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Apapa Gridlock Boosts NIWA’s Revenue, Partronage – Area Manager

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) said the chaotic traffic gridlock in Apapa area of Lagos State has boosted revenue in water transport services, increased patronage and the number of investors in the business.

The Lagos Area Manager of the Agency, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Lagos, recently.

Sambo said more Lagosians have now embraced water transportation to and from work since the traffic gridlock in Apapa had become unbearable.

According to him, an additional nine new boats have been put into the water transport business in the first quarter of the year, adding that this was as a result of the agency’s Public Private Partnership (PPP).

He disclosed that NIWA had provided platforms for the boat owners to construct Jetties in Victoria Island, Apapa and Ikorodu, pointing out that the boats are modern craft that cannot easily sink because of the way they were constructed.

In his words, “there is massive increase in the number of passengers plying the water in the past weeks, we have been able to generate almost 70 per cent of what we generated in the whole of last year in the first quarter of this year”.

Sambo said more people have now discovered the efficiency of water transport, and that most people have also known that because of the efficiency and safety of lives and property, abandoned their vehicles and patronizes water transport system, maintaining that the new private sector involvement in the business is part of the achievements by NIWA this year.

“It will help facilitate easy movement of passengers plying the waterways in Nigeria”, he said.

The NIWA Lagos Area manager further stated that, “at the beginning of this year, we were able to identify some groups who have brought in nine brand new boats into Lagos, they acquired a terminal in Ikorodu and we provided a platform for them to do a jetty. We also provided a space for them in Victoria Island to do another Jetty in order to move people into Ikorodu and CMS on one hand and then Victoria Island to Ikorodu on the other hand and also to ferry passengers across to Apapa”.

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Maritime

Disengaged Dockworker Wants NPA To Probe Severance Committee

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An aggrieved disengaged dock-worker in Rivers State, Mr Ilomabo Taylor, has called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to investigate the poor severance package paid to the disengaged workers by the NPA Severance Package Payment Committee.
The 67-year old dockworker expressed surprise that the committee was paying every disengaged worker the sum of N400,000 only irrespective of the years put in.
Mr Taylor, who is a disengaged tally clerk, told The Tide in Port Harcourt, that he put in over 40 years in service of the NPA but was only paid N400,000 by the payment committee.
He called on the NPA to investigate the committee responsible for the payment, insisting that the amount paid to the disengaged dockworkers is unthinkable and ridiculous.
Taylor alleged that the severance package for each disengaged dockworker was about N5 million, and wondered why the amount was reduced to less than half a million naira.
He lamented that since he was disengaged from the service, he had found it difficult to cater for his family or pay rent.
“I had suffered since 2015 when I was disengaged with others; no money to pay rent, children school fees, buy medications and other  bills”, Taylor lamented.
He disclosed that five of his colleagues died before the payment due to shock “because they heard that the money was less than half a million naira”.
The Deputy Secretary General Organising, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (NWUN), Comrade Abudu Eroje, had told The Tide two weeks ago, that the Federal Government approved 400,000 only for each of the disengaged dockworkers across the country.
Eroje described the disengaged workers as concessionaire staff (contract staff)  to the NPA and admonished them to invest their severance package meaningfully.   The Tide reports that over 309 persons were earmarked to be paid in Rivers Port Complex out of a total 2,100 disengaged dockworkers across the six ports in the country.

 

By: Chinedu Wosu

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CRFFN Flags Off Collection Of POF In Seaports 

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The Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria ( CRFFN) has flagged off the collection of practitioner operating fee (POF) in Lagos, with practical demonstration of the step payment procedure on the council’s portal before newsmen.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony at the CRFFN headquarters in Lagos, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the council, Barr Samuel Nwakohu, said that the council had worked hard to realise the objective, adding that the launch would be restricted to the seaports for now.
“It is a phase thing. We will get to the airports or to the other borders eventually. And the soft launch is going to take like two to three weeks which simply means that it is a period that we will use to observe the technology. We have observed it but you know there is a difference between when you are on  the field and when you do it in your office.
“It is going to be two to three weeks, we will look at it and whatever challenges we get,we have a response team, a 16-member response team on ground that will attend to people. Their telephone numbers, their emails are all in the portal”, he said.
Nwakohu disclosed that for every 40 foot containers cleared at the ports, the freight forwarder was to pay N2,000 while the sum of N1,000 was to be paid for every 20 foot container.
Taking the audience through the payment process on the portal, the CRFFN boss listed the steps to be taken by freight forwarders to ensure seamless payment.
Explaining how the portal works, the Registrar stated that, “what we did is for each account; we open an E-wallet if you have your BVN number attached to the account, automatically the system will open a wallet for you where you can keep funds aside for the transactions you will be running. So, if you input this, you will see N6,000, it will deduct N6,000 from your wallet. Once they resolve it, it will return back your balance to your wallet within 48 hours.
“Even with password having been put in, it will still not process, it has to generate one time password OTTP from your bank just like when you are buying an air ticket online. So, when that is generated, now, he will input it and you will be debited.”

 

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Maritime

LASG To Build Modern Jetties In Ajegunle, Others

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The Lagos State Government has flagged off commercial waterway transportation in the state, with the official launch of eight newly acquired state-of-art speed boats in Ajegunle.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while unveiling the speed boats at a ceremony held at Badore Ferry Terminal in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state, promised that modern jetties would be built in Badagry, Lekki and Ajegunle, adding that the one under construction at Ijegun would soon be completed.
The Tide leant that the newly acquired speed boats will be operated by the Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY).
The governor also launched a mobile application designed to facilitate easy access to water transportation services in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said the intervention represented a “great leap” in his administration’s strategy to deliver an effective and integrated intermodal transportation system in addressing the perennial issue of traffic congestion on the roads.
He said the state would drive full compliance or measures to ensure the safety of commuter using the waterways, adding that the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) was being strengthened to effectively discharge its monitoring and regulatory duties in line with international best practices.
According to the governor, “the narrative of transportation in Lagos is about to change for good, as we are set to take full advantage of the water bodies to decongest our roads and substantially reduce travel time for commuters.
“Today, we are launching eight units of additional ferries to complement the existing six ferries fleet of Lagos ferry services. It is glaring that for Lagos to be a functional city that we desire, there must be interconnectivity of the rail, road and water transportation system”.
The Tide reports that the design and fabrication of the new boats were done by two local boats manufacturers in line with Sanwo-Olu’s promise to explore local capacity in providing solutions to various challenges in the state.

 

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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