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Transport

Rivers Monorail Project, Most Commendable – Minister

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The Minister of Transport, senator Idris Umar has described the Rivers State Government’s initiative to develop a monorail transport system as appropriate, timely and most commendable.

Senator Umar made the commendation at a one-day public forum on the Rivers Monorail Project and the gauge of public transportation in Rivers State, issues, challenges and way forward organised by the state Ministry of Transport in Port Harcourt last Wednesday.

He said a functional monorail system would confer on Rivers State greater accessibility as it would complement and have a linkage with the on-going Port Harcourt – Maiduguri and Lagos -Kano   lines rehabilitation on the existing narrow gauge network of 3,505km, as well as the on-going modernisation of the Abuja (Idu) , Kaduna, and Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Lines and other planned new lines to expand the total rail network.

The minister said that the Rivers monorail project would be viable as it is strategic, adding that it would be of immense socio-economic benefit to Rivers State in particular and the nation in general.

According to him, the project is in line with the National Transport Policy (NTP) and the Nigerian Transportation Masterplan (NTM), and noted that the ministry is ready to collaborate with the Rivers State Government and make necessary input through the Nigeria Railway Corporation, with a view to speedy and successful implementation of the project.

He disclosed that the Federal Government is taking necessary steps through its transport sector Reform Programme to remove all obstacles to promote increased participation it all the tiers of government and the organised private sector in the planning, development and operation of transport facilities and services, through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Sector Umar, who was represented by the Director of Policy in the minister however urged the Rivers State Government to forge ahead and muster the political will and commitment to diligently and faithfully develop the Rivers monorail, and lauded the Governor for the foresight.

 

Collins Barasimeye

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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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