Mixed reactions have
continued to trail the recent disbandment of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMARIV) by the government.
Some motorists and residents of Port Harcourt who spoke with The Tide on the disbandment described the development as long over due and a right step while others said it would have been better to restructure the out fit for better services.
According to them, officers of TIMARIV, who were recruited and trained to ensure free-flow of traffic in the state, later deviated from their primary assignment by behaving like hoodlums, jumping into moving vehicles, towing cars indiscriminately, charging fees exorbitantly and so many other atrocities, while some said the fear of TIMARIV is the beginning of safe driving.
A transporter, Mr Sunday Binoye said the disbandment was a welcome development because TIMARIV officials had become demi-gods in the transport sector as they do not obey the law that set them up.
Binoye, who is also the state President, Rivers Transport and Investment Co-operation Union maintained that TIMARIV staff have out-lived their stay and should be sent packing for their wrong activities.
Comrade Ayotamuno Omoni, a commuter also said it was a good thing to disband TIMARIV, because the government had a good intention to set-up the outfit with their major function being to decongest the roads, but the officers set-up trap for drivers and apprehend innocent ones with flimsy excuses to extort money from them, adding “They turned the good intention of government to money making machine, thereby derailing from their main duties.”
Omoni commended the government for the bold step and noted that although it would create a vaccum, but it the government is still interested in setting up similar organization, it should be with a clear-cut vision and direction, and they should be supervised, as well as to study similar body in Lagos that is very effective.
Another transporter, Baba Jide Fashakin, was of the view that the disbandment would send most of the workers to the labour market when government is talking of creating employment opportunities for people as to curb the crime rate in the state.
Fashakin said it would have been proper that before they are sacked, notice of warning supposed to be issued to them and all their benefits paid till date so as to prepare another way for them to start life afresh, but with the development, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and crime rate might increase, and appealed to government to rescind their decision or deploy them to the ministry, because the action seemed to be politically motivated.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, TIMARIV Chapter of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Igenewari Ketuphal said it is not the best for government to disband the body because the people involved are Rivers people, but that the problem with TIMARIV was the management.
Ketuphal disclosed that for the past four years, the management had been impounding vehicles with nothing to show for it in the TIMARIV account and would want the government to look into it.
“We are citizens of Rivers State and we are appealing to the Governor, His Excellency Nyesom Wike to find a place in his heart and recall us but restructure the management,” the Union boss said.
Immigration Steps Up Anti-Touting Vigilance
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Passports Command, Ikoyi, has increased its surveillance on touting in a bid to check extortion within its jurisdiction.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Lagos, last Friday, the Immigration Comptroller, Passports Office, Ikoyi, Lagos, Deputy Comptroller Liman A.I , said the negative impact of touting on the nation’s economy would not be allowed to continue under his watch.
He said ,”we are applying persuasion, dialogue and seeking the support of all well meaning stakeholders in this area to spread the anti-touting message and dissuade people from unlawful acts. However, we could apply coercive power as the need arises.
“With the selfless leadership shown by the Comptroller General, Alhaji Mohammed Babandede, we at the PCO, Ikoyi, Lagos, have decided to re-dedicate ourselves to duty and complement the efforts of the CGIS.
“We are prepared more than ever to wage the anti-miscreants war relentlessly.
Liman assured the general public of friendly environment for legitimate transaction in an effort to strengthen the national economy, warning deviants to shun touting and other related vices.
According to him, “the command has keyed into the various strategies including the use of ICT in gathering of intelligence, among others.
“The service believes that the fight against miscreants within its corridor cannot be undertaken by the service alone, hence our call on Nigerians to partner with us in ensuring that the passport seekers do not patronise touts to defraud them. Our resolve is unshaken and our commitment is total”.
On her part, the Public Relations Officer of the command, a Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Mrs Adetoun Shiyindemi, commended the Deputy Comptroller Liman, for his selfless service, pointing out that he has really given the officers and men of the command a sense of belonging.
“Since the Comptroller came in, it has been a servant-leader relationship here at Ikoyi PCO and we are all motivated to put in our best with what the CGIS has given us, you will see a new immigration service”, she assured.
By: NkpemenyieMcdominic, Lagos
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.
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