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How Litigation Stalls Calabar Dredging, while NIMASA Thrives- Sambo



How Litigation Stalls Calabar Dredging, while NIMASA Thrives- Sambo

…Federal Character Commission Honours Transportation Minister***

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has spoken on the status of the dredging of the Calabar channel, and strongly blamed litigation for stalling the project.

The Minister indicated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday in Abuja.

*Mu’azu Sambo Minister of Transportation

He, however, revealed that Buhari had directed his ministry and that of the Justice to see to it that the issues were resolved amicably.

“By way of backgrounding, I would like to state that the Calabar Channel Management is part and parcel of the other channel managements that had existed between the Nigerian Ports Authority and its joint venture partners”, Sambo said, adding:

“Namely: The Lagos Channel Management, The Port Harcourt Bonny Channel Management, otherwise called BCCI, Bonny Channel Company Limited and the JV with the Niger Global in respect to Calabar Channel.

“Now, you are aware that about these three, NPA had encountered difficulties with the JV partnership, with respect to the Calabar channel dredging.

“This has been as a result of several litigations from both sides.’’

On the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Rail Line, Sambo said the inability of the Federal Government to secure foreign loans was frustrating the completion of the project.

According to him, completion of the rail projects during the lifetime of the Buhari administration is no longer feasible due to its inability to secure 85 percent of the funds needed to execute the project as earlier promised.

Sambo had in September, while inspecting the work done so far, disclosed that the contractor in charge of the project, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCEC) had often complained of incessant attacks on its workers around the Abia axis of the rail corridor.

He had said government was left with no choice but to halt the ongoing construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Rail Line due to insecurity and incessant vandalism.

Buhari had two years ago performed the groundbreaking of the 1.96 billion dollars rail line project, saying that it would stimulate economic activities in the 14 states it covers.

The benefiting states included the five Southeast states of Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu as well as nine others – Rivers, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi and Gombe.

Sambo further disclosed that the ministry got approval for four memos it presented.

He said: “The first to be approved is in respect of the award of contract for the upgrade of the Data Centre of the Nigerian Ports Authority, its servers, storage and business continuity at the cost of N1, 787, 203, 792.65 inclusive of 7.5 percent Value Added Tax.

“The second memo that was approved was for a concession of the Eastern zone offshore West reception facility, in line with international conventions and environmental laws signed by Nigeria.

”They require that offshore wastes generated by ships be disposed of in an organized manner in order to protect biodiversity and human beings.”

Sambo said that when completed, the project would generate 25 million dollars within a period of 20 years.

He added that he obtained a similar approval for the Western and Central zones of the maritime domain of Nigeria, for a 10-year period.

Sambo also said that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) got approval for the deployment of the modular floating dock acquired by the agency, to be managed under a Public Private Partnership.

“It is going to be managed by a private company that will put in an initial capital investment of 19.5 million dollars for a concession period of 15 years,” he said.

The minister said that when fully established and run, the facility would save Nigeria millions of foreign exchange.

According to him, the present situation warrants all cabotage vessels operating in Nigeria have to go to Benin Republic and Ghana in order to access their docking services. 

In another development, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo was on Monday, December 19, 2022, honoured by the Federal Character Commission (FCC) at its first award ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikwe Hall, Nicon Luxury Hotel, Garki Abuja.

*L-R: The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba Akali, Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Dr. Moheeba Dankaka

The FCC said the Award was in recognition of the Honourable Minister’s commitment to the infrastructural development in the country’s transportation sector and the zeal to foster unity in his sector, his home State Taraba and Nigeria at large, described as the FCC core principle 

The award which was handed to the Minister by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Akali Baba, and the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, appreciated the Minister for successfully taking charge of the transportation, the rail, the waterways, the rail corridors and by extension the road sector. 

“Hon. Minister, you are in charge of the Road, rail and waterways, and I must say you are doing a good job. This award is given for your outstanding services in the transportation sector” he said.

Similarly, the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, described the Minister as a man of integrity and a man of his word. She thanked him for his guidance, availability and for always extolling the ethos of the Federal Character Commission.

The Minister reacting to the award, thanked the organizers of the event, particularly, the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka.

 He also thanked the Inspector General of Police, Usman Akali Baba for cooperating with the Federal Ministry of Transportation in the Provision of Security along the rail corridors in the country, particularly, the Abuja Kaduna rail Corridor since the reopening earlier in the Month.

He also appreciated the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Services, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) for his cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, noting there is room for more.

“I must say, I am touched by this award, honestly I was indisposed, I was sending my wife to represent me hitherto, but I had to muscle up the strength to be here tonight, and I must say, I was ambushed, I never expected such a huge award, thank you indeed for counting me worthy. Thank you, my dear sister, for the Chairman, Dr. Muheeba, I am deeply touched. 

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Akali Baba, for the Force’s commitment to ensuring safety along our rail corridors as well as our waterways, and my brother the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) for their partnership over the years, particularly in the maritime sector, and we look forward to more,” he said

The Minister also on behalf of the Federal Character Commission presented awards to the Nigerian Police Force, received by the IG, The Nigerian Customs Services, received by the CG, the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, the Federal Road Safety Commission, The Nigerian Army, Federal Polytechnic Bali, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, among other beneficiaries.

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Customs Backs UN-Habitat’s Efforts To Combat Smuggling



…CGC Assigns DCG. Abba Kura to work closely with Dr Raymond Edoh***

The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has said that the Service, under his watch, will implement every necessary action against saboteurs of Nigeria’s economy with a commitment to cripple their ‘illegitimate’ smuggling business.

UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action, towards creating sustainable cities and promoting viable urban development, and adequate shelter for all. 

The CGC restated this on Tuesday, 19 September 2023, when he received Ambassadors of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN—Habitat, led by Dr Raymond Edoh, at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, assuring him of enduring partnership.

*R- L: The CGC, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi while receiving the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN—Habitat, Ambassador, Dr. Raymond Edoh, at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday.

“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely,” the CGC, Adewale Adeniyi stated. 

He appreciated how they travelled from afar to intimate the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started noticing the gains of its positive results in the suppression of smuggling. 

The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its Nigeria Customs Backs UN-Habitat’s Effort to Combat Smuggling.

*UN—Habitat Ambassador, Dr. Raymond Edoh

He appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN-Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future

The CGC said, “What we’re trying to do is to raise a modern Customs Service through partnering with stakeholders to achieve our goals because we value partnership, and I am happy that you extended your hands of collaboration to work with us.”

He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.

The CGC consequently underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.

On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”

According to him, they decided to visit the CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.

*The hosts and the Guests in a group photograph

He commended the Service for being a credible “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.

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Anambra Rescues 3 Pregnant Girls Whose Babies Were Valued At N300,000 Each



Police arraign Lagos businessman for alleged theft of N3.5m phones

…As Lagos Court remands student Nduka Kalu, who allegedly defiled a teenager he met on Facebook***

Anambra has rescued three pregnant girls from a baby factory and child trafficking syndicate in Umunze, Orumba South Local Government Area of the state.

They are a 14-year-old from Arondizuogu (Imo), a 20-year-old from Bayelsa and a 19-year-old from Ihite Orumba in Anambra.

Their unborn babies were to be sold at N300,000 each, upon delivery.

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo, told newsmen on Wednesday in Awka when she received the rescued girls and a suspect that the rescue followed a three-month investigation.

The investigation, she added, was conducted by operatives of the Anambra Vigilance Group (AVG) and the Transition Committee Chairman of Orumba South council area, Mr Neville Uchendu.

Obinabo said a suspect, one Oruchukwu Okoroafor of Arondizuogu in Anambra, who runs the syndicate, had been arrested.

“I commend the Orumba South Local Government Council chairman and the vigilance group for bursting the syndicate after a careful three-month investigation of the suspect.

“I assure you that the apprehended suspect will not go scot-free. We will hand him over to the police for further investigation. He must face the consequences of his crime.

Gunmen Abduct NPC Commissioner, Aides At Rivers Section Of East-West Road

“I call on residents to emulate the Orumba South council chairman in making Anambra a liveable and prosperous homeland,’’ she said.

In exchanges with newsmen, the girls said the suspect was not responsible for their pregnancies but offered to shelter them in his house pending their delivery dates.

They said the suspect promised to get them jobs and offered to give each of them N300,000 after they had been delivered of their babies.

The suspect in his own case told newsmen that he had been in the business for two years and that the girls were his first set of clients in 2023.

“The intending buyers of the unborn children already promised to pay N300,000 per head, but I do not have their contacts,’’ Okoroafor said.

In another development, an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday remanded a 24-year-old student, Nduka Kalu, who allegedly lured a teenager to a hotel and defiled her.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Bola Osunsanmi, did not take the defendant’s plea, insisting that she needed advice of the state’s director of public prosecutions.

Osunsanmi ordered that Kalu should be kept at the Kirikiri custodial facility pending the advice.

The defendant, a resident of 4, Petidabo St., Shomolu, Lagos State, is charged with defilement.

The prosecutor, SP Raji Akeem, had told the court that Kalu committed the offence on Aug. 14 at Villa Hotel, Shasha, Lagos State.

According to Akeem, the defendant lured the 14- year-old who he met on Facebook, to the hotel in the guise of helping her to achieve her dream of becoming a fashion model and an actress.

The prosecutor alleged that the defendant defiled the minor in the process.

According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The chief magistrate adjourned the case until Oct. 19 for mention.

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Police Launch Manhunt For Killers Of 5 JTF Personnel In Imo



Gunmen Abduct NPC Commissioner, Aides At Rivers Section Of East-West Road

The Police Command in Imo says it has launched a manhunt to apprehend the killers of five Joint Task Force (JTF) personnel who were killed on Tuesday at Ehime Mbano area of the state.

The Command’s Spokesman, ASP Henry Okoye disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday.

Okoye said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Barde, had deployed the command’s Special Tactical Team and equipped them with operational assets to apprehend the hoodlums.

According to him, five security operatives of the state’s Joint Task Force (JTF) comprising of two NDLEA personnel, one Civil Defense officer, one Police officer and an Air Force Officer were ambushed.

He said the deceased operatives were responding to a decoy distress call at Oriagu in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area on Tuesday when they were attacked and killed.

Okoye said the Commissioner of Police with Gov. Hope Uzodimma and the heads of some security agencies in the state had visited the scene of crime for an on-the-spot assessment of the incident.

He explained that the confidence-building patrol carried out by the governor and security chiefs to the scene was aimed at assuring Imo residents, particularly those living in Ehime Mbano, of their maximum safety.

Emouha Assault: Police De'ranks Inspector, Reprimand Another

“CP Barde extends his heartfelt condolences to the families and relatives of the deceased officers and prays that the Almighty God grants them the fortitude to bear the sudden and irreplaceable loss.

“The Commissioner of Police appreciates the concerns of the general public and vows that no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are made to face the full wrath of the law.

“The CP reiterates the command’s commitment in collaborating with other sister security agencies in providing adequate security for all and sundry in Imo State,” he stated.

Okoye urged members of the public to report suspicious persons or clandestine activities observed within their vicinity via the emergency lines – 08034773600 or 08098880197. (NAN)(

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