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Gov Lauds NIMASA For Human Capacity Building

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The governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has commended the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its efforts in building human capacity for the Nigerian maritime industry.

The Governor stated this when the Director General/CEO of NIMASA, Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi led the  Management,  and staff of the Agency on a courtesy visit to the Government House Minna.

Governor Aliyu expressed appreciation of the government and people of Niger state over the decision of the Agency to establish an Institute of Maritime Studies at the state owned Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai saying this is a sure way of correcting the dearth of seafarers globally.

“The world is in short supply of seafarers by about 50 per cent. To build human capacity in this area locally, we must  empower our institutions to contribute to the training of seafarers. I want to assure NIMASA that we would do all that is necessary to support this Institute. Even though you have said NIMASA would sponsor the establishment of this Institute 100 per cent, as a responsible government, we will not hesitate to commit resources to this project if need be”.

The governor who has acquired vast experience of the maritime sector over the years during his appointment as the Director of Maritime Services in the Federal Ministry of Transport and later as its Permanent Secretary observed that the DG of NIMASA has proved everybody wrong by galvanising thoughts with a clear vision of repositioning the maritime sector.

The Governor immediately announced the constitution of a high powered committee led by the Vice Chancellor of IBB University, Professor Ibrahim Adamu Kolo to work with NIMASA to facilitate a smooth take-off of the Institute.

Earlier, the Director General of NIMASA had explained to the governor that the NIMASA team was in the state to express its appreciation to the Government of Niger State for its continous partnership with the Agency in areas of human capacity development in the maritime sector.

Mr. Akpobolokemi informed the governor that the Agency has been granted approval to establish an Institute of Maritime Studies in the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai for the purpose of training seafarers for the award of certificates, diplomas, degrees and post graduate certificates.

He said, “we are here to inform you that the National Assembly has approved our proposal to establish an Institute of Maritime Studies at the IBB University Lapai. The Agency will undertake the construction of the institute which will be in line with global standards and fund it until such a time when we feel it is mature enough to stand on its own. Our desire is to attract the best brains to this Institute through adequate funding to make it trully world class”.

The DG therefore appealed to the government of Niger state and the management of the IBB University to provide a suitable site and ensure a peaceful environment for the establishment of the Institute.

In his vote of thanks, the Vice Chancellor of the IBB University who observed that NIMASA was the first Agency to partner the university in its strategic plan assured the management of NIMASA that every effort would be made to secure the investment of the Agency in the Institute for posterity.

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Sanwo-Olu Assures On Reduction Of Food Prices

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured residents of the state that the various interventions by his administration in the agriculture sector would soon put an end to the astronomic rise in food prices in the market.
The governor gave the assurance on Friday at the flag-off of distribution of agricultural productive assets and inputs under the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme, with over 3000 agripreneurs empowered.
Sanwo-Olu said that breaking the shackle of dependency on foreign countries and states for food supplies was in line with his administration’s THEMES agenda for job and wealth creation as well as food sufficiency.
He stated that the empowerment scheme was a demonstration to the development, expansion and growth of agriculture in Lagos by providing tools, deploying innovation and creativity that would make it easier for all farmers to grow high quality crops, thereby raising their inputs to feed Lagosians and Nigerians.
The governor said that his administration was putting in place various interventions which included wholesale agriculture hub, urging farmers, youths and beneficiaries to work hard to nurture their businesses to maturity by building a sustainable wealth.
“We have emerged wiser and more determined to succeed in creating and nurturing a viable agribusiness sector in Lagos State. We may be Nigeria’s smallest state by land mass, lacking the large tracts of land available to others, but we will not allow that to stand in the way of our vision.
“We will maximise the little we have, while also deploying the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit we are known for, to create new opportunities to feed ourselves and feed Nigeria, and create economic growth and prosperity through agriculture”, he said.
 The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, said that 70 per cent of the beneficiaries of the programme were youths and women chosen from the Lagos Agripreneurship programme (LAP), Agric YES programme, and value chain associations.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Monorail Project, A Waste Of Rivers Resources – GDI

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The Monorail Project that was abandoned by the Chibuike Amaechi-led administration in Rivers State has been described as a complete waste of state resources.
President-General of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), worldwide, Bright Amehule, in an interaction with journalists at the weekend, alleged that the former state governor used the monorail project to squander Rivers money.
He said that the monorail was not desirable as at when it was embarked upon, adding that the money sunk into the project would have been used for more people oriented projects. 
According to the GDI boss, the state has not reached the stage where the monorail is necessary.
“We have not reached the stage of development where we will need monorail. Where is the power to run it ? We have not grown to the stage to run it, as we have observed in other developed countries.
“We need power to run the monorail, but even the power project former governor Peter Odilli executed was sold by Amaechi. He squandered the money he sold the power project built by Odili without giving account of it.
“There is just little to show for the huge amount of money spent on the monorail and the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority”, he said.
On account of his stewardship as the coordinator of taskforce on Street Trading and Illegal Parking, Amehule said that he performed his duties well, but pointed out  that no individual can satisfy everybody, irrespective of how the person tries.
He said that the state government engaged over 600 youths as task force men, adding that the state government is doing its best to ensure youths employment in the state. 
According to him, the state government has taken steps to provide employment through numerous projects such as the Cassava Plant at Oyigbo, the recent partnership with South Korea, numerous construction works being handled by Julius Berger, and the expansion of the Rivers State University, among others.

By: Corlins Walter

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SON Procures Warehouse For Goods’ Testing

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In a bid to stop the practice of arresting containers released at the seaports on the highways by its officials, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has procured a warehouse around the port where suspicious goods will be taken to for testing.
The Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim who disclosed this at a one day capacity building workshop for journalists organized by SON in Lagos, recently, said that rather than blocking suspicious goods at the port and delay other legitimate businesses coming through, they would just take those containers to their warehouse and conduct their test.
Salim explained that after testing, if the goods were found to be okay, they would release them but if the goods were found not to be okay, they (SON officials) would show those individuals how to fix the products if the products were fixable, adding that where they were not fixable; the SON would destroy them in line with their mandate.
Salim explained that the idea was to encourage ease of doing business at the seaport, saying the organisation does not want bottlenecks and bureaucracy that would stop people from achieving their legitimate goals.
He assured that the SON management would continue to rejig the system to make it more efficient.
According to him: “We have done so many changes over the years. For example, we have our own warehouse right by the port where goods that are suspicious, instead of blocking them in the port and delay other legitimate businesses coming through, we just take those containers to our warehouse which are nearby and because we have a very high professional and efficient lab in this country, we do our test, if the goods are okay, we release them. If the goods are not okay, we show those individuals how to fix those products if they are fixable, if they are not fixable; we destroy them which is our legitimate mandate by the government and by the National Assembly”.
He emphasised that it was the SON’s responsibility to make sure that every goods that enter the country are up to standard.  
He said: “We make sure there are consequences to any product and that any person producing substandard products will have to pay one way or the other. We will have to make sure that there are consequences for individuals buying fake products and injuring our people. We are to make sure manufacturers of goods; building materials are up to standards because collapsing buildings are not discriminatory. 
“We, as an organisation, are committed to improving our responsibility. If we expect standards from people, we have to three times inspect how we handle ourselves. So, over the years, we have collaborated with market associations, we have collaborated with importers’ associations even though our responsibility is primarily to help our local producers but Nigeria has importers and they are legitimate businessmen and they are importing things that are needed in Nigeria. So, our responsibility is to make sure that whatever comes to this country is standard, is good, is not going to harm our people and our local industry”.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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