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Minister Promises Shippers Council Dry Port, Transit Parks

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has promised to support the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) toward the establishment of dry port and truck transit parks in the Federal Capital Territory.
Bello said this last Tuesday while receiving a delegation of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) Board members in Abuja.
He said that the management of NSC has done tremendously well in monitoring and enforcement of rules in the port, to the service provider which was good for the country.
He also said that issues raised were already in the FCT Master plan, which are being implemented, noting that they are discussing with Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) concerning the port in the FCT.
Bello said that he would look into the masterplan and see what would be feasible for basic infrastructure.
“We give you our full support, the Abuja Master plan actually envisage all the issues you raised and they have started implementing them;
“We have started discussing with NPA and they want to set up something that is similar to what you are doing in Lagos but in a restricted manner specific to their own core functions.
“The city was planned to be a government city, but the plan was so flexible because they anticipated that this would happen.
“We will look at your request and see what is feasible within the master plan. “Of course all plans are not sacrosanct.
“We can also be flexible but I think that the basic infrastructure required to achieve all this is already on ground,” he said.
The Minister said that the FCT administration has planned to build a bus transportation centre, which is meant for long distance buses which has the same facilities as the truck transit park.
Bello, however, said that he would partner with NSC to complete the project.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, said that Abuja is a city with so much facilities to ease movement but the future has to be considered in terms of building transport infrastructure.
“We still have to look at the future and that is where the issue of transportation comes in, we need to build infrastructure that will take care of the future needs.
“We hope that Abuja will have its own port, without body of water. We can have port of destination and port of origin.
” We want Abuja to have a truck transit park or a consolidation centre, where trucks will have basic operating facilities, so that truck don’t usually come into the town because of traffic”.
Bello said that the government cannot build the infrastructure alone, adding that the private sector needs to be involved in the development process through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He requested that land be allocated for the truck transit parks in places like Giri, Abaji, Gwagwalada, Area1, Katampe and Zuba express way.

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Customs Cautions Officers On Improper Dressing, Unkempt Beards

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to sanction its officials for improper dressing and unkempt beards.  Other minor violations include use of name tags.
This was contained in a memo issued by the Deputy Comptroller General, Human Resources Development of NCS, A.T. Babani.
The memo number HRD/2021/026 titled: “Introduction of Customs Police Caution Slip in the Service” was dated 10th September, 2021.
The memo stated that the caution slip would be issued in triplicate for minor offences such as improper dressing, use of unapproved name tags, and failure to shave among others.
The service said it has introduced the use of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
The memo reads, “I am directed to bring to your notice that the Comptroller General of Customs has approved the usage of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
“The slip which will be administered by the Customs Police Unit of various Zones/Area Commands would be in triplicate and once issued, a copy shall be forwarded and inserted into the officer’s establishment file.
“The issuance of the Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) will include offences such as improper dressing, multi-colour waist belt other than approved one and usage of unapproved name tag, failure to shave, and other sundry minor violations of the second regulation 13 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP LFN of 2004 as amended.
“The caution slips would serve as a proactive tool to ensure compliance to rules and regulations.
“First-time offenders, repeated offenders and consistent pattern of offence identified, shall be documented and used for strategic decisions making”.

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Stakeholder Tasks RSG, MWUN On Piracy

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, says the union and the state government need a strong synergy to tackle the act of sea piracy and all forms of criminal activities in the state’s waterways. 
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers state Branch, Comrade Jonah Jumbo, in an interview with The Tide, noted that unlike in Lagos State, there was no synergy between the Rivers State Government and MWUN to curb piracy on the waterways.
“We need to work together to checkmate all forms of criminality, sea piracy and attacks on passenger boats in our waters”, Jumbo said.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that the state government and the union were working in parallel lines, hence the high rate of piracy on the waterways.
Jumbo said, lack of synergy between the state and the union was having negative turns in its operations, thereby not improving marine transport business in the state.
The chairman said the union alone cannot solve the problem of insecurity in the waterways, hence the need for collaborations between the state government and other relevant authorities.
He further noted that Lagos State was doing well in marine transportation because there was a strong synergy between the state government and the union.
“Lagos state maritime business is improving every day with more fleets because the government, stakeholders and the union are working towards ensuring success”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Inadequate Facilities At MAN Worry Mariners

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The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has lamented lack of simulators for training of cadets at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
The body also decried lack of ocean-going vessels to enable the cadets of the academy acquire the mandatory sea time experience.
NAMM President, Capt. Tajudeen Alao disclosed this during an interview with newsmen, recently. 
“Training at the Academy had always been as per the International Maritime Organisations (IMO) model courses”, he said.
Capt. Alao said the shortcomings have always been in the areas of lecturers, simulators and international trading ships for practical exposure.
Other challenges include lack of funding, bureaucracy and the Nigerian factor.
“Leadership of the academy too has not been based on professionalism but political consideration. The shipping companies who are end-users have not committed their services to the academy.
“The number of students per class is much more than what is obtainable in the western world. 
“There are no core ship-related courses, not many courses, facilities and disciplines,” Alao said.

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