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NPA, Navy, NIMASA Partner To Secure Onne, Rivers Ports

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Following the incessant attacks of vessels by sea pirates in Onne and Rivers Ports, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) says it is partnering with the Nigerian Navy and Nigeria Maritime Safety and Administration (NIMASA) to tackle the menace.
NPA also said, plans are in the pipeline to acquire two 1.7 meters offshore monitoring vessels to complement the efforts and make the waterways safe for traffics.
Managing Director, NPA, Mrs Hadiza Bala Usman disclosed this at the weekend in Port Harcourt during the quarterly stakeholders forum held at NPA Dockyard, Rivers Port.
Represented by, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello Koko, Usman said, soon the Nigeria Navy will be deployed to Onne and Rivers Ports to enhance surveillance and security of the facilities.
The MD also said, NPA has gotten approval for the procurement and purchase of six water tanks patrol boats.
She said the six patrol boats will enable the security agencies to patrol in and around the ports for safety.
Hadiza Usman also insisted that arrangements are in top gear with the Nigeria Navy and the office of the National Security Adviser for installation of a 3 c i, a security system that would enable NPA to monitor vessels and ships and pick them up when there is any distress.
She noted that, the disastrous system faced by the ports will soon be curbed through the NPA’s collaboration with the Navy and NIMASA.
According to the MD, the federal government is working assiduously to improve security of lives and property nationwide to the benefit of everyone.
On equipment, Hadiza Usman said, NPA will soon acquire more tugboats and construction of six pilot cutters in Onne Port to enhance productivity.
The Managing Director also said, procure processes is ongoing for the purchase of six marine boats, even as NPA is planning to dualise Bonny channel to accommodate more sea going vessels to increase traffics.
She also told the stakeholders that NPA will soon embark on the dredging of Rivers Port dockyard, to accommodate more vessels.
Usman decried that the facility at the dockyard is near moribund as budgetary provision has been made to upgrade the dockyard.
She assured terminal operators and stakeholders that, NPA will soon embark on concession reviews in the port.
Earlier, Port Manager, Rivers Port, Alhaji Abubakar Umar lauded the Managing Director, Hadiza Bello Usman for embarking on the restructuring of NPA.
Umar said, the restructuring has helped in achieving optimum operation efficiency in the ports.
On the achievements, Umar said the serene atmosphere enjoyed by the stakeholders has attracted more importers and increased ship traffic in the port which has led to more revenue generation.
The port manager also disclosed that, Rivers Port maintains cordial relationship with the stakeholders and terminal operators for efficiency.
Management, he said recently allocated two new security patrol vans to the port.
Other achievements by Umar include, responsive management, reduction in vessel turnaround time.
Alhaji Abubakar also said, Rivers Port recorded improvement in revenue generation and collection, improvement in service delivery and improved safety guidelines.

 

Chinedu Wosu

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Inflation Rate Falls To 16.63%  – NBS

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The rate of inflation in Nigeria has declined for the sixth consecutive month to 16.63 per cent in September, which is its lowest level since January this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.
The Bureau, in its Consumer Price Index released on Friday, said the inflation rate fell by 0.38 per cent from 17.01 per cent in August.
The drop in headline inflation began in April when it fell to18.12 per cent from 18.17 per cent in March.
According to NBC, the urban inflation rate increased by 17.19 per cent (year-on-year) in September 2021 from 17.59 per cent recorded in August 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased by 16.08 per cent in September 2021 from 16.45 per cent in August 2021.
It said farm produce such as bread, cereals, cocoa, meat, coffee, tea and cocoa drove food inflation, fell to 19.57 per cent in September from 20.30 percent in August.
Other items that led to the rise in the composite food index in September included oils and fats, yam and other tubers, fish, potatoes, milk, cheese and egg.
“On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.26 per cent in September 2021, up by 0.20 per cent points from 1.06 per cent recorded in August 2021”, the NBS stated.
 The Statistician-General of the Federation, Simon Harry, said the fall in the inflation rate signalled an improvement in government performance and more favourable economic conditions.
“The inflation rate in Nigeria has maintained a consecutive decline in year-on-year for a period of six consecutive months, starting from March 2021 to August 2021”, he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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5G Now At 97% Completion, As NCC Moves To Auction Spectrum

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that the plan for deployment of Fifth Generation technology in the country has gotten to 97 per cent. 
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this at the annual African Tech Alliance Forum with the theme ‘Embracing changes and digital transformation in the new normal’.
According to a statement titled ‘NCC update on plans for 5G deployment’ issued  by the NCC’s Deputy Manager, Public Affairs, Kunle Azeez, the commission stated that some spectrum would be auctioned.
“Already, we are set for the auction of some spectrum slots in the 3.5GHz band. The other day, I was at the National Assembly, I informed the Senate that we were 95 per cent ready for 5G.
“Today as we speak, I am delighted to tell you that we are already at 97 per cent completion. 
“The committee set up to auction the spectrum has already developed an information memorandum which is already published for inputs and comments from all industry stakeholders.
“Prior to this, a 5G deployment plan was developed and we have since secured the Federal Government’s approval”, the commission stated.
The commission also explained that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, almost every means of communication became virtual, which led to an increase in network connectivity requirements as a result of unprecedented upsurge in internet traffic.
Danbatta added that even though the network infrastructure in the nation demonstrated some capacity to contain the surge in internet traffic, a lot of work was being done by the commission to boost network capacity, sensitise the public and ensure accessibility to affordable connectivity.
“Emerging technologies such as 5G, which NCC is driving aggressively in Nigeria, Internet of Things; Cloud Computing; Quantum Computing Augmented/Virtual Reality, and similar emerging technologies are playing a critical role in improving remote communication over the internet with great user experience.
“The NCC is committed to promoting this inevitable change and enhancing user experience through effective regulation of the telecoms sector”, he stated.

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Nigeria’s Debt-To-GDP Ratio To Hit 42% By 2026 – IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Nigeria’s Gross Debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio will rise from 35.7 per cent in 2021 to 42 per cent by 2026.
The IMF stated this in its October 2021 Fiscal Monitor Report published on its website.
It said the country’s gross debt-to-GDP ratio would increase from 35.7 per cent in 2021 to 36.9 per cent in 2022, 37.7 per cent in 2023, 39.1 per cent in 2024 and 40.6 per cent in 2025.
According to the report, the gross debt includes overdrafts from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and liabilities of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). 
It added that the general government’s revenue-to-GDP ratio would decrease from 7.2 per cent in 2021 to 6.5 per cent in 2026, while the general government expenditure-to-GDP ratio would decrease from 13.3 per cent in 2021 to 12.6 per cent in 2026.
The global financial institution said that the general government net debt-to-GDP ratio would increase from 35.3 per cent in 2021 to 41.8 per cent in 2026.
“The overdrafts and government deposits at the Central Bank of Nigeria almost cancel each other out, and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria debt is roughly halved,” it added.
The report said for low-income developing countries like Nigeria, average gross debt in 2021 would likely remain stable at almost 50 per cent in 2020, while debt vulnerabilities “are expected to be high.

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