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Ambode in Trouble as Lagos Assembly Probes Purchase of N7 Billion Buses

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  • Ambode in Trouble as Lagos Assembly Probes Purchase of N7 Billion Buses

The Former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, may not be out of troubled waters yet as the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday, inaugurated a committee to probe the purchase of 820 buses at the cost of N7 billion by his administration.

The Assembly explained that it was important to investigate the purchase of 820 Mass Transit buses which was a reduction of the 5000 buses originally proposed to be purchased by the Ambode administration; adding that the purchase was made despite protests by the Assembly.

The motion titled, “Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 2” was brought before the House by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti Osa 2 Constituency.

According to him, the House noted that in September 2017, Ambode who was present at the executive/legislative parley held at Golden Tulip in Festac Town told the Law makers that 5,000 buses would be bought by his government.

Yishawu went on to reveal that Ambode proposed a budget of N17 billion for the buses but this proposal was not approved by the assembly.

The lawmaker also said that Ambode, without the consent of the House, went ahead to make the purchases regardless.

He said, “In the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the state government proposed N24 billion and N7 billion respectively, but these were not approved.

“The state government still went ahead to import 820 buses at N7 billion, and out of them, 520 are still awaiting clearance at the ports.”

He added that the House was worried that 520 buses purchased with tax payers’ money, were still waiting to be cleared from bonded warehouse.

He suggested that the house should set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate all issues relating to the purchase of the buses, including the real cost of the buses.

“The State Government requested waivers for the importation of buses and it was not granted. The value of the buses overrated. Some of the buses are still in the ports and they are attracting demurrage.

“N45 million would be spent on the total purchase of the buses and we need to prevent such an occurrence in the future,” he said.

In his submission, Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said that the expenditure had been done already and that the House need to prevent waste.

“The vehicles are still in the ports and they have been there for almost a year. The State will continue to suffer if we allow the buses to stay in the ports.

“We should be the regulators and transporters; the State should not operate the buses.

“How much we are giving out should be addressed. We should get the buses to the roads and save the states from further wastes,” he said.

A committee was eventually set up by the House to address the issue. The committee headed by Hon. Fatai Mojeed, representing Ibeju Lekki 1 Constituency included: Hon. Olarenwaju Afinni, (Lagos Island 2), Hon. Gbolahan Yashiwu,(Eti Osa 2), Hon. Bisi Yusuf (Alimosho 1), Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege 2), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaiye 2) and Hon. Mojisola Miranda (Apapa 1).

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market.

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COVID-19: EU Restricts Nigerians From Entering Europe After Infecting them

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European Union Excludes Nigerian from 54 Nations that Can Enter the Region

The European Union (EU) has excluded Nigeria from the list of 54 nations that will be allowed to enter the region when it eventually opens its external borders in July.

In a statement published on schengenvisainfo.com, the union listed the 54 countries as Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guyana and India.

Others are Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.

While China, the outbreak nation, South Korea and Japan, two of the most affected nations in the world, will be allowed to enter the Euro-area when external borders reopen in July, Nigeria with fewer cases of COVID-19 has been excluded from the list despite an Italian businessman been the index case.

The Italian businessman had traveled to Nigeria in February 2020 and tested positive to COVID-19 on February 27 after interacting with Nigerians that came in contact with him.

The Nigerian government had allowed citizens of Euro-area to travel into the country despite the rising number of new cases in the region, especially in Italy, France and Germany. However, the revise is the case now, even with Nigeria addressing the situation started by the European Union.

Eric Mamer, the spokesman for the commission, said “The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers.”

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FG Test-Runs Nnamdi Azikiwe, Lagos Airport Ahead of Flight Operations

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FG Test-Runs Nnamdi Azikiwe, Lagos Airport Ahead of Flight Operations

The Federal Government on Saturday conducted a test-run of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport ahead of commercial flight operations following months of lockdown due to COVID-19.

In line with safety protocols, passengers will be duly screened to protect them and the cabin crew.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), provisions were made for hand wash and alcohol-based sanitisers, there were temperature checks, as well as strict compliance to social distancing of about one metre.

Also, the Federal Government has acquired robots to process passengers at the departure hall, according to NTA news.

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These robots were reportedly tested in Lagos earlier this morning.

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It would be recalled that Air Peace had flown 25 empty planes from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos to ascertain their working condition ahead of flight resumption.

The airline spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, stated on Thursday.

He said, “All the aircraft took to the skies flying to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos without passengers.”

Speaking on the airline readiness, Olisa said “We have been operating ‘special flights’ to local and international destinations, and we have more of such flights in the works.

“This accentuates our preparedness for operation restart as our pilots, cabin crew and engineers have been hands-on and are current. So, we are 100 per cent ready to resume.”

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Oxford University Commences First Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa

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Oxford University Commences First Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa

Oxford University in Partner with the University of Witwatersrand has rolled out the first human trials of COVID-19 vaccine in Africa in South Africa.

The trials that started on Wednesday will consist of 2,000 volunteers between the age of 18 to 65 years, this will include HIV positive patients. Together they will be administered the vaccine and monitored for 12 months to evaluate how well the vaccine protects them against COVID-19.

Shabir Madhi, a professor of vaccinology at Wits University and leader of the trial said, “Once 60% of the population, especially the adult population, becomes immune, we expect that effective reproductive rate to go under 1, which basically means the virus will still be around, it will still circulate, but its chain of transmission has been interrupted.”

South Africa is now the second country after Brazil to take part in the trial outside the United Kingdom where 4,000 people had previously volunteered.

The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, also known as AZD1222, was developed by Oxford University scientists, that are now working with AstraZeneca on development and production.

The trial has created a mixed feeling among Africans following decades of using Africans as guinea pigs for new medical trials.

Junior Mhlongo, a volunteer who received the vaccine at a hospital in Johannesburg, said: “I feel a little bit scared, but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others.”

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