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CVFF DISBURSEMENT: Mu’azu Sambo vows to Break Jinx that Makes Amaechi look Clueless



TRANSPORTATION: Mu'azu Sambo builds Ultramodern Mosque, Igniting mixed reactions

…Seeks Experts’ advice to make Eastern Ports attract higher patronage***

The new Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo on Friday, pledged to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund soon, in a bid to enable indigenous shipping operators utilise and favourably compete with their international counterparts.

It is the first time Muazu Sambo is making such a pledge, unlike his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi who three times gave similar assurances: in 2019, 2020 and December 2021; and still failed woefully.

Also read: MULTI-TASKING: Muazu Overcomes Challenges Hindering Maritime Bank, Cautions Debtor Terminal Operators

Emphasizing his determination to untie Gordon’s knot, the new Minister of Transportation disclosed while visiting the National Inland Waterways Authority, Area Office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that he sees the CVFF as a low-hanging fruit, whose disbursement, would positively impact on the nation’s shipping industry.

The CVFF is an intervention fund created by the Federal Government for the development of indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria to enable them to maintain existing vessels or purchase new ones.

He described the maritime industry as the gateway to the nation’s economy, adding that “if we get our acts right, the maritime industry can replace the revenue from the oil”.

While answering questions from newsmen at the BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, situated in the Rivers Port, the Minister expressed delight at the progress of work there saying: “we are making good progress, bringing this place to a world standard,”  but urged the operators to ensure completion by 2025.

Furthermore, the Minister assured that as part of the railway modernization policy, rail lines would be linked to the seaports for effective and efficient haulage of cargoes.

The Minister was accompanied on the trip by the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria and the Registrar, Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding, in Nigeria, Sam Nwakohu.

Others were: the Director, Finance and Accounts, FMT,  Umaru Hassan who represented the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Directors, MSD, Legal Services, Rail, Press,  Babatunde Sule, Pius Oteh, Jimoh Yusuf, Eric Ojiekwe, among others.

In another development, the Minister later spoke with stakeholders of the Onne and Rivers Port complexes and called for experts’ advice on making the Eastern Ports become more vibrant, and able to attract greater patronage, given their boundless potential as strategic national assets.

“The Ministry is keen on working with the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to grow the fortunes of the Eastern Ports and I will like to state for the records that the Eastern Ports given their boundless potential are strategic national assets that this administration is poised to develop to their full potentials”, Mu’azu Sambo said, commending the partnership the NPA Management had enjoyed in the Eastern ports zone.

He also stressed the need for renewed synergy with the esteemed stakeholders, describing it as a critical success factor, for the optimization of these Ports.

“As some of you are aware my antecedents in this sector has equipped me with knowledge of some of the issues.

My tour of the two Port Complexes has thoroughly furnished me with a deeper grasp of the contemporary issues, and I want to assure you that we shall soon heave a sigh of relief as we ramp up work to grant approval to the several initiatives for Port efficiency put forward by the NPA.

“We are set to frontally tackle the challenge of channel insecurity which has slowed the growth momentum of the Eastern Ports by deploying assets of the Deep Blue project and the renewed synergy between the NPA and the Nigerian Navy.

“The recent growth in vessel traffic in Onne Port especially for exports is a testament to the strategic importance of the Eastern Ports in supporting the renewed export orientation of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“The recent establishment of an Export Processing Terminal at Onne Port by Messrs WACT is highly commendable.

I will like to also appreciate Brawal for the timely support provided by the NPA at crucial times”, the Minister stated, while appreciating the expansion works being undertaken by ICTSI, WACT, INTELS and PTOL.

He equally lauded the palliative works on the Port access roads by Messrs Vital.

“Most of the challenges of aging infrastructure and allied matters which you have raised in your previous stakeholder engagements with the NPA Management have been brought to my attention, and I want to assure you that we are working assiduously to provide measurable solutions as quickly as possible.

“Let me reiterate that the Federal Ministry of Transportation will expeditiously review all Concession Agreements and ensure strict compliance with the terms by both the NPA and the Concessionaires”, Mu’azu Sambo further stated, assuring them that the Federal Ministry of Transportation, under his watch would provide every support necessary, to ensure that the critical national assets are fully maximized.



Health and Safety

Military Destroys 39 Illegal Refineries, Apprehends Oil Thieves; Niger Lifts Curfew on Lambata



Military Destroys 39 Illegal Refineries, Apprehends Oil Thieves; Niger Lifts Curfew on Lambata

 Defence Headquarters says the troops of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, have in the last two weeks destroyed 39 illegal oil refining sites in the South-South zone.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami made this known at a bi-weekly news briefing on military operations on Thursday, in Abuja.

Danmadami said the troops in the conduct of Operation Octopus Grip and other operations destroyed 48 cooking ovens, 103 storage tanks, 27 dugout pits and 33 wooden boats during the period.

He said the troops also recovered one tug boat, a barge, 3 pumping machines, three speedboats and 13 vehicles.

According to him, troops recovered 274,000 litres of crude oil, 71,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, and 15 Ak47 rifles, while 40 suspected economic saboteurs were arrested.

“All recovered items and apprehended suspects have been handed over to the appropriate authority for further action,” he said.

“Equally, the air component of Operation Delta Safe conducted air interdiction to several illegal refining sites and creeks at Gogokiri Degema and Okrika Local Government Areas both in Rivers State between Jan. 12 and Jan. 24.

“Crew observed the sites to be active makeshift tents sighted as well as illegal refining activities been carried out.

“Targets were engaged with weapons and the locations were observed to have exploded in an inferno while the illegal refining equipment were also destroyed,” he said.

In South East, defence spokesman said the military and other security agencies had sustained the offensive against the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra/Eastern Security Network criminals in the zone.

He said the troops had neutralised six terrorists, arrested 24 and rescued 16 abducted civilians.

According to him, several calibres of arms and ammunition including AK47 rifles, pump action rifles, IEDs and locally made explosive pipes among other items were also recovered.

In another development, Gov.  Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has directed the lifting of the curfew on Lambata town in Gurara Local Government Area of the state.

The directive is contained in a statement by the Secretary to the state Government, Mr Ahmed Matane in Minna on Thursday.

The governor had on Jan. 15 imposed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. as a result of a violent clash that led to the killing of the village head of Lambata, Alhaji Muhammed Abdulsafur.

Matane explained that the lifting of the curfew would begin on Jan. 26.

He said that the curfew was lifted having reviewed the security situation and return of peace in Lambata town and environs.

He said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ogundele Ayodeji had visited Lambata town and commenced investigation into the matter that led to the killing of the village head, stressing that arrests had also been made in connection with the violent clash.

Matane, however, urged the people of Lambata and the public to always be law-abiding and to remain peaceful with one another regardless of social, political or religious affiliations.

According to him, security agencies have been directed to ensure the safety of lives and property of the people of the area.

Matane noted that the governor thanked the residents of Lambata town for their understanding in complying with the curfew.

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Health and Safety

Dental Therapist advises regular use of toothpastes against dental diseases



Dental Therapist advices regular use of toothpastes against dental diseases

A Dental Therapist, Maria Onu, says regular use of toothpastes can prevent dental diseases as toothpaste contain some active ingredients created specifically for such purpose.

She said this on Thursday in an interview in Abuja.

According to Onu, toothpaste is a paste or gel dentifrice used with a toothbrush to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of the teeth and is generally useful to maintain dental health.

She said, “It is an abrasive used to promote oral hygiene and aids in removing dental plaque or its build-up and food from the teeth while also promoting healthy gums.

“It assists in suppressing halitosis and delivers active ingredients such as fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

“Toothpastes containing fluoride are effective at preventing tooth decay and it’s a very necessary ingredient for toothpastes.

“Toothpaste are made up of 20 to 40 percent of water, abrasives including aluminum hydroxide, calcium hydrogen phosphates, calcium carbonate, silica, and hydroxyapatite.”

She said that a good toothpaste should contain 1450 (parts per million) ppm of fluoride, mainly in the form of sodium fluoride, detergents and sodium lauryl sulfate with concentration ranges of 0.5 to two percent.

Onu said that toothpastes should also contain antibacterial agents such as triclosan or zinc chloride, flavourants including spearmint, peppermint, and wintergreen.

“Anti-sensitivity agents in sensitive toothpastes containing strontium chloride and potassium nitrate or arginine and anti-calculus agents such as sodium polyphosphate or zinc citrate.”

She said that proper oral hygiene would protect the teeth and gums and keep one’s smile beautiful.

She added that brushing the teeth using fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush at least twice a day was a good practice.

“A soft-bristled one for children and a medium toothbrush for adults as hard bristles can damage the gums and tooth enamel.

“When you brush, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your gums. This helps sweep away plaque and bacteria at the gum line.

“Also, be sure to brush all teeth surfaces, including the backs and sides,” Onu said. 

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Health and Safety

Troops Rescue 16 Persons, kill 3 Bandits in Kaduna



Troops Rescue 16 Persons, kill 3 Bandits in Kaduna

 Troops of Operation Forest Sanity have rescued 16 persons from Bandits’playground, Kaduna State, in an operation spanning Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road and a location in Igabi Local Government Area.

The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the development in a statement on Tuesday in Kaduna.

Aruwan also confirmed that three suspected bandits have been neutralised and three firearms, one explosive and 11 motorcycles recovered.

“According to operational feedback, the troops responded to a distress call along the Udawa-Manini axis of the Birnin Gwari-Kaduna Road.

“The troops arrived to foil the attack, rescuing 15 persons in the process.

“Some of the rescued persons who sustained injuries were rushed to hospital for treatment.

“Similarly, troops of Operation Forest Sanity responded to a distress call from Gonan Doctor village, Igabi LGA, and laid ambush at a likely crossing point in Maraban Huda village.

“Contact was made with the bandits, and following a firefight, one bandit was neutralised,” he said.

He said a kidnapped victim was rescued, though injured by the bandits, and was rushed to the Jaji Cantonment Hospital for treatment, one motorcycle was recovered.

Aruwan further disclosed that in response to credible intelligence of bandits’ movement around an interstate boundary area, troops of Operation Forest Sanity set up ambush positions around Mangoro general area around Chikun-Birnin Gwari LGA, on the boundary with Shiroro LGA of neighbouring Niger State.

“The troops engaged the approaching bandits and neutralised two.

“The troops also recovered one AK47 rifle, one pump action gun, one Improvised Explosive Device, one Baofeng Radio, and 10 motorcycles,” he said.

The commissioner said Gov. Nasir El-Rufai received the reports with gratitude and expressed satisfaction at the breakthroughs recorded by the security forces.

“The Governor commended the troops for the successful rescues, and prayed for the quick recovery of injured victims,” Aruwan said.

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