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FRSC Begins Sensitisation On New Drivers Licence

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The  Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Rivers State Command has flagged-off the nationwide new commercial drivers licence enlightenment campaign at Abali Park, Port Harcourt on Monday  with a charge for all drivers  to be competent, medically fit, sufficiently knowledgeable  of traffic rules and regulations as well as obtain  certificate of professional competence for drivers (CPCD) from accredited certified driving school.

The Corps commander, Mr. Kayode Olagunju who dropped the hint during the enlightenment campaign said applicants for the new licence must be competent and  demonstrate the ability to operate varied commercial vehicles, visually a sound,   healthy  and have passed theory  and practical  test on driving, warning all drivers not to patronise quacks in obtaining the new drivers licences.

Mr. Olagunju, who was  represented by the Deputy Corps Commander,  Mr Frank Okwueze disclosed  that prio to the uniformity in drivers licence, there had been a plettora of safety and enforcement challenges relating  to vehicles and drivers, which he said ranges from multiple licences, obtaining of licence if original was seized,  no data base of issuance across the country  and licences issued to both the blind and limbless.

According to him, the National Uniform Licencing Scheme was introduced  in 1990 to harmonise  and unite all existing models of driver’s licences and  vehicles nationwide, adding  that the Federal Government had been losing a huge revenue to the state due to forgery  adding  that the new licence  cost N6,350.00 only, appealing to all drivers to co-operate.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Transport, Mr. George Tolofari  thanked  the FRSC in the state for such a sensitisation  programme, describing it as laudable.

Mr. Tolofari, who was represented by  Permanent  Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Somiari Isaac Harry pleaded with the drivers to be cautious during the yuletide, obey all road signs and ensure they have all the necessary documents with them to avoid any embarrassment  on the  road.

He reiterated that all unpainted commercial and recketee vehicles would be impounded,  and called on such owners  to comply by January 2013 or face the wrath of the law, stressing that the Ministry is ready to synergise with   drivers to work as a team, thanking the organizers for the eye test and  sensitisation.

In his speech, the chief vehicle inspection officer (VIO), Rivers State, Chief Slyvanus Dappa charges the drivers to obey the laws so that VIOs would be their friend on the road and always keep their vehicles in road worthiness.

Chief Dappa also enjoined them to be  safety conscious, dress neatly and always ensure that they bring their new vehicles for necessary   documentation  before registration, and  thanked  FRSC for the programme.

The chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Abali Park unit, Chief Bethel Dappa in his own  remarks  also thanked the organisers for the sensitisation and  enjoined the drivers not to patronise second hand tyres and don’t  drink before driving, and called on the police to arrest any one selling alcohol at parks.

The occasion was attended by stakeholders.

 

Corlins Walter & Vivian Christian

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Transport

Immigration Steps Up Anti-Touting Vigilance

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Passports Command, Ikoyi, has increased its surveillance  on touting in a bid to check extortion within its jurisdiction.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Lagos, last Friday, the Immigration Comptroller, Passports Office, Ikoyi, Lagos, Deputy Comptroller Liman A.I , said the negative impact of touting on the nation’s economy would not be allowed to continue under his watch.
He said ,”we are applying persuasion, dialogue and seeking the support of all well meaning stakeholders in this area to spread the anti-touting message and dissuade people from unlawful acts. However, we could apply coercive power as the need arises.
“With the selfless leadership shown by the Comptroller General, Alhaji Mohammed Babandede, we at the PCO, Ikoyi, Lagos, have decided to re-dedicate ourselves to duty and complement the efforts of the CGIS. 
“We are prepared more than ever to wage the anti-miscreants war relentlessly.
Liman assured the general public of friendly environment for legitimate transaction in an effort to strengthen the national economy, warning deviants to shun touting and other related vices.
According to him, “the command has keyed into the various strategies including the use of ICT in gathering of intelligence, among others.
“The service believes that the fight against miscreants within its corridor cannot be undertaken by the service alone, hence our call on Nigerians to partner with us in ensuring that the passport seekers do not patronise touts to defraud them. Our resolve is unshaken and our commitment is total”. 
On her part, the Public Relations Officer of the command, a Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Mrs Adetoun Shiyindemi, commended the Deputy Comptroller Liman, for his selfless service, pointing out that he has really given the officers and men of the command a sense of belonging. 
“Since the Comptroller came in, it has been a servant-leader relationship here at Ikoyi PCO and we are all motivated to put in our best with what the CGIS has given us, you will see a new immigration service”, she assured.

By: NkpemenyieMcdominic, Lagos

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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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