The Commander of the
Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Abia State, Mr Anthony Oko, has called for collaboration between the commission and the state’s vigilante groups, for effective road traffic control.
Oko made the call when members of the Advisory Committee of Abia State Vigilante Groups paid him a courtesy visit in Umuahia, recently.
He said that controlling road traffic in the state was a difficult challenge, noting that some motorists and tricycle operators used the roads “in a manner that suggests that they are not normal human beings’’.
He said that some of the road users often threatened FRSC officials with dangerous weapons whenever they were being cautioned, adding that such situation posed great danger to road traffic control.
Oko therefore solicited the cooperation of the vigilance group, saying “since the law does not permit FRSC to carry arms, it will be nice for you to partner with us to check these criminal elements’’.
He said it was particularly difficult to control traffic in Aba, the commercial hub of the state and Umuahia, stressing that the responsibility should not be that of the FRSC alone.
“Before turning to specifics, the general role of all uniform men is to maintain peace, protect lives and property of the citizens.
“As FRSC personnel, our main mandate is to ensure that all road users are adequately protected and we expect that other uniform officials should also be apostles of road safety,’’ he said.
Earlier, the chairman of the advisory committee, Chief Udeka Onuoha, had earlier said that the committee’s visit was to solicit good working relationship with the commission.
Onuoha, who is a retired Commissioner of Police, said although members of the vigilance group were not competing with the FRSC, they were willing to support the agency in its operations, if requested.
“The law that established Abia State Vigilance Group made it explicit that members are to play complementary roles to other federal security bodies. If you need us, we are willing to assist.”
Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty
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
Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations
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.
Another Two Ships Arrive Onne Port, Today
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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