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Master Mariners Chart Way Forward

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Capt. Adegboyega Sahib
Olopoenia, has emerged the new president of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM).
Olopoenia was announced the new president after he was unanimously voted by all members of the association present at the annual general meeting and election which took place in Lagos, last Saturday .
Our correspondent reports that Olopoenia takes over leadership of the association from Capt. Adejimi Adu, who was president since 2008.
In his valedictory speech, Adu emphasised the need for the new executive to vigorously pursue the completion of all ongoing association projects.
“I urge you to give immediate attention to the construction and commissioning of a befitting secretariat.
“Much work has gone into the foundation and it is my hope that a final decision to begin the actual construction begins in the new year.’’
Adu also mentioned the need for a review of the association’s constitution to enable it to adapt to necessary changes to accommodate new ideas and enhance progress.
He said that it was important that members of NAMM be included on the board of government maritime agencies such as Nigerian Ports Authority, the Shipper’s Council and Nigeria Maritime Safety and Administration Agency.
He commended the efforts of Capt. Niyi Adeyemo, who made it possible for them to be represented at the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Adu also enjoined members of the association to always remember the bond that tied them together.
“Let us each be proud master mariners always. I always remember the phrase ‘Live for yourself and you will live in vain, live for others and you will live again,’’ Adu said.
In his acceptance speech, Olopoenia promised to give all the points raised by Adu the deserved express attention.
He also said that that the new executive would do a lot more in the area of advocacy.
“We have been talking about manpower development in the industry. I must add that it is important that we get involved in advocacy for greater benefit also.’’
Our correspondent reports that other elected members of the new executive include; Capt. Joseph Awodeha, First vice-president; Capt. Jide Olagunwa, Second vice-president and Capt. Femi Oyewole, General Secretary.
Others are; Capt. Niyi Adedokun, assistant general secretary; Capt. Tajudeen Alao, financial secretary; Capt. Onyenenim Iwebike, Treasurer; Capt. Justin Eshiet, Publicity Secretary and Capt. Adejimi Adu, Ex-officio member.
The new president is expected to run the association’s affairs for the next two years.

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Maritime

Piracy: MWUN Tasks NIMASA On Security Of Inland Waters

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waterways to curb piracy and other forms of criminal activities.
The Deep Blue Project consists of Nigeria’s maritime security assets commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Despite the launch of the USD195 million maritime security assets, criminal acts have persisted in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) and the nations inland waterways, witnessing the abduction of eight persons including five maritime workers, along the Kula-Abonnema River.
Speaking on the abduction, Deputy General Secretary of MWUN, Comrade Oniha Erazua, urged NIMASA to extend the coverage of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters considering the incessant abduction of travellers along the waterways.
“It’s appalling that five of our workers were abducted suddenly. It took the intervention of some stakeholders to get them rescued eventually. Our coastal waters are essential to the economy of the country and should be secured.
“Should we now leave our inland waters insecure to the detriment of our workers? It shouldn’t be. We are begging NIMASA to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters that are prone to kidnapping and all other maritime related crimes”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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MWUN Members Relive Experiences In Kidnappers’ Den …Say They Were Fed With Garri, Flogged With Knives

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The five members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, that regained freedom from kidnappers’ den last week say they were fed with only garri and flogged with knives and sticks while in captivity. 
The MWUN members said they were fed for three out of the six days in captivity in the hands of the suspected pirates.
Narrating their ordeal to The Tide shortly after their release in Port Harcourt, the victims comprising four men and one woman said they were set free and dumped at a mangrove forest near Abonnema between 8pm and 9pm.
“The experience at the mangrove was not easy, we were beaten with knives and sticks by the pirates.
“We were fed with garri for only three days through out our six days of captivity, once in a day”, one of the victims who did not want his name mentioned said. 
 The victims, however, declined to give reasons why they were abducted by suspected gunmen on their way to Port Harcourt on a commercial boat.
It would be recalled that the five members of MWUN were kidnapped two weeks ago by suspected pirates onboard a commercial boat from Kula, near Abonnema to Port Harcourt to attend a meeting. 
The MWUN gave their names as Comrade Wisdom Iderima, Chairman, MWUN, Kula Unit; West Opubo, Secretary, MWUN, Kula, Unit; Ajenina Daniel, Vice Chairman, and Madam Clementeba Clementeba Exco officio of MWUN, Kula Unit. 
One of the abductees, Madam Clementeba said she had been kidnapped three times by pirates.
She said she had 12 boats that used to ply Kula /Abonnema routes, but had all been stolen by criminals.
She said sea robbers had carted away 10 of her speed boats for no reasons.
Clementeba called on the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the state government to assist her recover her missing boats and curb sea piracy on the waterways.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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NIWA Threatens To Arrest Fishermen Defecating In Lagos Lagoon

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has threatened to arrest and prosecute any fisherman that defecates into Lagos lagoon.
This was contained in a statement by Kelvin Eba, an official of the agency working at the Liverpool area of Apapa, Lagos while warning the fishermen.
Eba said the agency would no longer tolerate the practice, but insisted that it would arrest and prosecute any culprit.
He said NIWA had set up patrol teams to arrest offenders, most of whom he described as “illiterates and drug addicts”.
He said, “Defecating into the river, lagoon and such places is classified as open defecation, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can lead to the outbreak of diseases including diarrhea and others associated with ingesting and exposure to human waste”.
The Tide reports that in October 2019, Nigeria became the number one open defecation nations in the world, overtaking India. 
An estimate of 10 to 50 million Nigerians are said to be defecating in the open space.

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