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Benue Food Security: Alia Denies Receiving N44bn From FG 

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Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue has denied receiving N44 billion from the Federal Government, as part of President Bola Tinubu’s efforts to address food shortage in the country.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue, had alleged that Alia received N44 billion in special intervention grants from the Federal Government between August 2023 to 2024.

This is contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Tersoo Kula in Makurdi on Tuesday.

Kula said some members of the APC and PDP were demanding accountability from the Governor over an imaginary N44bn.

He said the Governor never received such an amount of money from anybody since his assumption of office, adding that he was focused and would not be distracted.

Kula said that the governor since his assumption of office has been transparent, and accountable to the people of Benue and will not hide such a windfall from his people.

*Gov. Hyacinth Alia

He said that the Senate President, Godswil Akpabio who first made the allegation has since apologised to the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).

“The Senate President, who made the allegation that state governors were given N30 billion each, has since apologised to the NGF.

“But in an attempt to give Alia a bad name so as to hang him, the stakeholders who were fully aware of these facts still went public repeating the same lie.

“Alia has never hidden any funds released to his administration. When the N2 billion, out of the N5 billion palliative support was given to Benue, he was among the first governors to announce the receipt of the money,” he said.

He said that this group of stakeholders had stood in the way of progress of the state for a long time, adding that they prefer party politics to governance.

The spokesman said that past governors who served the interest of stakeholders in Benue, only left the state highly impoverished and starved of basic developments,” he said.

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Zoe Maritime Roundtable Targets Improved Passenger Safety, Using Chinese Experience

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…Edodo-Emore refocuses Stakeholders’ attention on Security and new technologies in inland waterways

Significant progress will be achieved in the area boat -passenger safety amongst other gains, as Nigeria gets an infrequent opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience in improving general service delivery in-country.

The Chinese Consul-General in Nigeria, Madam Yan Yuqing, one of the key speakers at a Zoe Maritime Summit is expected, in addition to dissecting the topic of improving services delivery, to also offer, useful ideas and lessons on safe inland waterways operations in Nigeria.

Osun Assembly passes N138.2bn 2023 Budget 

Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

The Summit promoter,  and CEO of Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd, Barr (Mrs) Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore told Maritime First that the discussion is designed to inland waterways operators the knowledge to better manage the sector, particularly, towards improving boat passenger safety.

 Consequently, a major highlight of the Summit is a presentation on the Chinese experience in the management of inland waterways.

The Barrister highlighted that with the theme: “Security and New Technologies in Inland Waterways Transportation”, the Zoe Resources Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting h places at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos should be a must-to-attend Summit. 

*Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore

Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore noted that prominent maritime personalities and revered industry players have confirmed readiness to grace the occasion.

Among these are the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,. Adegboyega Oyetola is scheduled to unveil the Ministry’s focus and plans for Inland Waterways and Coastal Services, an intervention that has agitated the minds of inland waterway operators since his appointment last year.

Others are Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA); Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Company Ltd (NBTC), and Rhoda Olofu, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Marine Police Command.

*Mobereola

Industry technocrats, heads of security agencies and regulatory authorities expected to feature in panel discussions on the theme include the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola and the Managing Director/CEO, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Alhaji Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji.

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NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko

Also billed to participate in the breakfast summit are port users, heads of maritime desks of banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Others are ship owners, boat owners, boat captains, log byistic companies, barge operators and any other entity whose operations are inland waterway-based.

Freight forwarders, importers and oil and gas companies will also grace the occasion.

Foreign entities from maritime nations will also feature and make interventions especially as concerns experiences in their respective nations to enable Nigerians benefit from global inland waterways visibility, network, growth and exchange of knowledge.

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FG Approves Cancelation Of 25% Penalty On Improperly Imported Vehicles

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The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the cancellation of the 25 per cent penalty previously imposed on improperly imported vehicles by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) under the directives of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

A 90-day window, effective from 4th March 2024 to 5th July 2024, for the regularisation of import duties on specific categories of vehicles, was approved by the minister with a 25% penalty.

According to a press statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer of NCS, CSC Abdullahi Maiwada, to ease economic hardship and encourage compliance, the Honourable Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the suspension of the 25% penalty previously imposed in addition to import duty on improperly imported vehicles.

 “Stakeholders, including vehicle owners, importers, and agents, are therefore encouraged to seize this opportunity to regularise import duty payments within the designated 90-day time frame,” the release noted.

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Merganser: BV Certifies World’s First Solar Solution Prototype for SolarDuck’s Floating Offshore

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Bureau Veritas (BV), a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC), has awarded the Dutch-Norwegian renewable energy company SolarDuck the world’s first Prototype Certification for a floating offshore solar technology, as applied in SolarDuck’s 0.5 MW pilot “Merganser”.

This certification represents a significant step forward in the development of marine renewable energy technologies for offshore applications.

The Merganser project, developed by SolarDuck and supported by RWE, features an offshore floating solar pilot with a capacity of 520 kWp. Comprising six interconnected platforms, the solution is designed to withstand challenging offshore conditions, including high waves, strong winds, and corrosive environments. The design has been certified to withstand a maximum wave height of 11.6 meters (with a directional 10-year return period) at a water depth of 21.5 meters (MSL) at the North Sea Farmers test site. It will be deployed off the coast of The Hague, Netherlands, providing a real-world operational environment to evaluate its performance and resilience in the dynamic North Sea.

Bureau Veritas has been actively supporting SolarDuck in its pioneering efforts to develop floating solar solutions. The certification of the Merganser prototype follows the Approval in Principle (AiP) granted for its floating structure.

Throughout the certification process, Bureau Veritas meticulously evaluated the prototype against rules and standards, including guidance note NI631 on the Certification Scheme for Marine Renewable Energy Technologies. These assessments covered various aspects such as the floating structure, mooring system, stability analysis, materials, and electrical safety systems. Moving forward, the technology will be further evaluated for a type certification.   

Don Hoogendoorn, CTO of SolarDuck, commented: “A key step in making the technology bankable is obtaining certification of the technology. As long-standing-partners, SolarDuck has cooperated closely with Bureau Veritas to verify the technology for the harsh North Sea conditions, marking a significant milestone in the development of our offshore floating solar technology”.

“The certification of SolarDuck’s prototype Merganser reflects the collaborative efforts between Bureau Veritas and industry innovators in advancing sustainable energy solutions. Our expertise in assessing structural integrity and conducting design evaluations played an important role in meeting technical standards, highlighting our commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring safety and reliability in offshore renewable energy projects”, says Martijn Nieuwenhuijs, Country Chief Executive, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore Netherlands.

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