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Transport

Delta Procures 675 Vehicles In Three Years

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The Delta Government inaugurated a total of 675 buses and taxis between 2008 and 2011 as part of its Urban Transport Scheme.

The Commissioner for Transport, Mr Benson Igbakpa, told newsmen in Asaba last Thursday that 170 taxis were inaugurated in 2008, while 505 18-seater buses were launched between 2009 and 2011.

Igbakpa also said that out of  the 505 buses, 40 were used as  the Schools Shuttle Bus Scheme to ease the transportation problems of school children in the state.

He said that 465 were given to the state transport service, Agofure Motor Limited (private transport line), and the National Union of Road Transport Worker (NURTW).

Another beneficiary is the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Igbakpa explained that the essence of the scheme was to provide the people of the state with affordable and comfortable transport service.

He said that the transport sector was an important component of the state’s economy, adding that it was also critical to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

According to him, transport is one of the key sectors playing a crucial role in achieving the MDGs goal of poverty eradication and sustainable development.

“The sector influences development in other sector of the economy,” he said.

The commissioner said further that the government also provided nine 38-seater buses for students in the various tertiary institutions in the state to ease their transport difficulties.

Igbakpa said three out of the nine buses had been distributed to the three campuses of the state university in Abraka, Asaba and Oleh.

He said, “Three have also been given the three state-owned polytechnics and the other three have been sent to the three colleges of education.”

Igbakpa also said that the state Executive Council had approved the supply of 50 Marcopolo buses in 2011 fiscal year to boost the existing Mass Transit Programme.

He explained that the buses would ply some urban routes with large number of commuters, and that the state would soon take delivery of the buses.

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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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