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Extortion: Transporter Tasks Rivers CP On Monitoring

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A Port Harcourt-based
transporter, Elder Jide Fashakin, has called on the new Rivers State Commissioner of police, Dan Bature, to set up a monitoring taskforce to checkmate corrupt police officers who allegedly extort money from innocent drivers on the road.
Fashakin who made the call in an interview with The Tide correspondent  in Port Harcourt on Monday said the activities of some law enforcement agents on the road was an eyesore and embarrassment to the force that if not checked would further portray the name of the police in bad light.
He said the alleged indiscriminate extortion of money from commercial drivers in the state without genuine offences was becoming a great concern to all commercial transporters, describing their activities as alarming.
According to him, areas like the Boro park fly-over, Education Bus Stop Mile one to three in Diobu, Port Harcourt are the most notorious areas where such activities strive as some on mufty even hire vehicles to patrol the road and chase innocent drivers just to extort money from them or impound their vehicles to the police station where they charge drivers huge sums of money before their vehicles were released.
Fashakin, a retired police officer  further hinted that, “sometimes after checking the vehicle particulars and finding nothing incriminating, they will still charge the driver of either buying a stolen vehicle, the chasis number  and the engine number not corresponding or no court affidavit to back up their particulars,” stressing that mile one police station had become a care stand or garage where car were taken to, the tyres deflated and after settlement, the driver or the owner of the vehicles made to pump his tryes with N200 for each tyre to standby vulcanisers.
He alleged that at Education bus stop, some traffic police officers aid and abate some of their friend drivers to load their vehicles indiscriminately after using their agents to collect N100 per loading, and noted that such activities would stop if there is a monitoring team to checkmate such ugly trends in the state.
The retired police officer hinted that some of the drivers are graduates but choose to go into the business to fend for themselves and their families since there is unemployment every where, and that when their rights were trampled upon illegally, they are not happy.
He also used the forum to advise all commercial driver to obey traffic rules and regulations, and ensure that all their particulars are in order, to avoid extortion or embarrassment by the law enforcement agents.
When contacted on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Rivers State Police Command, ASP Muhammed Kidaya Ahmed said he is yet to get a formal complaint from anybody or group, but promised that action would be taken if they receive formal report.

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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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