Views
4 months ago

BusinessDay 15 April 2018

8 C002D5556 Sunday

8 C002D5556 Sunday 15 April 2018 Metro Water shortages, traffic jams, dirty environment haunt Apapa residents JOSHUA BASSEY, IFEOMA OKEKE & DAVID IBEMERE Residents of the Apapa area of Lagos are groaning on account of the challenges they face due to lack of water supply, traffic jams and a dirty environment. In this interview with BDSUNDAY’s LANATU JOY SHEL- TON, the residents say the Federal Government should come to the aid of the community before the rains start. Come with me as we go round Apapa to know some of the challenges/problems of the people and how to overcome them. GABRIEL “Well I don’t want to be bias but I don’t think they (government) are doing very much, I can’t tell if they have done something new in Apapa, but from what we can see, they haven’t done anything new, though I don’t stay in Apapa.” GODWIN “Apapa lacks good roads; the traffic gridlock is too much. No water at all; in fact, we have no water in Apapa and there is excessive heat, blocked drainages, no regulation of traffic we are calling on the government to please do something about the water problem that we have in Apapa.” ESTHER “Number one- bad roads, people from Apapa are moving to Ogun State. As you can see, there are traffic jams everywhere, the roads are bad, but the local government chairman is trying. There are accidents sometimes, especially during holiday seasons like Christmas. We have problem of water shortages, especially during dry season. Even in places where we buy portable water, we still do not get water there. In short, we have a lot of problems in Apapa.” NAOMI “We have bad roads; we have the Water Corporation but they are not working. We also have lots of mad men in Apapa. It’s really surprising but the number of mad men in Apapa is alarming. You know mad men can be very harmful; we also have problem of flooding, so if the local government chairman can make provision for improved drainage, it Ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State and the 2019 general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission has resuscitated the State Implementation Committee on Voters’ Education and Publicity (SICVEP) as part of efforts at ensuring free, fair, credible, acceptable and conclusive elections. The committee is made of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Information, State Ministry of Information, the Ekiti State Office of the National Orientation Agency, Ministry of Women Affairs, the State Government owned Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State and the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). Speaking during the inaugural meeting of the revived committee in Ado Ekiti, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the State, Professor Abdulwould be good.” EKENE “The traffic jams are horrible, now you have trailers parking on the road. The places that are bad are being worked on. One good thing though is that electricity supply has improved significantly in Apapa. Another challenge is that there are few employment opportunities in Apapa, the companies in Apapa are for people that have graduated from higher institutions and if you are not yet a graduate, they will not employ you. For instance, I am a driver but here in Apapa they don’t value drivers which is making me unemployed. Another thing is that things are very expensive here, unlike other parts of Lagos.” DANIEL The problem with Apapa Local INEC resuscitates voter education, publicity committee in Ekiti Ganiyu Olayinka Raji stressed the importance of passing accurate information on guidelines for the on-going voters’ registration and other relevant voters’ education towards ensuring the success of the Governorship election this year and the general election scheduled for 2019. The REC who spoke through the Administrative Secretary of the Commission in the State, Dr. Omoleke Muslim expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the on-going voters registration exercise, noting that the number of the newly registered voters had exceeded the number recorded in the previous exercise by over 20percent. He listed activities lined up for the committee in preparation for the elections to include organising implementation meetings with relevant stakeholders, voters’ education exercise at the grassroots level as well as production and distribution of information, education and communication materials. Professor Raji explained that the focus of INEC was to boost political awareness of the people and make voters more conscious of their rights adding that the Commission would remain neutral and leave no stone unturned in ensuring a level playing field for all contestants. Cautioning politicians against making inflammatory statements, Raji called on journalists to refrain from reporting stories that were capable of heating up the polity stressing the need for them to check and crosscheck their stories before going to press to avoid reporting falsehood. He appealed to all stakeholders to act responsibly before, during and after the Ekiti State gubernatorial election scheduled to hold on Saturday, July 14, 2018 and the 2019 general election in order to achieve the desired result. Government is that it is a dirty environment. Apapa is very dirty. The government should do something about it. Also, if the people can individually clean their immediate environments, it would help. JOSEPHINE “The traffic jams are a big turn-off. I think the challenge in Apapa Local Government is mainly the traffic jams because of the heavy tankers, heavy duty trucks because of the two ports, Tincan Island Port and Apapa Wharf. Most of the containers are being discharged from the ports so the tankers bring about traffic jams there.” PRECIOUS “The major challenge is the road. The roads are in terrible condition and the way tanker drivers’ park is horrible. They should have designated parks that will not dis- IDRIS UMAR MOMOH, Benin rupt traffic. We have poor refuse disposal in Apapa and it makes the place an eyesore. Also, there is no potable water in Apapa. IDDO I think the traffic gridlocks are the major challenge I notice in Apapa. DELPHINE “The traffic jams are the major challenge and also the commercial motorcyclists are very rough so if they can organise the motorcyclists and talk to them to behave and ride their bikes in a better manner it will be good. BOSE It’s just traffic; if you are coming from a very far distance to Apapa you will notice that the traffic is really very, very bad. WISDOM The roads in Apapa are very bad, so the government should do something about it. Water is also a big problem for people living in Apapa. We don’t have water, we suffer to get water. SIMON I don’t stay in Apapa, but when I visit, I notice that the roads are congested and the place is dusty and full of fuel tankers. PEACE “One of the problems I have noticed in Apapa is the mad men around. You will be surprised at the number of mad men moving around. Atimes it amazes me how I come across them all the time, and also the environment is rough and dirty, so if the local government can do something about that, I think it would be good.” Bridge academics partners Edo women to fight human trafficking, girl-child labour The management of Bridge International Academics said it was partnering with the Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress Women Committee (NLC-W C) on war against human trafficking and girl-child labour in the state. The Vice- President, Policy and Partnership, Bridge International Academics, Adesuwa Ifedi, made the disclosure at the celebration of the 2018 International Women’s Day organised for the Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress- women committee (NLC-WC) in Benin-City. Ifedi, said the partnership was to ensure that parents as the first agent of socialisation chain are sensitised on the negative consequences of human trafficking and child labour. Speaking at the event with the theme ‘Press for Progress: A Boost for Women as Partners in Progress Economically and Politically”, she said that the organisation’s efforts was geared towards empowering, strengthening and helping women through adequate education, understand the need to provide quality and qualitative education to their children “We understand that the role of women is critical to the success of education in the family. Women are really the gatekeepers when it comes to providing education to children or making sure children remain in schools. Unfortunately, in Edo, we are aware that the state has had severe incidents of human trafficking.”

Sunday 15 April 2018 9 C002D5556 News Feature NLNG set to operate with zero record of tragedy …Launches operation ‘Goal Zero’ …CEO says firm not ready to celebrate profit in calamity IGNATIUS CHUKWU The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company, which started operations 19 years ago, says it is set to take its pride of place as a global giant; a status it says must include operating with zero record of tragedy, death or injury. To meet this lofty standard and surpass global safety targets of 0.5 percent, the management of the NLNG has launched what it calls ‘Goal Zero’, a project that would guarantee any form of disaster, accident, death or other incidents or injuries. Experts say it is the kind of atmosphere required to create confidence in such a massive gas environment. To kick-start the new goal, the company said it was important to be on same page with its immediate publics, those who have reason to be within the complex and in its outlets; its workers, contractors and community workers. For this reason, a conference was staged at the Hotel Presidential recently, to unbundle Goal Zero and understand the new slogan- ‘See Something, Do Something, Say Something’. The managing director, Tony Attah, who said he was not prepared to run a company with safety incidents, opened the floor with reasons for the all-inclusive nature of the conference, saying in issues of safety, staff or contractor or CEO, there is joint responsibility, which is about safety for people, both “The year 2017 was a year of mixed feelings. It opened in a very bad way. So, we declared that ‘never again’. Thus, we reset the baseline on safety standards; a commitment to keeping our people safe. All of us signed that commitment and it made a lot of difference. It was therefore, a year of clarity and consolidation to be a better player. We may ask, what do global players do to keep their people safe? That is what we committed to,” Attah said. Explaining the extent of sensitivity of Safety in such a workplace, Attah said: “Yes, 2017 was a fantastic year in terms of performance. We recorded the highest volume ever produced. We however, did not celebrate the feat because we did not know who would go tell the wife of the late Henry, the driver that died in a car accident, that that same year was best year. As long as that one person did not go home alive, we cannot call it a good year.” In an interview later, he ex- Tony Attah plained the performance thus: “We had the highest performance level ever in the life of NLNG last year, producing 21 million tonnes from a 22 million tonne-capacity plant. It was a fantastic delivery, with the support of our shareholders, directors, our communities, gas suppliers, and most importantly, our own people. They made it happen last year.” Back in the conference hall, he said the year 2018 would be to commit to repeating the feat of 2017 and celebrate it by committing not to record any loss of life or recording any injury. He said each person must therefore, ask the question; what do I do to raise the game, to make a difference in the company? “Now to test how we take control. Can we say our people are safe and know it? That is the reason we are here; to create safety guarantees,” he said. The CEO insisted that the right to grow starts with safety. “In this, we must grow with the contractors. This is the essence of Goal Zero. It is aimed to guarantee injury- and incident-free future, a place where people would be proud to send their children to. Some workers choose where there is care for safety; care for values. Can many people desire their children to work in oil companies the way they are today?” He said the slogan required all hands on deck to achieve the “No injury, no incident” target. As a strategy, the MD urged the managers not to define what the workers would say in the ‘Say Something’ slogan but to create the environment for people to speak up. “It is not about aiming for 99 percent perfection; that one percent chance is everything, it can make the difference,” he emphasised. Using the tragic incident of January 12, 2017 that took a life, he explained the new logic thus: “When I sent that driver, why didn’t I see that he was not well; that his wife just gave birth the previous night and so he had a bad night? Why didn’t I ask, had he driven 300 km before, and was he in good shape? Why didn’t anybody see it? At least, five people would have seen it. The safe way is the way.” One of the officers, Ejike Okoli, took the stage to educate on the NLNG HSE Leadership Charter and the eight commitments that were made in 2017. “Mandate for management to go to site to spread the message. The mandate was for 44 such visits but records showed 49, overshooting by five. The policy has progressed from inspection to engagement so management could get involved in site issues,” The custodians of safety are the HSE Department Managers, but they liaise with the frontline staff and technical managers who design operations Okoli explained. “Goal Zero being launched in 2018 is to do more; MD alone promised to do 10 site inspections. The new policy is to hold staff accountable on safety issues and to use HSE) (Health, Safety and Environment) now as part of evaluation of workers. Workers at all levels are mandated to show love and care. An incident about a boy on fast that collapsed and how his colleagues responded with comprehensive care showed that the message is sinking fast. It takes interaction to gain understanding (engagement). Until safety consciousness gets to the shore-floor, it won’t work. An example of how to empower frontline staff is when the MD ate launch with the winners of safety contest,” he said. Another important lesson on the day was the mandate to follow through to the end in every task that a manager was supervising. He said the first quarter of 2017 was marked with death, incidents and piracy attack, hence March summit that led to new safety commitments. “The custodians of safety are the HSE Department Managers, but they liaise with the frontline staff and technical managers who design operations,” he further said. On contractors and community workers, he said more than 80 percent of incidents occur with this category. He gave benchmarks showing that some moments last year recorded up to 1.05 percent but that 2017 ended with 0.04 percent. The top five challenges he mentioned include awareness that just one percent failure can cause disaster. “So, we process our product in the most efficient and safe way. We cannot afford a mistake.” A panel including the MD and other top managers in and outside the NLNG was constituted, during which time Attah said: “Under my watch, there will be no single incident. Now, can I envision my company to accomplish this? Vision is for one person but action is for all. We must get to a point where we can do business where no man is hurt.” Some CEOs of contracting firms used the floor to propose safety theories and practices. One CEO said safety is a moral obligation. “In bidding for contracts, they rate your company’s HSE compliance status as one point but when you get into the job, you discover it is everything. So, my company has the slogan; ‘If it is not safe, don’t do it,’ but harped on the need to empower the workers to meet these lofty slogans,” he said. The MD of NSML, the company’s shipping line, said: “Our ships travel all over the world, over 300 seafarers on board at any time. This is a huge HSE endeavour”. The Deputy MD of NLNG, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, said the strategy is to talk less but do more. “This summit is part of doing. CEOs are here, so begin with the end in mind. Safety must be inherent in our way of life (DNA).” A contractor gave kudos to the NLNG, saying: “The passion here is high. Safety is priority in our organisation. Our mandate is to show care to all and safety appraisal is our key. Costs are a hindrance so one day summit is the only way to get companies to send their workers. People find it difficult to embark on seven days conferences.” An expatriate CEO said the NLNG sets the target which the contractors followed. “We insist that when there is an incident, even if it was averted, it must be reported to NLNG. Our firm has won awards on HSE for five consecutive years. It is good to be thorough.” Another CEO of a contracting firm, added, “All incidents were preventable. Here we say, it’s God that saves. We even have a mindset of expecting incidents as a matter of right. We must learn from somebody’s incidents. Those who operate in the air are very conscious and try to get all factors right. Those on land seem very lax. You must report even near-incidents as a matter of rule.” The session was pierced by a question read out by the facilitator (Chidi) from a worker for one of the contractors who said: “MD, you at NLNG talk, do and train your people well, but the contractors do not train us. How may you compel the contractors at this conference to invest in training?” The MD seemed touched and urged the conference experts and contractors to help find an answer. The DMD said there are inconsistent safety standards in most companies due to cost cutting approaches and hunger for profit. He urged them to insist on standards. “Balance your desire for profit with cost and safety,” he said. The MD (Attah) who insisted that people matter said it was about care. It was made clear that ‘salary is a contract, care is a relationship’. The facilitator urged CEOs to go out and see what is happening in the workforce. “If you go, you will see and you will act. This is the key to success in the workplace.”

April 2018
Barfly April 2018
GHCL Digest APRIL 2018
Contact Magazine April 2018