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Nigeria Eyes IMO Category ‘B’ Seat

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has started making moves towards ensuring that Nigeria moves away from the category ‘C’ to clinch the category ‘B’ of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) council seat, come 2011.

Reliable source from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Port Harcourt has informed The Tide that the moves by Nigeria to clinch the category “B” council seat commenced with the campaign for re-election into the category “C”, which will also serve as guide to Nigeria, into moving up to category B of the IMO council in year 2011.

To this end, it was gathered that the Federal Government has stepped up efforts at ensuring that Nigeria retains her seat in the category ‘C’, and that as part of the efforts to sustain that, the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio has inaugurated two committees to work at ensuring that the bid is successful at the end of this first phase for 2009 last quarter taking place in London.

The main committee is headed by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport, with the director of maritime services as alternate chairman.

Other members of the committee include, the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council, as well as representative of Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Chamber of Shipping. The head of Public Relations of NIMASA, Hafia Lami Tumaka is also a member of the main committee.

On the other hand, the technical committee is made up of the Director General of NIMASA, Mr Temisan Omatseye, as the chairman, while member include, Captain A. S. Olopoenia, Barrister Matthew Egbadon, Mr William Azu, Mrs. J. A. Gunwa and Heaky Dimowo, all of NIMASA, while Engineer Grema and Joshua Okpo are from the Federal Ministry of Transport.

It would be recalled that Nigeria returned to category “C” of the IMO council in November 2007, after two unsuccessful attempts at getting back the seat in 2003 and 2005.

The category ‘C’ which Nigeria belongs to at the moment, has 20 members who are often elected in a keen contest at the bi-annual event which signposts a country’s relevance, both at regional and at the world body levels.

The committee members had acknowledged the enormity of the task at hand, and has expressed their desire to deliver, even as the battle appears toughest, in the history of IMO, considering the number of countries that indicated interest to contest.

Corlins Walter

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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