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Lagos Rail Project ‘ll Enhance Movement – MD

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The Lagos Rail Mass Transit Project will deliver huge savings on transport cost to users, reduce vehicle emissions and improve the quality of life on completion, Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr Dayo Mobereola, has said.

Speaking during an inspection of the project, Dr Mobereola said the construction of the rail project underscored the seriousness the state government attaches to the comfort of the citicens in the way they move round the city for their livelibood.

The project on completion, he said, would ease the pressure on the road, reduce travel time and cost of travel within the city, reduce vehicle emissions and contribute to the quality of life of the average Lagos resident.

Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) had during his official visit to the rail construction site in November 2010 described the rail as the most impactful effort of the state government at combating Lagos untamed traffic congestion, which had adversely affected the economy and the environment.

Mabereola, who led a management team on the inspection, said the rail project was governments concrete effort at growing public transport and reducing reliance on private cars to travel to work or for leisure.

He said the rail project would create sizeable employment, noting that the project currently employs over 2,000 Nigerians and efforts are in top gear to increase the number as construction scale moves up this year.

“The BRT is currently generating more than 5,000 employments and if you look at the rail, it could generate about 50,000 jobs.

By the time the rail projects begin fully, other ancillary services would spring up and more employment opportunities would be created. So the employment generation would be enormous” Mobereola stated.

Besides, he said, the rail project on completion will shorten the travel time along the rail corridor by significant number of hours and make life much more pleasant and enjoyable, adding that all of the stress people go through now in long hours in traffic would ultimately disappear.

According to him, the completion and operation of the Blue line will ginger investors to take other rail lines going to Agbado, Redemption Camp, Sango Ota and others as captured in the state’s strategic Transport Master Plan.

The first phase of seven kilometers of the 27 kilometres with five stations is expected to be completed by 2012. The rail line would be operated by a concessionaire who would supply the coaches operate and provide the management .

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Maritime

Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty

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The Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Rivers State Government to dredge the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty to enhance marine operations.
The union said the low shore of the river hampers its operations and grounds boats.
The Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kings Don, who made the call, said the low shore of the jetty was not helpful to marine operations.
According to him, drivers and passengers find it difficult to ply the route whenever the tide is low, thus wasting man hours.
“Sometimes, we push the boat to a level it would afloat due to low tide suffered in the jetty. We are appealing to NIMASA and the state government to assist and dredge the jetty for more efficiency”, he pleaded. 
Don described the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty as the gateway to Bonny Island and other riverine communities, and called on NIMASA and the state government to intervene and make the marine sector viable in the area. 
He said that the prompt dredging of the jetty would enhance water transportation in the state and improve its revenue generation.
He, however, commended the security agents, especially the Nigerian Navy and the marine police, for rescuing the waterways and creeks from all forms of criminality.
Comrade Don appealed to the security agents to engage in 24-hour patrol of the routes and other channels to save lives and property.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations

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A renowned ship owner in the country, Alhaji Aminu Umar, has decried lack of standardisation and enforcement of safety measures on the nation’s inland waterways by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
He also blamed lack of will to enforce regulations, safety, standard and regulations on overloading, night voyage, rickety and old craft as causes of mishap on the inland waterways.
Alhaji Umar, who is a former president, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), said in Minna, Niger State, recently that enforcement of safety and standard on the nation’s inland waterways was weak.
Reacting to incessant boat mishaps in the country, Umar said, “there is no standard applied on movement of people, as all kinds of boat are being used. It is important that we standardise, because lack of safety and standard will increase accident.
“I think, the task of NIWA is to standardise conditions and procedures on the nation’s waterways”.
He also called for the regulation of movement of badges and passenger boats across the port environment.
“It’s a huge risk allowing badges moving containers around the port area side by side with boats carrying passengers.
“Moving people and containers at the same time is a huge risk, and a safety concern.
“NIWA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should see to this and tackle the menace”, he said.

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Maritime

Another Two Ships Arrive Onne Port, Today

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says two ships laden with cargoes will arrive Onne Port in Rivers State today.
This was contained in its weekly Shipping Position made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
The shipping position gave the names of the vessels as UAL Bodewes and SI Osiris, scheduled to berth at the port.
The statement also gave the names of the shipping agents as Interservice Nig Limited and Alraine Shipping.
The ships, according to the statement, were laden with oil well tools/containers and general cargoes.
The ships are expected to berth at the Brawal Federal Light Terminal (FLT) Berth 1B and Brawal FLT Berth 1A in Rivers State. 
The length of the vessels was, however, not indicated in the shipping position.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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