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Sambo Harps on need to Harness Nation’s Inland Waterways

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FG to Commission Kajola Rolling Stock Plant, Empower Nigerians Build Wagons — Sambo

Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo on Friday described the nation’s Inland Waterways as cash cows long overdue for harnessing.

Sambo said this at the inauguration of the Technical Working Group (TWG) Proposal for Channel Management between Escravos, Onitsha and Baro Port on the Niger River on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Arrangement in Abuja.

Also read: MODULAR FLOATING DOCKYARD: Sambo Tasks NIMASA on Immediate Deployment

According to him, Nigeria’s waterways abound with economic potential capable of boosting the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

“Providence has challenged me to put into reality what I went to China to pursue as an employee of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

”I went to China in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In my own case, I was marketing the waterfront lands owned by NIWA and we zeroed on the Marina NIWA Area Office with the proposal to reclaim that land to build a container terminal and a  passenger terminal for people passing through Apapa.

”The idea is that when containers come into Lagos, you don’t have to discharge those meant for Onitsha in Lagos.

”But transport them in barges or vessels that can transverse low draughts to Onitsha port to be picked by vehicles for distribution in the hinterlands.

“The primary objective is to invest, maintain and operate a high-grade Inland Waterways channel between Baro River Port point to Onitsha River Port to the Warri Port at the Niger River and onward connection to the Gulf of Guinea.

”This is to ensure a sustainable maritime transportation route and lay a solid foundation for a navigation network that will connect the Lagos ports, Lekki Deep Seaport with the Onitsha and Baro River Port.

”For transportation of containerized and non-containerized cargoes for shipping efficiency in Nigeria,”  Sambo said.

The minister observed that the value of such activities would lead to the decongestion of Lagos Ports, prolong the life span of the roads, reduce pollution, and create a new mode of transportation by water.

He said this would in turn not only engage civilians but security forces as the cargoes had to be escorted.

Sambo said the terms of Reference of the TWG were to carry out legal, Financial and Technical Due Diligence on Messrs DIDs Ltd. home and abroad.

”Documentation of every single data and raw materials collected from the survey and the operational processes for the purpose of security and future use for the development of a robust Project Structuring Report (PRS).

”It will also x-ray policies applicable for the purpose of putting the Inland waterways channel for economic use.

”Negotiate what is accruable to FGN/NIWA at every operation and any other responsibility as may be directed by the honourable minister.

”The 18-man TWG has technocrats from National Inland Waterways, Nigeria Ports Authority, and the Navy among others, with the Permanent Secretary, Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, as the Chairman.

”The Managing Director, NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, will stand as alternate Chairman, the Deputy General Manager, Business Development, NIWA, Mr Hassan Kaka as Secretary,” he added.

 

Health and Safety

OSUN: Angry youths set ablaze Iree Oba’s Palace, days after torching Akinrun’s 

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OSUN: Angry youths set ablaze Iree Oba’s Palace, days after torching Akinrun's 

Only a few days after the palace of Akinrun was torched in Osun State, the Palace of Aree of Iree in Boripe North Local Council Development Area of Osun, was on Thursday evening, also vandalised and similarly set on fire by angry youths in the town.

The palace was said to have been burnt by youths who were not pleased about the arrest of the Aogun of Iree, Chief Soliu Atoyebi, by security agents on Thursday morning.

It was attacked and burnt around 7.00 p.m, when the traditional ruler, Oba Ponle Ademola, was said to be out of the palace.

The incident led to the blockage of major roads leading to the town, while the aggrieved youths made burn fires on the roads.

Business owners in the town were said to immediately lock up their shops, while residents too locked themselves for safety measures.

The Osun Police Spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola, was not available for comments, as her phone was switched off.

The Maritime First learned that this was what the Osun Governor, Prince Ademola Adeleke had wanted to avoid, when he, on Monday, a day after his inauguration, issued an Executive Order, setting aside the appointment and enthronement of three traditional rulers, Aare of Iree; Akirun of Ikirun and Owa of Igbajo.

Consequently, the Palace of OWA of Igbajo has now been beefed up.

Adeleke also directed that the palaces of the three traditional rulers should be locked up, while security agents should take charge of the palaces to the prevent breakdown of law and order.

There had been palpable fear in Iree town following the appointment and approval of Prince Ponle Ademola as the Aree of Iree by the immediate past administration of Gboyega Oyetola.

Some ruling houses and groups in the town had rejected the selection of Ademola, alleging that he was imposed on the people by officials in the Oyetola’s administration.

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Health and Safety

ALARM: Kogi has 43,000 HIV carriers; Take Preventive Steps to avoid getting infected-  Commissioner

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ALARM: Kogi has 43,000 HIV carriers; Take Preventive Steps to avoid getting infected-  Commissioner

At least 43,373 people are living with HIV in Kogi, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Zakari Usman, said in Lokoja on Thursday.

Usman made the declaration at a news conference organised as part of activities marking the 2022 World AIDS Day.

The 2022 World Aids Day has: “’Equalise’’ as its theme.

Usman advised residents to disregard misconceptions that HIV had been eradicated.

The commissioner said also that it was advisable to take preventive steps not to get infected and when infected, to take management measures already provided by the government.

He assured that Kogi government would not relent in its effort at reducing HIV and AIDS to the barest minimum in the state.

“I assure that government will increase the availability of quality and sustainable services for HIV handling, testing, and prevention to reduce its negative impacts.

“Government will also encourage reform laws, policies and practices to tackle the stigma and exclusion faced by people living with HIV and AIDS

“Government will as well ensure the sharing of technology to enable equal access to HIV testing in communities.

“Getting tested for HIV is the only way to find out if one is infected as all people living with HIV are eligible for treatment,’’ the commissioner said.

Usman said World AIDS Day, celebrated every Dec. 1, gave opportunities to communities and stakeholders in the fight against HIV and AIDS to be united and advance the cause of reducing the scourge.

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Health and Safety

Troops Eliminate over 44 Terrorists, Arrest 47 in 2 Weeks 

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Troops Eliminate over 44 Terrorists, Arrest 47 in 2 Weeks 

…Troops recover 15 AK 47 rifles, eight AK 47 magazines, 82 rounds of 7.62mm special, 35 locally fabricated 7.62mm special***

The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation Hadin Kai have within two weeks, eliminated more than 44 terrorists, and apprehended 47 and their collaborators, in addition to rescuing 10 kidnap victims in the North East.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami said this on Thursday in Abuja at the bi-weekly update on nationwide military operations.

He said the troops between Nov. 17 and Nov. 24 neutralised nine Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in ambushes, raids and clearance operations at different locations within the theatre.

He said that while scores of the terrorists escaped with various degrees of injury, cache of arms were recovered and 10 kidnapped civilians were rescued during the operations.

Danmadami said a notorious Boko Haram/ISWAP logistic supplier was arrested by the troops on Nov. 20 at a checkpoint in Bama Local Government Area.

He said that the logistic supplier was conveying 49 jerrycans 30 litres of Premium Motor Spirit and 50 packs of energy drinks, and other sundry items in a vehicle, while the sum of N70,510 was also recovered from him.

“Consequently, within the weeks in focus, troops recovered 15 AK 47 rifles, 82 rounds of 7.62mm special, 35 locally fabricated 7.62mm special, three dane guns, 36 hand grenades, six knives, and eight AK 47 magazines.

“Other items recovered include 51 jerrycans of groundnut oil, one carton of klin detergent, 50 packs of energy drinks, nine bicycles, three motorcycles, 10 mobile phones, one vehicle and the sum of N100, 510.

“Troops equally neutralised 11 terrorist elements, arrested 47, including their logistic suppliers as well as rescued 10 abducted civilians.

“Also, a total of 139 Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and members of their families comprising 27 adult males, 44 adult females and 68 children surrendered to troops at different locations within the theatre.

“All recovered items rescued civilians and apprehended suspected terrorists have been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.

“While the surrendered Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and members of their families are being profiled for further action’’, he said.

Danmadami said the air component carried out a series of air strikes on terrorist locations in the Tumbuns near Lake Chad, which recorded some remarkable results during the period.

He said the air task force on Nov. 26 conducted an air interdiction operation on the terrorists at Mallam Fatori from Tumbum Fulani, killing several terrorists on the shores of Lake Chad and destroyed three gun trucks.

“Similar strikes were conducted on Nov. 27 at an identified terrorist training camp at Tumbun Hamma in the Lake Chad Region.

“Intelligence revealed that about 24 ISWAP terrorists were undergoing weapons handling and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training at the location for six consecutive days.

“Consequently, the location was bombarded.

“The effect of the strike from the feedback revealed that several terrorists were neutralized with their weapons and IED destroyed,” he added.

Danmadami said the theatre command had also intensified non-kinetic operations geared towards maximising civil support for the military in the zone.

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