Truckers under the auspices of Tin Can Island Transporter Operators have said that the electronic call-up system has failed to address the gridlock, alleging that the process was fraudulent. To that effect, they began on a three-day protest on Tuesday to draw the attention of the federal and state government to the anomalies affecting the electronic call system recently introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority. This is coming barely a month since the NPA introduced the e call-up system aimed at addressing the traffic situation along the Apapa port corridor and to further promote trade facilitation. The truck owners also threatened to withdraw their services from the nation’s seaport if the concerned authorities failed to yield to their demands. The coordinator of the transportation group, Sylvester Keshiro, who addressed the crowd at the Tin Can Island Port second gate on Tuesday said the presence of security agencies along the Mile 2- Sunrise corridor posed a serious menace to the operators. Keshiro, who is also a chieftain of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, said the various holding bays designated for trucks were allegedly extorting truck owners with unimaginable and arbitrary charges. He said, “What we are asking the government to do for us is that NPA should go out with transporters to check if truly the designated holding bays are functioning or not. “Again, let the NPA investigate the amount payable for empty containers at the holding bays; at least with these two facts, they will know that the holding bays and the call up system in place are not functioning. “We also want the NPA to join us and visit Sunrise bus stop and see things themselves and look at how to amend their ways.” The coordinator lamented that operators of designated holding bays charged the truckers as high as ₦180,000 after 48 hours. Another transporter, Patrick Okonkwo explained that the e-call up was not supposed to attract additional cost from the truck operators but added that the designated holding bay collected additional money after 48 hours. Okonkwo stressed that an additional ₦16,000 were deducted as demurrage charges after 48 hours, a situation the trucker alleged as fraudulent.
Residents of Maiduguri were elated Wednesday evening when electricity was restored nearly two months after jihadists blew up power supply lines. The attack on 26 January was the third time in a month that militants from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group had plunged the city into darkness. The power company has not yet released a statement but had said it was working on repairing the supply lines to the city of three million people. ISWAP and rival Boko Haram jihadist group often target infrastructure, blowing up telecom and power lines in the northeast. Militants also target army patrols, making the roads in the region risky for civilians as well as repair crews from the power company. Nigeria’s jihadist insurgency began in 2009. The conflict has since killed around 36,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes.
Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa says his government has written a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the James Ibori loot recovered by Nigeria. Okowa said this on Wednesday when he appeared on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme. A few weeks ago, the United Kingdom made a commitment to return the £4.2 million loot recovered from Ibori, a former Delta governor, and his associates. Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami had said the money should go to the FG and not Delta. Commenting on the matter during the interview, Okowa said: “On our part, I have spoken with the attorney-general of the federation. My attorney-general went to have a meeting with him. We are working, and we are likely to come on the same page. We have written a formal letter of protest to Mr President. Ours is to convince the federal government to know that the money ought to return to Delta.” He said if the money cannot be sent to Delta, it should be spent on projects in the state. Okowa also noted that his government does not believe in getting the money back through legal action.
Kenya on Wednesday ordered the closure of two sprawling camps that host hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Somalia and gave the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) two weeks to present a plan to do so, the interior ministry said. The Dadaab and the Kakuma refugee camps in northern Kenya together host more than 410,000 people, a small proportion of whom are from South Sudan. Authorities in Nairobi first announced their intention to shut the Dadaab camp, which is closer to the border with Somalia than Kakuma, back in 2016, citing national security concerns. Fred Matiang’i, the interior minister, has now given the UNHCR 14 days to draw up a plan for the closure of both Dadaab and Kakuma, his ministry said in a tweet, adding that there was no room for further talks on the issue. UNHCR urged Kenya to ensure that those who need protection continue to get it, and pledged to keep engaging in a dialogue. “The decision would have an impact on the protection of refugees in Kenya, including in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in a statement. Somali authorities did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Kenyan government’s attempt to close Dadaab in 2016 was informed by intelligence reports showing two large attacks on Kenyan targets in 2013 and 2015 took place with the involvement of elements in the camps. The plan was blocked by the high court, which called the move unconstitutional. The camp was established three decades ago and was once the world’s largest refugee camp, which at its peak hosted over half a million people fleeing violence and drought in Somalia.