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FMOT To Harmonize Jetty Operators Taxes

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Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line to Link Abuja – Minister
…Plans to generate 21m Jobs by 2025*** 

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has disclosed that the Federal Government will soon harmonize taxes paid by jetty operators to eliminate double taxation and promote Ease of Doing Business.

Mu’azu disclosed the information this week in Abuja during a meeting with the Technical Sub-Committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ), led by its Chairman, Engr. Joseph Ororo noted that operators are more often made to pay multiple registration fees by different regulatory agencies such as the National Inland Waterways and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

Speaking on the Committee’s mandate of licensing jetties and closure of illegal platforms, the Minister appreciated their exploits while advising that their inspections should not be restricted to timelines but should include unscheduled visits to jetties to ensure compliance with extant laws and regulations.

Earlier, the Chairman, Technical Sub-Committee on Private jetties, Joseph Ororo informed that the Committee was created in 2004, to checkmate security breaches, economic sabotage, gun-running and other criminal activities which were traced to private jetties.

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo receives on a courtesy visit, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Layiwola Mohammed, CON at the Federal Ministry of Transportation headquarters complex.

According to him,  the Technical Sub-Committee is the expert arm of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ), adding that prior to the constitution of the Standing Committee, there was a directive shutting down all private jetties across the country due to the intractable illegalities associated with them.

Speaking further, Ororo said the Committee had the following Terms of Reference: “To re-open all jetties deemed vital to the economy of the country as well as to examine all the remaining closed jetties and recommend those to be retained and those to remain permanently closed”.

Others are that: “The Standing Committee meet from time to time to consider applications for operating license for jetties and recommend those to be issued new licences by the Honourable Minister of Transportation.

Also, the Honourable Minister of Transportation to continue to issue licenses for the operation of jetties on the recommendation of the Standing Committee, and the Minister to prepare and present a note to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the activities of the Standing Committee for its information, the Minister is also to keep the President fully informed on the work of the Standing Committee”.

Furthermore, Ororo informed that the work of the Sub-Committee has contributed immensely to increased revenue generation for the various regulatory Agencies and the Federal Government as well as bringing about a high level of safety at the respective private jetties.

Similarly, he pointed out that other derivatives from the work of the Committee are that multi-national companies no longer engage jetty facilities if such do not possess valid license duty.

He also observed that there is an improved relationship between the companies and their host communities due to Cooperate Social Responsibility Projects and job creation made available to them and Nigerians by extension.

In another development, the Minister Of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo had said that the federal government would generate 21 million full-time jobs and lift 35 Million people out of poverty by 2025.

Sambo stated this in a speech he delivered at the 2022 Ministerial Retreat at Ibom Icon Hotel, Akwa-Ibom State adding that the Transportation Sector was setting the stage for achieving the government’s commitment of lifting 100 Million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

Sambo said infrastructural gaps that exist in the Sector necessitated the development of the National Development Plans; Medium-Term Development Plans 2021-2025 and a Long-Term Plan called the Nigeria Agenda 2050.

“This is to invest massively in infrastructure, ensure macroeconomic stability, enhance the investment environment, improve living conditions and implement climate change mitigation.

“This will generate 21 Million full-time jobs and lift 35 Million people out of poverty by 2025, thus setting the stage for achieving the government’s commitment of lifting 100 Million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“The plans are aimed at accelerating the growth of the transportation sector in the country with a strategic Medium-Term Vision Statement, which is to have an effective, intermodal, safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable Transportation system contributing positively to the growth of the Nigerian economy,” he said.

He added that the Policy thrusts to drive the vision included; Improving safety and transportation security, Collaboration and synergy amongst transportation stakeholders.

Others are Professionalism and Human Capacity Building, Strengthening institutional governance and regulation and Multi-modal infrastructural development.

He added that five high-level strategic goals were selected to achieve these policy thrusts of ; Safe and Secure Transportation, Drive Economic Development, Facilitate Connectivity (Intermodal and Multimodal), Develop Local Capacity (Professionalism) and Ensure Sustainability.

“I am well aware that you are all conversant with these high-level goals, as they have become a blueprint for tracking performance towards the delivery of our mandates, addressing the bottlenecks militating against the growth of the Transportation Sector and stimulating domestic growth.

“The key Policy Initiatives and Reform Programmes for the Sector are; Implementation of the 25-year Railway Modernization Programme, the Ports Master Plan, and Inland Waterways Transportation Development.

“Others are; The Nigerian Transportation Master plan (NTM), Tariffs and costs, Creation of Private Sector led National fleet and Manpower capacity development,” he said.

Muazu Jaji Sambo acknowledged that efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration have been concentrated on the expansion and modernization of the Nation’s Transportation System which has resulted in numerous achievements in the Rail, Maritime and Road Sub-sectors.

He reiterated that the provision of transportation infrastructure is and will always be a work in progress for any nation that desires rapid development.

“This is what informed my call to you to identify and implement low-hanging fruits as was stated at the briefing Sessions held from 14th July – 1st August 2022 on my assumption of duty in the Ministry.

“With the recent presentations on the investment opportunities that exist in the Transportation Sector at various fora, I am optimistic that there will be an influx of international private investors’ patronage in the Sector soon.

“I, therefore, implore us all to leverage this Retreat to galvanize the Transportation Sector to become more competitive, efficient and productive,” he added

He further commended Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and all members of staff of the Ministry for their support and diligence.

 

 

Economy

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Rehabilitation: LASG announces traffic diversion at Old Tollgate/ Berger axis

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Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Rehabilitation: LASG announces traffic diversion at Old Tollgate/ Berger axis

In continuation of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by the Federal Ministry of Works, the Lagos State Government has announced that traffic will be diverted at the Old Tollgate to Berger section of the road from Monday 30th January till Friday 15th April 2023.

In the notification received by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, it was disclosed that the construction will be carried out in short segments to minimize inconveniences for Motorists while traffic on the Ibadan-bound carriageway will be narrowed to two lanes to allow for the reconstruction of half of the Ibadan bound carriageway.

The Transport Commissioner, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde further stated that the U-turn in front of the Lagos State Emergency Centre will be temporarily closed to traffic, adding that Motorists on the Expressway will be diverted to the next U-turn at the Old Toll Gate by the traffic control point.

 In the same vein, Traffic from CMD Road intending to connect 7UP and Motorways on the Lagos bound carriageway will make use of the Old Tollgate/Traffic Point U–turn as well.

He equally stressed that trucks and heavy-duty vehicles will be diverted to Ojota Interchange. 

The Commissioner also explained that traffic on CMD Road inbound the Expressway will be diverted to the entry point beside the FMW weighbridge to access the Expressway on a contraflow as the exit route to the Expressway by Caleb International School will equally be temporarily closed, adding that CMD Road will be used as an alternative for the displaced Ibadan bound traffic.

Oladeinde appealed to the citizenry to shun indiscriminate stopping, waiting and parking along CMD Road as it will complement the efforts of the Traffic Management Team that will be deployed to manage vehicular movement. He also affirmed that signage with directions will be mounted along the road to guide Motorists.

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Economy

LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

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LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

… Says traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am*** 

The Lagos State Government has advised Motorists to plan their movement around Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Old Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island ahead of the Students Rave 2023 event scheduled for Friday, 27th January 2023.

As a result of the above rally, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde disclosed that traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am on the aforementioned day. He assured that Officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) will be available to manage traffic flow.

Explaining the alternative routes, Oladeinde advises Motorists plying Island Club road by Police Headquarters Zone 2, Onikan to go through Ozumba Mbadiwe road inbound Falomo Bridge (Five Cowries Bridge) to link Alfred Rewane and Osborne road to complete their journeys.

In the same vein, Motorists from Bonny Camp according to the diversion plan can access CMS/Marina Bridge after Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) and loop it down towards Cathedral Church to connect Lagos Island proper through Odunlami Street for their desired destinations,

The Transport Commissioner also advises Motorists to utilize Force road beside Muson Centre to link J.K Randle Avenue (Race Course) or go through Onikan Roundabout to connect JK Randle Avenue/Water Board area to access CMS Bridge by the State House/Old NITEL Building.

He further explained that Water Board inbound Broad Street to Tinubu Square will be available to Motorists, adding that they can equally access Old Defense road/ Ganiyu Smith from Water Board to link Igbosere/Sandgrouse to Simpson Street and connect Third Mainland Bridge to continue their journeys to other parts of the State.

The Transport Commissioner reiterated that Security and Law Enforcement Agencies will be at all strategic junctions and intersections to ensure the safety and security of all road users and the free flow of traffic within the perimeter of the venue and alternative routes outside the venue.

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Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022

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Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022

…Agrees there are human-induced challenges***

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said in Abuja on Thursday that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) produced more than 1.7 million passports in 2022.

Fielding questions at the 64th edition of the State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, Aregbesola said the figure was a landmark achievement.

He rated the Ministry of Interior and its agencies as having scored above 80 percent in terms of performance.

“By Dec. 31, 2022, we produced more than 1.7 million passports.

“In the annals of Nigeria that has not happened before; as I am talking to you, we have more than 200,000 booklets in our store.

“We are not denying the fact that there are human-induced challenges if you look at the number of applications, vis-a-vis the number of passports produced.

“We are above 80 percent in performance; in any way, take it as given that we produced more than 1.7 passports in 2022,’’ Aregbesola said.

The minister said that a presidential directive had been issued with regard to the domestication of passport production.

He said the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the NIS, had impanelled a “project steering committee’ with a mandate to actualise the goal.

Aregbesola also said there was a major reformation and digitisation of passport issuance and administration as a temporary electronic passport had been introduced.

“We are digitising the process; my plan was to fully digitise the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos by Dec. 2022 but I could not fully achieve that.

“What does that mean? When this process is concluded, an applicant does not need to bring anything anymore; you complete your process online and by that time, you don’t need an agent.

“There can’t be racketeering. I am on it and I want to guarantee that we will do it before we leave.

“We have also concluded arrangements on the temporary passport issue; we have the passport, but we have some issues with our sister ministry – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are solving it,’’ he said.

According to the minister, the temporary passport will facilitate a return to Nigeria for Nigerians living abroad if they need to get back in emergencies and did not have current passports.

Such Nigerians would return home, carrying their expired passports also, the minister said.

“Much as that won’t be a problem for us to take at our reception desk, some airlines could be difficult.

“I can even tell you that we are discussing with South Africa now; South Africa does not allow the use of expired passports as a nation contrary to International Civil Aviation Orgnanisation (ICAO) regulation.

“ICAO says that every citizen of a nation dead or alive cannot be denied entry to his home; which is logical anyway.

“The last time I treated a file from South Africa through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they were insisting that if one’s passport is not current, one cannot be taken in or out of South Africa’s space.

“It is their policy; you cannot deny a nation its national policies and programmes.

“To avoid that, we introduced what is called temporary electronic passport; it is a one-way passport to return home,’’ Aregbesola explained.

He said that under the temporary passport regime, citizens who had the data pages of their expired passports could take them to Nigeria’s embassies to get the temporary electronic passport after paying the appropriate fees.

“The temporary electronic passports are almost exactly the same as their expired passports.

“It does not have more than one page to take you home; when you hold the electronic passport, you cannot go anywhere but home.

“We are still in negotiation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,’’ Aregbesola said.

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