations.

The statement reads, “The attention of the Peter Obi Media Reach, POMR, has been drawn to the wild, wicked and baseless allegations by one of the Spokespersons in the Presidency, Bayo Onanuga, accusing the Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, of being the mastermind of a planned protest in the country.

“The statement even said that Obi should be held responsible for any mayhem that may occur in the protest. But POMR can report from good and reliable authority that these unsubstantiated allegations are being orchestrated to arrest Obi, limit his freedom and association and stop his propagation for good governance which they find injurious to their lavish lifestyle.

“Peter Obi, by his mien in and out of political office, has not in any way shown or been associated with violence even in the most obvious provocations. He has always shown, even during the electioneering, that he is issue-driven as he carries on without calling anybody’s name.

“POMR is also aware that multiple attack dogs have been hired and strategically deployed to ensure that Obi does not enjoy the ear of the Nigerian populace who are keen on hearing his voice on issues.

“These spine doctors and hirelings, to justify their pay, indulge in all kinds of falsehood ostensibly to distract Obi and confuse Nigerians who already see Obi as a suiting balm in the current turbulent political and economic environment.”

The media team urged Nigerians to ignore the Presidency’s cheap blackmail as Obi and his supporters all over the country and in the diaspora remain resolute in their search for a new Nigeria.

“It added, “All the problems, real and imagined, created by their insensitivity and lavish lifestyle they have curiously tried to link to Obi. Notable challenges of the administration, which are a consequence of their actions and inactions like fuel subsidy fallouts, growing poverty in the land, inflation, nepotism and unresolved historical conflicts, among others they blame all on Obi.

“POMR, therefore, wishes to urge Nigerians to ignore the Presidency’s cheap blackmail as Obi and the Obidient family all over the country and in the diaspora remain resolute in their search for a new Nigeria that is possible and would not be cowed or be made to lose focus.”

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