Thursday 28 December 2017

Yellow Card Palava, A Traveller's Narrative!

On one of my road trips to Ghana, west Africa, from Lagos -Nigeria, I decided to do 'the right thing', get my "Vaccination-Card". I was not just going to get a "Yellow-card", but was determined to do the right-thing, which includes: following the due process, in obtaining my card. Actually, it wasn't that important, after all, a lot of road-travelers on the west African frontier cross the borders on a daily basis without the Yellow Card. All you have to do is pay the required five-hundred Naira per trip, as cover for the card, and ensure that your passport gets stamped.

Seme Border

Before the journey, I went to the Lagos State General Hospital, Marina, Lagos Island, from where I was directed to go the nearby "Lagos Island East, L.C.D.A, International Travel Unit, Yellow Card Vaccination", located at Broad street. There I was vaccinated, and given a Yellow-card at the cost of two-thousand, five-hundred Naira.

Two weeks later, I embarked on my voyage. Beaming with pride 'unto good citizen's levels, as in, it's not easy. Seriously, a lot of Nigerian youths are eager to do the right thing, but sometimes the System is not encouraging. That would be a story for another day. Back to my story, I traveled to Ghana, without hassles, my travel document was in tact.- a valid International passport, and my newly obtained Yellow card. 

Lagos Island East, L.C.D.A, International Travel Unit, Yellow Card Vaccination office, Lagos Island

"Kassalla", like Nigerians would say, 'bust' on my return trip. On getting to the Nigerian side of Seme border, after the routine check and cross-check, I was among those asked to alight from the vehicle by the Health officials. 

My offense, I was traveling with a fake Yellow card. Excuse me, a Yellow card I went to the Lagos Island East, L.C.D.A, International Travel Unit, Yellow Card Vaccination office to obtain, was vaccinated, massaged my swollen upper-arm for three days, if not more, simply because I wanted to do the right thing, you call fake.  

Obviously burning with anger and regrets of going through all the trouble to obtain the vaccination-card, I explained how, and where I got the supposed 'fake-card, a supposedly accredited vaccination center, yet another government agency, is telling me the card is fake. The good-news at that juncture, was that I had no money on me, even if they turned me up-side down, one-kobo would not have dropped off me. When their initial threats, of detention until I paid five hundred bucks failed, They let me off, with a warning to get another card when next I wanted to travel. I left, fuming and swearing beneath my breath (lol).

The supposed fake-Yellow-Card was with-held and the officers advised that I obtain an original card from their station at Seme border, since that appears to be the only office that issues authentic vaccination cards, in the whole of Nigeria. Can you beat that!.

A couple of weeks lateer, I made a stop-over at the "Lagos Island East, L.C.D.A, International Travel Unit, Yellow Card Vaccination", Broad street to complain about my the Yellow-card incident at Seme Border. After patiently listening to my complaint, an officer who attended to me, said she was sorry for what I went through at the border, adding that the issue of withdrawing Yellow cards from travelers who obtained their cards from their office, has been in contention for a long time. According to her, they had communicated with health officials at Seme border to desist from harassing travelers on the basis of 'fake Yellow cards' obtained from their office, to no avail. Nevertheless, they would get across to Seme. 

My own is that the Nigerian government should investigate this matter, and provide a lasting solution. Unsuspecting citizens, who had gone to a supposedly recognized International Travel Unit, Yellow Card Vaccination office, got vaccinated, all in a bid to do the 'right thing', are being harassed on a daily basis and extorted, by the Yellow card Health officials at Seme border.  

Yes, extorted! or how else can one explain paying twice for a  Vaccination Card to a supposed government agency, and no one is raising eye-brows. 

There should be a clear directive on where and how to obtain a valid Vaccination Card, to avoid undue harassment, and extortion, all in the name of "Oga/ Madam, this one is fake, we are withdrawing it; you have to get the original one here and now".

Thursday 21 December 2017

Fuel Scarcity Wahala: Which Way Nigeria!

Days after Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria  (PENGASSAN) announced suspension of the strike it embarked on, long queues persists in filling stations across Lagos state and some states across the country.

Lekki-Epe express way

Since the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) recent statement that there is no plan to increase the price of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide, what is obtained is far-fetched. 

Gridlock on Lekki -Epe express way around VGC 

Pictures here show long queues stretching from filling stations into highways, stranded commuters walking long distance to the next bus-stop to catch busses at lower rates, or to their destinations. Vehicle owners stuck in gridlock to and fro work. 

Stranded commuters around VGC Traffic light, Lekki Peninsula axis, Lagos

Interestingly, some of the alternative routes that would have made things easier are currently in very bad shapes. 

Ikota - Mobil road alternative route

Community youths rally to control traffic, to ease the situation in their (alternative) territory, but the roads are simply very bad.

Ikota - Mobil road by- pass

Entrance into Ikota/ Mobil rd link alternative route

Entrance into Ikota/ Mobil rd link alternative route

Lekki Peninsula axis by VGC Junction, Lagos

Publications earlier in the week revealed that Oil Marketers blamed the situation on 'yet-to-be-fixed supply shortfalls'. 

Sunday 17 December 2017

Cleaner Lagos Initiative, Your Attention Is Needed At Adisa Coker, Iju!

Attention 'Cleaner Lagos Initiative', and Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps, residents of Adisa Coker street, Obawale, Iju, are complaining, that the refuge generated in the area, has not been cleared for over a month. 

Adisa Coker strt, Obawale, Iju

Do investigate & act accordingly.

Thursday 7 December 2017

Man Jumps To His Death After Being Remanded In Prison For 6 Months Over =N=40,000 Debt; Nigerians Question Her Justice System!

Over an incident that looks like the famous George Orwell’s Animal Farm's "All animals are equal, but some are more equal"; in a system where reported National-Fund Looters, are yet to be officially heard in the Court of Law, nor handed any sentences. Nigerians have reacted and questioned the disposition of the Justice System over a recent event at the State Magistrate Court, Ogba, Lagos – Nigeria.

Remains of the deceased being taken away by officials.
Photo credit: Oluwafemi Esq.

According to News break on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017, a yet to be identified man jumped to his death from the third floor of the Lagos State Magistrate Court, Ogba, Lagos - Nigeria.

Information revealed that the man owed a Forty thousand naira (=N=40,000) a little bit over a $100 debt, and has been remanded in prison for the past six months over the said crime. The deceased, it was gathered jumped to his death after his case was heard in Court.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Return Of Long Queue In Gas Stations Contradicts NNPC Group's Assurance Of 'No Plans To Hike Price/ Enough Stock Of Fuel'!

Despite Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) recent Press Release stating that the is no plan to increase the prices of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide, there have been long queue in some fuel stations across Lagos state. 

Pictures in this post shows long queue of vehicles waiting to purchase the PMS product at a filling station along Lekki express way, Lagos state, Wednesday morning, December 6th, 2017.

Part of NNPC Group's Press Release reads:

The NNPC in a release informed that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre have not changed noting that the Corporation has enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.

While enjoining motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumours of an impending fuel price hike in some online news platforms, the NNPC said it has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders including petroleum marketers and industry unions to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond.

The NNPC group enjoined motorists not to engage in panic buying or indulge in the dangerous practice of stocking petroleum products in jerry cans at home.

The Corporation noted that its downstream subsidiary companies namely the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and NNPC Retail Limited are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation.” 

What is seen in reality contradicts NNPC Group’s statement of assurance. Since Monday, December 4th, 2017, commuters have been seen stranded at various bus-stops across the state due to few commercial vehicles available on the roads. Most of the vehicles are seen in queues at Gas stations trying to purchase Fuel.

Robbers Apprehended As They Tried To Strike Around Mobile Road, Lekki!

A thief was on Wednesday morning, December 6th, 2017, caught while hiding under the weeds in the canal along Mobile Road interception, off Ilaje bus-stop, Lekki area of Lagos state.

Apprehended thief along Mobil Road

According to eye witness accounts, the robbers, two in number attacked a lady very early, before dawn, on her way to work, as she made to board a commercial bus by the canal on Mobile Road. The duo reportedly snatched her bag and made to escape. Fortunately, her scream attracted other commuters and passers-by who rushed to the scene. In a bid to escape, the robbers jumped into the swampy canal. 

After about over an hour of search in the canal by the now-growing crowd, one of the robbers, pictured above, was sighted while trying to escape, swimming under the weed. He was stoned, caught and handed over to the Police.

On interrogation, the apprehended robber reportedly confessed that they were two in number, the other young man, believed to be hiding under the weed in the canal, is the gang leader, and that he has the gun. 

The Police driving the apprehended robber and the victim to the Station.

Passers by and keke Marwa (commercial tricycle) riders in particular, saw the apprehension as a relief from constant attacks and stealing of tricycles on that axis. They blamed the ability of the robbers to hid in the canal on the current uncleared state of the canal. "If this canal has been cleared and properly constructed, these robbers will not be able to hid under the weed". they said. The apprehended robber was taken to the Police Station. The victim was also driven to the Police Station to give her report.

As at the time of filing this report, the second 'armed' robber is still at large, believably hiding under the canal weeds.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Oshodi By The Nigerian Army Shopping Arena Needs Environmental Sanitation!

Filthy state of popular Oshodi, Lagos state, by the Arena, Nigerian Army Shopping Arena. 

Front of the Arena, Nigerian Army Shopping Arena, Oshodi, Lagos 

Front of the Arena, Nigerian Army Shopping Arena, Oshodi, Lagos

Near the Rail-way, Oshodi, Lagos

Near the Rail-way, Oshodi, Lagos

Lagos state Ministry of the Environment needs to visit this area.

Saturday 2 December 2017

Infrastructural Development Projects Around Lagos: Gradual Transformation Of Ilaje Bus-Stop!

Pictures of the gradual transformation of Ilaje bus-stop, inward Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki Peninsula axis of Lagos state, Nigeria, from what is used to look like as pictured below in July, 2017, to the new face a portion of the bus-stop currently wears.

Photos with caption below: 

A Portion of Ilaje bus-stop, inward VGC before refurbishment

A Portion of Ilaje bus-stop, before refurbishment

Link to earlier publication:

Construction of a portion of Ilaje bus-stop, inward VGC

Construction of a portion of Ilaje bus-stop

New face of a portion of Ilaje bus-stop, inward VGC

Weldon, Lagos State government, however, the second part of Ilaje bus-stop inward VGC needs to be completed for total refurbishment.

Current state of a portion of Ilaje bus-stop inward VGC.