Really? Traffic Offenders Will Be Subjected To This Test

*Road Safety  says it will test the mental state of traffic offenders henceforth.

*Towing trucks and ambulances had also been provided in case of any road accident.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Edo says it will soon commence an Emotional Psychological Evaluation (EPE) for all traffic offenders in the state.

The state Sector Commander, Mr Anthony Oko, made this known during the flag-off of the Ember Months Safety Campaign in Auchi, Edo, on Friday.

Oko said any driver who contravened traffic laws would be arrested and referred to a psychiatric centre to ascertain the state of his mind.

“Any driver that violates traffic laws will be arrested and thereafter referred to a government hospital for psychiatric test,” he said.

Okon said the task of ensuring that the roads, especially the highways, were accident free was a major challenge facing government, and that the commission was working hard to minimise road accidents.

Speaking on preparations for a traffic free holiday during the Yuletide, the sector commander said officers had been positioned at strategic locations on the road where bottleneck was usually experienced.

He added that towing trucks and ambulances had also been provided in case of any road accident.

“I want to assure you that we will have a great number of officers and special marshals everywhere during the period.

“We are going to man the road 24 hours in case of any eventuality, as we are approaching the Yuletide, we will do much better than the previous years and we are definitely going to reduce road traffic crash within Edo,” he said.

Earlier, the Auchi Unit Commander, Mr Moses Bature, cautioned drivers to imbibe the culture of defensive driving in order to arrive safely at their destinations.

“It is our collective responsibility to work in order to restore sanity on our roads.

“Safe driving, safe arrival on the highway can only be achieved when we come together as stakeholders and partners to fight the menace claiming the lives of our people on the road.

“We appeal to all road users to ensure they comply with all traffic rules and regulations, and maintain their vehicles for safe driving and safe arrival in this Yuletide and beyond,” he said.

FUEL SCARCITY LOOMS: Senate Urges FG To Pay Oil Marketers To Avert Strike

In the past, Nigerians have suffered fuel scarcity especially during Christmas season. The situation may repeat itself if something drastic is not done.

Senator Kabiru Marafa, Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government to pay outstanding fuel subsidy arrears to oil marketers, to avert strike.

The call was made following a motion moved by Marafa, at plenary on Thursday.

Marafa, while presenting the motion, said there was an urgent need to avert the looming strike due to non-payment of accrued subsidy arrears, to the oil marketers.

Major petroleum marketers had on Nov. 30, threatened to go on nationwide strike if government failed to pay the money owed them.

The marketers include- Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association and Independent Petroleum Products Importers.

They gave the federal government seven days ultimatum, saying they would cease operations and withdraw their employees from all depots across the country at the expiration of the ultimatum.

Marafa further said if not averted, the strike may lead to artificial fuel scarcity, which may span through the election period.

“The National Assembly had processed and passed the President’s request on July 18 and July 24 and it was forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for payment.

“After the passage of the executive request, the Debt Management Office (DMO) introduced very stringent measures for the issuance of the promissory note.

“They included a document review, by an international accounting firm.

“However, marketers objected to the processes and reacted by issuing a seven-day ultimatum from Tuesday Nov. 27, to DMO to pay,” he said.

Marafa added: “They equally asked the DMO to adhere to the agreement reached at a meeting, with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in June, 2017.

“It is worrisome that the continuous delay in the payment of the arrears, has increased the debt from N429 billion, to close to N1trillion, between June 2017, to date.

“If not settled now, it will continue to increase, due to bank interest charges and forex.”

He prayed the senate to urge the federal government to urgently direct all concerned agencies, to immediately pay the subsidy arrears as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Contributing, the Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, who blamed the situation on previous government, alleged that those who are laying claim to the subsidy, were allies of the previous government.

However, Sen. Ibrahim Danbaba (PDP-Sokoto) alleged that those within the present government are the ones sabotaging the process, adding that the matter had gone beyond National Assembly’s input.

In his remarks, the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, urged the federal government to engage the marketers.

He prayed federal government to “agree on outstanding liabilities to put an end to the subsidy claims.”

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Full Details: Why Fuel Scarcity is a must this Christmas

Days after oil marketers issued a seven-day ultimatum to demand payment of the N800 billion outstanding subsidy debt under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF), the federal government said it offered the marketers N340 billion in promissory notes.

The Supervising Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this in a response to PREMIUM TIMES enquiries on Tuesday, said the payment will come in the form of promissory notes to be issued to the marketers “in a few days’ time”.

She said the government got approval of the National Assembly to make the payment.

The marketers have, however, rejected government’s offer.

They warned in a statement on Sunday of an impending withdrawal of services if government failed to meet their demand in cash.

The marketers, under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) and the Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), said the only way to avert grounding the fuel supply system was for government to pay the outstanding debts in cash.

They said other forms of payment instrument (like promissory notes) that may be available would not help them meet the immediate challenge of settling workers’ salaries and sundry obligations.

The legal adviser to IPPIs, Patrick Etim, had threatened the members would disengage their workers, and obstruct further loading of petroleum products from the depots across the country if their demands were not met.

“The oil marketers have requested that foreign exchange differential and interest component of government’s indebtedness to marketers be calculated up to December 2018, to be paid within the next seven days from the date of the letter sent to them,” Mr Etim said.

The director general, Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, confirmed that apart from consultative meetings between the relevant government representatives and the marketers, an approval process for the payment of the debt has already been set in motion.

“Government is looking at it (payment of debt). I can’t talk with you about anything concrete that has not yet been approved. But, be assured government is doing something,” she told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.

Mrs Oniha, however, denied insinuations the DMO was the government institution responsible for verifying the marketers’ debts for payment.

Although she referred our reporter to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for clarification on the exact debt figures, none of the officials of the agency agreed to speak on record.

However, the Executive Secretary of DAPPMA, Olufemi Adewole, told our reporter that since the ultimatum was issued by the marketers, no government agency representatives, except the State Security Services (SSS) that invited them, have held any meeting to discuss the issues.

“They have been consulting among themselves. For us (marketers), we have highlighted our challenges since the last five years. Whatever is being done now is a continuation of what was suspended in January when the initial warning was issued.

“The government promised the issues will be fully addressed. All what the marketers want to hear today is an alert from the banks that their accounts have been credited,” Mr Adewole said.

He countered the finance minister’s claim that government just received National Assembly approval to settle the debts.

He said apart from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval since June 2017, the lawmakers got the document last January before giving a final approval for payment on September 26.

According to Mr Adewole, since the National Assembly approval, the DMO said the debt figures would have to be reviewed again, with each marketer expected to discount part of the claims to government before promissory notes with tenors covering between one and 10 years, will be issued.

Asked to explain what marketers understood by the demand by DMO for discount on the debt, the DAPPMA scribe said they were told it would involve forfeiting part of the debt to government before payment could be approved.

He did not say what percentage would be forfeited. The finance minister did not comment on this when contacted.

However, Mr Adewole said his members have already rejected the proposal by government to pay them with promissory notes.

“With bank interest rate going at 22 per cent annum, at the current inflation and naira devaluation rates, the value of the money to be paid to marketers will become useless by the time promissory notes become due for payment,” he noted.

“The money the marketers are expecting does not belong to them. It consists unpaid administration charges PPPRA for 2015, 2016 and 2017; Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) charges and Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) debts.

He blamed the delay in verification of the debts by the DMO to accountability procedures and processes established by the immediate past finance minister, Kemi Adeosun.

Mrs Adeosun had insisted claims by the marketers must first be audited by an internationally acclaimed auditing, law or financial institution to ascertain their genuineness, before final approval by the Bureau of Pubic Procurement (BPP) for payment.

The Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Clement Isong, who also spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on the issue, denied his organisation was party to Sunday’s ultimatum issued to the government.

“MOMAN has never been part of the marketers groups that issued the ultimatum to the federal government. Issuing of ultimatum for strike is not part of MOMAN’s mode of operation.

“MOMAN, which is quoted in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and has some foreign membership, cannot be part of any action that can jeopardise the Nigerian economy.

“That does not remove the fact that MOMAN wants the money government is owing its members. But, our strategy to get our money is always persuasive,” Mr Isong said.

He gave the government’s outstanding debt to MOMAN at about N130.7 billion.

MOMAN has the six major marketing firms, including Mobil, Conoil, OVH Energy, Forte Oil, MRS Oil and Total Nigeria Plc as members.

Mr Isong confirmed attending a meeting with DMO on November 27, where government made proposal to issue promissory notes to marketers as payment for the debt.

During the meeting, he said many of the marketers, particularly DAPPMA members, rejected government proposal, as many said they have either shut down their depots already or disengaged some of their staff, following the seizure of their investments over debts.

He explained that marketers were rejecting promissory notes to be issued by government, because they did not amount to anything other than mere acceptance by government that it was owing the money and would pay over a certain period in future.

“The promise is worth nothing unless government says during the period it says it will pay, it will do so along with a competitive interest rate on the debt capital. With such condition, the marketers can take it to the bank to buy it as an investment.

“If interest is not going to be paid, with inflation, devaluation of the naira and the state of the economy, the money will be useless. The banks they are owing will not even accept it. Any promissory note not linked with an interest rate is not useful to anyone,” Mr Isong noted.

Regardless, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) assured yesterday it has enough stock of petroleum products to meet a minimum sufficiency supply level capable of lasting for about 30 days.

Its spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu said on Tuesday in response to PREMIUM TIMES enquiries, NNPC was engaging with the marketers, finance ministry and DMO on the various issues.

He said going by positive outcomes from those engagements, the NNPC remained optimistic of a prompt resolution of the contention.

“No cause for worries. We have a robust fuel stock and high sufficiency level. Consumers should not panic,” Mr Ughamadu said in a text message to our reporter.

At the moment, NNPC is the sole importer of petroleum products in Nigeria. But, it relies on privately-owned depots and retail outlets to store and distribute products to the final consumers across the country.

Mr Ughamadu did not say how government, through the NNPC, would cope with the storage and distribution of its imported volumes of petroleum products in the event of the closure of the depots by their private owners and withdrawal of services by tanker drivers over the debt dispute.

 

What to look for when buying used tyres

Drivers in a lot of countries have the choice between buying new or used tyres when the existing set is worn down to a dangerous level or when the vehicle won’t pass inspection because of insufficient tire tread.

Used car or truck tyres usually come at a lower price than new ones but only if they are in good condition. Here are a number of important tips that can help you get the best value for money on used tyres.

Look For Patching

If you are buying used tyres, ensure you inspect them very thoroughly for bubbles, ‘scalloping’, or uneven wear. Uneven wear patterns drastically reduces the lifetime and having tires with different patterns will make your ride less smooth.

Image result for Used patched tyres

Also look for possible excessive wear conditions around the edges, for example, on the inner sides.

Inspect The Side Wall

You may also want used tyres that have sidewalls that are in good condition. Some drivers routinely scrape the curb or hit other objects with them. As a result, some used ones can be pretty bad.

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Examine For Sufficient Tread

The standard for tread in tyres that pass inspection is 2/32. You can test the tread depth by making use of a coin. If the head side image of the coin is partially obscured by the tread when you fit the coin head down into the groove, there is still enough wear on the tire.

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Figure Balancing and Alignment Into The Cost

It’s not enough to just pick up a set of tyres and drive away. If what you buy are not aligned and balanced properly, they will just wear away quickly, and you’ll be back at the counter for another set. Make sure you get the extra calibration and learn about the necessary tire rotation for getting the maximum life out of your purchases.

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Compare The Prices With New Ones That Have Warrant
Some buyers like to purchase the ones that come with warranties or lifetime guarantees, but a good set of used tires can be priced a whole lot lower. Evaluate the difference between new and used offers to see if it’s worth taking the risk on a used set.

Analyse Your Overall Situation

In a situation where you are simply trying to keep a vehicle on the road for one or two more years, it doesn’t often make sense to purchase new ones. However, in other situations, for example, when a family invests in a vehicle for the long-term, it may not make sense to take a chance with used ones.

Image result for fairly used tyres in nigeria

Consider all of the above when shopping for used tyres to make sound financial decisions that will also protect your safety on the road.

See When Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Will Be Completed

There seems to be no end in sight for the construction and renovation going on on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Many dates have been fixed in the past, with all of them passing but the work is never ending.

The Sagamu-Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project will be completed by 2021, the contractor, Julius Berger, has said.

The Operations Manager, Julius Berger, Thamm Olaf, told the Senate Committee on Works, led by its Chairman, Kabiru Gaya, on Sunday, that the project, which was to be completed in 2017, was stalled due to paucity of funds and the recent expansion.

Gaya and other members of the committee, who were on an oversight visit to road projects in Lagos, however, stated that they were not happy about the slow pace of the work, despite the efforts and funds that had been put into it.

He said the Federal Government had spent a lot of money on the road and others across the country and had moved cost of road infrastructure from N500bn to 600bn in the 2019 budget to accommodate more road construction.

“The project is good as it will take care of traffic but we are not happy with the speed and so we expect the contractor to increase the pace of work, even though there were amendments on the road,” he said.

Gaya also told journalists that the contractor of the Tin Can Island Truck Park, Borini Prono, had said that the project, expected to ease traffic congestion around Apapa Wharf, would be completed in December.

He said the project had reached 97 per cent completion while construction of the shoreline, recently added to protect the park, had commenced.

He said, “When we visited this site in 2015, the construction was less than 70 per cent; now it is 97 per cent because money has been paid and we insist that it must be finished by December.

“We have also said that the facilities are not good enough for a trailer park; there should be more toilets, restaurant and even a small clinic.”

The committee also inspected the Apapa Wharf Road, a two-kilometre concrete road being constructed by AG Dangote and expected to be completed before the end of the year; the Leventis Bridge, which is expected to be completed by Julius Berger by the first quarter of 2019; and the Third Mainland Bridge, which would be partially closed in 2019 for rehabilitation.

Other roads inspected during the tour were the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road being handled by Arab Contractors with a completion date of 2021, and the 1.5km NNPC Mosimi Access Road, which had been stalled by a debt of N1bn.

Although the Lagos-Badagry Road project was not inspected, the Federal Controller of Works, Adedamola Kuti, however, stated that the Federal Executive Council had re-awarded the contract and work would commence soon.

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