Worried by the recent upsurge of sea piracy on Nigeria’s waterways, the branch President of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Francis Bunu has called on the Federal Government to take proactive action in ameliorating further occurrences.
Comrade Bunu, who made the call during an interview with our correspondent after the inauguration of the Sea Truck unit executive of the union in Port Harcourt recently said the increasing rate of sea piracy and armed robbery on Nigeria’s waterways has become a serious threat to the maritime sector, pointing out that if not nipped in the bud now would drive away would – be investors into the business.
According to him, time has come for a drastic measure to be taken against this ugly trend as it is threatening the economic survival of the sector in the country, especially in the Niger Delta.
He hinted that within four months, a good number of seafarers from SeaTruck were abducted but later released after some gratification, stressing that time has come for the government to stop further kidnap in vessels as the international maritime body is also not happy with the development.
The MWUN Branch President of Seafarers, National Inland Waterways (NIWA), Seamen and Water Transport Owners noted that another challenge that is facing the union is that of unemployment as most maritime operators do not follow due process in engaging seafarers.
He stated that a taskforce or monitoring committee would soon be set up to ensure strict compliance and that any company that failed in this regard would be sealed-up.
Comrade Bunu however commended Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the state for living up to their responsibilities and also rated the activities of the seafarers high, assuring that the union would always support them in their welfare and conducive operational atmosphere.
He also thanked all affiliate bodies for their continued collaboration, enjoining them not to relent.
correspondent gathered that a 90 day ultimatum or get sanctioned threat issued by the United States Coast Guard to the Nigerian Government to ensure proper implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code port security will expire this month.
Meanwhile, also speaking with out correspondent, the chairman of SeaTruck unit of the union, Comrade Ekine Tomboitemea thanked God for a peaceful and transparent election and described his victory as a leader to serve and achieve desired result for the workers.
Comrade Tomboitemea said the task is enormous but expressed optimism that with the co-operation and support of all, the sky would be their limit, thanking all for making the day great.
Other Exco members elected include Comrades Michael Amadi – Vice Chairman, Afinidi Job – Secretary, Young Young-Jack – Asst Secretary, Linus Woffe – Treasurer, Chris Johnson – Fin. Secretary, Godsgift Akpengi – Special female member while Sam Otelema and Igwe Ikebuike were Patron and Organising Secretary respectively.
The faction was attended by the state chairman of the union, Comrade Jonah Jumbo, the vice – Ifeanyi Dominic Godwin, the Fin Sec – Prince Isesele, the Secretary, Eze Robert among others.
NSC Boss Warns Maritime Agencies Against Unhealthy Rivalries
The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, has warned agencies in the maritime sector to avoid superiority rivalry, saying it has done the industry more harm than good.
He also advised heads of maritime agencies to avoid cosmetic cooperation and come together for the development of the industry.
Bello gave this warning at a sent-forth ceremony organised in his honour, last Friday.
Bello bowed out of service last Friday after eight years of service.
He was appointed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2013. Before his appointment, he was the Director, Legal Services of the NSC.
Bello noted that some agencies spent so much in defending their territories while neglecting their statutory mandates.
According to him, “There is lack of synergy among the agencies and I don’t think it is succeeding because it has been the basis of equality. There is no agency that is better than the other.
“Agencies are not graded by their budgets but what they contribute, but it is very unfortunate some agencies think that maritime starts and stops with them. No, it cannot work.
“Some agencies are trying to defend territories and in doing so, they go to a large extent and that is not good. They spend a lot of money to defend these territories while they neglect what they are established to do and that’s why we are not developing and that’s what Nigerian Shippers’ Council will never take from anybody not now, tomorrow or forever. We are all equal, we all have contributions to make.
“We can’t be having cosmetic cooperation, we have to have real cooperation”.
Bello said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had undergone a lot of transformations, saying the era of state capture was over.
He lauded the Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors of the Ministry for giving the Council the opportunity to achieve a lot through their supports.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Okowa Seeks Permanent Site For Maritime Varsity
The Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the Federal Government to develop the permanent site of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko.
Okowa made the call while playing host to the Governing Council of the university during a courtesy visit at the Government House, Asaba.
He said the establishment of a permanent campus would go a long way in putting the university on a sound footing, and ultimately enable it to deliver on its core mandate of imparting sound maritime-related education on students.
The governor said he was happy that the institution took off academic activities at the temporary site but urged the Federal Government to make resources available for the construction of buildings and provision of amenities that would enhance academic activities.
He noted that the birth of the special educational institution for the training of manpower in the maritime sector had strengthened peace and the economy of riverine communities.
Okowa advocated the need for more projects to be sited in riverine areas because of the inputs of riverine areas to the economy of the nation.
“We thank God that the Maritime University has started even when we have challenges because we do know that the take-off of the university brought good news to our people and helped us to build peace, particularly in our riverine areas”, he said.
Earlier, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr Elias Courson, commended Governor Okowa for his inspiring and magnanimous support towards the take-off and continued development of the university.
He also thanked the governor for establishing three additional universities in the state, which would provide additional access to quality education not only to Deltans but to Nigerians.
Dr Courson, however, appealed to Okowa to assist the university in completing the renovation/ remodelling of the classroom blocks, construction of additional staff quarters and provision of a potable water scheme in the campus.
By: Chinedu Wosu
2022 Nations Cup: S’Eagles To Travel To Cameroon By Boat
The Lagos State Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) says it will convey the Super Eagles of Nigeria by boat to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup.
Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Abdullah Balogun, stated this in a statement.
“We plan to take Nigeria’s Super Eagles to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup after achieving that of Benin Republic — this is a goal we have set for ourselves”, Balogun said.
LAGFERRY said they considered the boat trip following the success recorded in the Benin experience.
He said, “It was a major milestone for us to transport Nigeria’s national team to the Benin Republic through the waterways.
“Coming on board LAGFERRY through the international route to the Benin Republic is a mind-blowing experience. We were excited to be part of it”.
The LAGFERRY boss said the success recorded in the Benin game, where the Eagles won 1-0 away, was as a result of the trouble-free trip.
“It reflected on the field of play and it showed on their (players) performances because they came out victorious in the game,” he said.
Balogun said the players, during next year’s boat trip, would enjoy free Wi-Fi, USB pots and a lot of entertainment and side attractions enabled by technology.
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