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APAPA GRIDLOCK: Opeifa is my Brother; I did not malign his Committee- Chief Ogungbemi

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AMATO bans Drunk-driving, and Driving without Container-hooks

…Lauds NPA for re-converting Lily Pond to Truck Holding Bay***

Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Chairman, Chief Remi Ogungbemi at the weekend refuted the controversial allusion that he castigated the Opeifa led Presidential Task Force for the Decongestion of Apapa gridlock, describing the allusion as absolutely ‘disappointing’.

Chief Ogungemi made the rebuttal in an exclusive chat with the Maritime First at the National Stadium in Surulere,  saying “Opeifa is my brother”, whom he would have freely visited at home to intimate with such information, if ever he believed in such a story. Ogungbemi’s remark became necessary following recent publications insinuating that Ogungbemi allegedly castigated Opeifa’s committee for taking bribes.

He recalled granting interviews to several news media as an industry stakeholder, and challenged anyone with credible information or recorded clips of such utterance to make it public.

“I never said anything like that to any media outfit!” he stressed, praising the Presidential Task Force for having effectively contained the gridlock menace, noting that this was unlike several of such task forces in the past, which failed over such assignments.

“It is unfortunate and very disappointing. I read the story myself. There was a particular story credited to me, printing my name boldly, not only my name they also put my picture, to create impression that the story emanated from me. It is unfortunate.

“Me, Chief Remi Ogungbemi; I didn’t not mention anything like that to any media houses, and this is the truth.

 

“ Even though I do receive complains from drivers and truck owners that they are been extorted, but I have not at any time told anybody that any task force is extorting money. Even if I hear any such thing, Opeifa is a person I know very well, he’s my brother, I even know his house.

“If I have such information, I can go to him, and tell him: ‘this is what I heard’.

“Even the head of the task force team, Odunmosu himself, I know him very well and I have his number. If I have any information I can go to him to ask him. But for somebody to just sit down somewhere and cook a story on his own of which I do not know where he got his story from and now put my name and my picture, I’m not impressed and I’m not happy about it.

“I have even informed my lawyer.

Also read:  OPEIFA: APAPA, a Story of Huge Success, not Bribery!

“They should be able to publish the source of that story because it is very embarrassing. They have defamed my character as a person and I am not impressed and I’m not happy about it, I did not mention anything about it. I read the story myself that there is somewhere in Yaba where truckers normally usually pay money, that they pay money to LASMA office in Yaba, before the taskforce would pass their truck. I Remi, I did not say such a thing. And I stand at any time to anybody to come and confront me, to come and challenge me, to produce the clips by which I made such a statement because of the interviews I normally grant, they are always recorded; they can bring the clip out and play it for the public to hear”, the AMATO Boss stated further.

Chief Remi Ogungbemi commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), noting that without the un-spared support of the Authority, which timely converted the Lily Pond to a Truck holding Bay and made same available to the Task Force, the Committee might not have recorded such noteworthy performance.

He trace back the history of gridlocks in Lagos from the 1966’s to the present gridlock, pointing out that it was in the process of containing one of such gridlocks that culminated in the creation of the Lily Pond as Truck Terminal, in addition to the Tin Can Island Port, wondering why anyone would later convert it to a Container Terminal.

 

 

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Emulate the LTT, NPA Enjoins Industry Stakeholders

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As the Marine firm donates Rader, Communication gadgets, expressing commitment to make things better

The Nigerian Ports Authority at the weekend enjoined stakeholders to selflessly support the Authority’s bid to move efficiency to the next level, even as it thanked the LTT and Coastal Marine Services for its commitment to assisting in strengthening port operations.

The Executive Director of Marine and Operations, Mr. Olalekan Badmus stated this, while witnessing the official installation of the LTT donated equipment, meant to fill up certain operational gaps, thereby improving harbour efficiency.

*L-R: The Apapa Port Manager, Mr. Charles Okaga, the NPA Executive Director, Marine & Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus and the LTT Group Managing Director, Mr. Hilik Yichiel Kalusky during the equipment inspection at the Port’s Tower, Bull Nose, Apapa, Lagos, at the weekend.

The Items included a full VHF, AIS, screens to obtain on-the-spot assessment of the channel; walkie-talkie, and backup inverters with the capacity to work on solar and battery. Their provision is expected to significantly bridge the power gaps, communication, and visual gaps.

“This is a welcome development and my message is to enjoin other stakeholders to emulate the LTT and contribute in whatever ways that will ensure that things get better.

*Executive Director, Marine and Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus, during the equipment inspection

“What the LTT has done is commendable and we know it would have an appreciable impact in boosting our efficiency.

“The LTT has demonstrated it’s goodwill; and like the Yoruba saying goes: We will praise you for this one, to motivate you to do more!”, the Executive Director, Olalekan Badmus further stated.

Earlier in his address, the cheerful-donor, and LTT Managing Director, Kalusky Hilik had highlighted that the major reason for the action was to make things work.

“We are here to make things work. Our vision is to make things work better”, Hilik Kalusky stated, stressing that his major concern had been to ensure an all-round port’s full, functional regime.

He said this is because, whether it is raining, sunny, or harmattan, ships are always coming in; and he is determined that the LTT must deliver the best results possible to Nigeria.

“That is why we decided on the small move to improve on the Rader and Communication aspects.

He expressed his optimism that the port would witness more development in rapid succession and stressed that the LTT wants to be at the forefront of this initiative.

Expatiating on the presentation, an informed staff, Frank Nwaeze said the importance of the equipment was to effectively mitigate the observed gaps, hindering operational efficiency.

He praised the robust relationship between the NPA and the LTT which he noted had consistently increased job efficiency and effectiveness.

“However, in the course of our interactions, we noticed some gaps; and the Managing Director thought it wise, to see how the LTT could fill this gap.

He said the first noticeable gap was the power gap, the erratic power supply, recalling the power outage that occurred twice, 30 minutes earlier, before the ceremony kicked off..

He identified the second gap as in the area of communication gadgets, hence the need to ensure the provision of inverters and the solar system.

*A group picture, after the equipment inspection

“So that at every point in time, the equipment is powered, so as to ensure a better ease of operation.”

Still, on the communication gap, he said it was for this reason that the Managing Director thought it wise to put a base station in the port operations office, to boost harbour and pilotage activities, adding that this would significantly facilitate easy access in the monitoring of the tugs, pilot cutters and make general operations, seamless.

He said the installation has now achieved that, in both the Port Control and Port Operations Office.

Finally, he identified the observed need for the provision of credible electronic eyes, hence the need for the installation of AIS and the radar system. This has now ensured that at every point in time, the authority is fully aware of what obtains in every aspect of its fore or background as well as be able to interact with their vessels.

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NIMASA Expresses Concern Over Seafarers’ Mental Health, Lauds Adeyanju on Industrial Harmony

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…MWUN leader says Jamoh instrumental to Maritime Industry peace 

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, on Tuesday restated the commitment of the Agency to the mental health of Seafarers. 

Dr. Jamoh who specially commended the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN,  during MWUN President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju’s working visit, said the Union was uniquely fostering industrial harmony in the Nigerian maritime sector.

Industry stakeholders have generally identified the Union leader and Prince of Ibadan with pronounced peace and ongoing industrial harmony. Before Adeyanju’s tenure, the Nigerian maritime industry had routinely witnessed a regime of door-banging, threat-mongering unionists.

*L-R: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR (left) with the President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

 

“We have witnessed more dialogue in resolving issues under your tenure and improved employer-employee relationship within the maritime sector”, Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated, stressing:

ALSO READ: US Coast Guard To Work With NIMASA On ‘Condition of Entry’ Removal

“We need to sustain the industrial harmony in this sector, to attain in-country confidence amongst stakeholders and ultimately attract FDI to the country. 

“We at NIMASA will encourage projects like the Seafarers Recreational Centre because it will enhance seafarers’ mental, emotional, and social well-being, amongst other benefits”.

On his part, Comrade Adeyanju highlighted that the Collective Bargaining Agreement facilitated by NIMASA is largely responsible for the ease with which employee-employer dialogue now takes place in the maritime sector.

*L-R: Head, Public Relations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Osagie Edward;  Deputy President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Francis Bunu; Director General NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; President General MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju; Deputy President General MWUN, Comrade Tonye Harry and MWUN Liaison Officer, Lucky Olombeni during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

“Dr. Jamoh has been very instrumental in ensuring industrial harmony within the maritime sector. H

“He seeks dialogue anytime we issue an ultimatum. His pro-activeness has contributed significantly to the outstanding performance of the current NIMASA Administration, we are very proud of him. 

“Unionism is now scientific, with the use of data analysis to arrive at our position on any issue, and we prefer dialogue to confrontation and it has worked for us over the years. The Collective Bargaining Agreement implemented by NIMASA has made things very easy and transparent.” He said

Speaking further, Comrade Adeyanju who is also the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, disclosed that the Union has secured approval for international collaboration to establish a recreational Center for Seafarers in Nigeria, signaling positive strides in supporting the well-being of maritime workers.

ALSO READ: AKUTA: Shippers’ Council Executive Secretary Visits Jamoh, Lauds NIMASA’s Achievements

’’We have been working with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, UK, to which MWUN is affiliated. They have offered us a grant to partly fund the construction of a Seafarers Recreational Centre. 

“We are glad to announce that NIMASA is favorably disposed to this project. When completed, the Seafarers Recreational Centre will not only serve as a rallying point for in-country seafarers, but also offer a welcoming environment for those onboard during port calls, allowing them to experience and savor the warmth of Nigerians”, the MWUN President General further said.

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FOU Kaduna Records N2bn Seizures, Laments Smugglers Still Target Expired Items

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Dalha Wada Chedi, the Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna says his command recorded not fewer than seizures of 27 items, with a duty paid value of N1, 975,657,865.96 between January and February 16, 2024.

Chedi stated this while providing an insight into the activities of the unit, at the Kangiwa House, Kaduna, expressing disappointment that some of the seizures were expired items which could have compromised innocent people’s wellbeing.

“The operatives of the Unit have for the period under review remained resolute in the fight against smuggling thereby making several seizures of 27 different items ranging from used foreign shoes, foreign parboiled rice, Second-hand clothing, expired milk and juice powder, among others”, said Comptroller Dalha Chedi, with a Wednesday in January being very remarkable.

“On Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted One truck conveying 179 Bags of Tiger Nuts (50Kg each) based on intelligence along Maigatari/ Malamfatori/ Birniwa axis of Jigawa State.

“On the 3rd February 2024, the operatives of the Unit arrested three trucks along Gumel-Kano road in Jigawa State. 

“The arrest was made following information shared by the intelligence network of the NCS-Headquarters, Abuja on the suspicion that they were conveying prohibited items. A hundred percent (100%) physical examination was conducted at the premises of Kano/Jigawa Command and the three trucks were found to contain 5,076 Cartons of Foreign soap, 703 bales of Foreign second-hand clothing, 925 cartons of macaroni, 320 bales of foreign textiles and 12 Jumbo sacks of foreign used shoes.

“Two suspects were arrested and detained at the Kano/Jigawa Command in connection with the seizures and they have been granted administrative bail pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

“Also on 11 February 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the Unit acting on credible intelligence along Tsafe-Funtua Road in Zamfara State intercepted One truck on the suspicion of improper importation.  

“Further examination revealed that the truck was conveying 75 cartons of expired foreign jolly juice powder and 8 sacks of foreign expired milk powder that were found to have expired since 2019 and thus unfit for human consumption. 

“The expired milk was concealed with sacks of dried hides & skin. These are expired, unused, and contaminated items which if not intercepted by our operatives would cause havoc to society in general.

“Other items seized within this period are: 237 Bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (50 Kg each), 1837 cartons of foreign spaghetti, macaroni and couscous, 1707 jerry-cans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) 25litres each, 3459 cartons/sachets of Amoxicillin, Artesunate, 500 Mg, 35 cartons of flame lighters, 2089 cartons of foreign dates, 142 cartons of YES Cigarettes, 810 pieces of foreign used tyres, many vehicles deposited at various Customs formations in the Zone, among others.

“The Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the Seizures made within the period under review is N1, 975,657,865.96) only”, he stated further, adding that since the foreign dates and the Tiger-Nuts were edible and perishable goods, they would be auctioned in line with the provisions of Paragraph 15 (b) of the Schedule of the Nigeria Customs Service Act No. 35, 2023.   

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