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LG Boss Wants Navy To Tackle Piracy On Bonny Waterways

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The Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, David Irimagha has appealed to the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies in the area to step up the fight against sea piracy and other acts of criminality on the Bonny waterways.
Irimagha gave this charge at a one-day sensitisation lecture organised by the Nigerian Navy in the locality with the theme “Illegal Oil Refining (“Kpo-Fire”): Issues, Challenges and Way Forward”.
In a statement made available to The Tide on Wednesday by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Chairman, Williams Ogbah-Agwu, the chairman called for inter-agency collaboration and intelligence sharing among the security agencies in the area to enhance their capacity to nip emerging security challenges in the bud.
The Chairman who was represented by his Vice, Anengi Barasua lauded the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Bonny, Navy Capt. Kola Oguntuga, for conceptualising such sensitisation programme, noting that it creates the necessary awareness and co-operation from the people of the area.
Also speaking, Chairman of the Bonny Council of Chiefs, Chief Dagogo Claude-Wilcox described the event as “a very important day for Bonny Kingdom as this marks the beginning of a new dawn for the community”.
He said that the sensitisation programme was “of monumental importance as it would enlighten us on the hazards of illegal oil refining,”
“This devil in our community called ‘kpo fire’ will be eradicated for the betterment of us all”.
Earlier, Navy Capt. Oguntuga while   welcoming  the participants had said that the sensitisation programme was aimed at creating the right awareness about issues affecting the security situation in the area.
He said the event was to enhance the synergy between the Nigerian Navy and the civilian populace in the area in its efforts at addressing security challenges.
In his keynote address, Professor of Animal and Environmental Biology/Benthic Ecology, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ibitoru Hart warned that illegal or artisanal refining of crude oil across the Niger Delta region was destructive to the environment as it poses a threat to aquatic and wild life in the region.
He blamed the debilitating incidents of soot across Rivers State on illegal refining.
“Soot that falls on water is oil that prevents oxygen from dissolving into the water thus endangering the fishes and other animals in the water, including plants and other sea organisms”, he said.

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NPA Gets Patrol Boats To Beef Up Ports Security

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that it is set to take delivery of patrol vessels to enhance waterfront security at the ports.
The NPA had subsequently directed shipping companies not to pay any anchorage dues to private security firms as it would take responsibility to secure vessels at the ports anchorage.
The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide, Wednesday, while speaking at a quarterly stakeholders’ meeting held in Lagos.
Represented by Executive Director, Marine & Operations, Dr. Sekonte Davies, Usman assured that NPA was in partnership with the Nigerian Navy with a view to strengthening waterfront security at the port.
“Today, marine notice has been issued. There is no longer any anchorage addressed as safe anchorage. We are aware that $2,000 is being charged on the first day and every other subsequent day is $1,500. We know that it is increasing charges and that would not exist anymore from today.
“To provide anchorage is NPA’s responsibility and the Navy has been in collaboration with us to ensure that every anchorage of NPA is safe. The National Security Adviser and the Chief of Naval Staff are collaborating with us.
“NPA has procured security patrol boats and we are going to take delivery of some of them in the next six weeks. If not for a few issues, by now, they should have been here which will enhance our waterfront patrols and enhance our security operations,” the NPA chief said.
Bala Usman also said that NPA would soon commence procurement process for acquisition of fenders for the various berths in the port to replace bad ones.
“We are also addressing the issue of fenders. We understand the implication that without the fenders, some of the vessels will not call because of the environmental hazards they may get. So that will affect the dwell time. We are trying to make sure we look at other ports where some of the fenders are not been used so that we can quickly install them while the procurement process of acquiring other fenders would commence,” she said.
The stakeholders had raised concerns over constant attacks on vessels at berth, calling on NPA to increase patrol of the waterfront and put in place well coordinated efforts to address the menace.
Speaking at the event, General Manager, Operations of Greenview Terminal, Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Yakubu Abdulahi, said “Every two months, pirates come on board and attack our vessels at berth. This means patrol need to be increased and be more coordinated. If the Marine Police and the Navy are actually taking part in the internal water surveillance, then we need to understand what is actually going wrong.
“ Once the pirates launch attack on the vessel, they operate freely and leave freely, nobody challenges them and they leave through the waterfronts”.

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Customs Rakes In N81bn In Three Months At Onne Port

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Area 2 Command, Onne Port says it generated a total revenue of N81.1 billion in the third quarter of 2019.
The Customs Area Controller, Aliyu Saidu, stated this at Onne at the weekend, while reviewing the achievements of the command in the third quarter of the year.
Saidu said that the amount surpassed the N69.5 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2018.
“The Nigeria Customs Service, Area 2 Command, Onne Port, has generated a total revenue sum of N81,196,697,858.57 in the third quarter of year 2019.
“This amount generated surpassed the sum of N69,535,174,318.38 that was collected within the same period under review in 2018 with over N11,661,523,540.19. This feat increasing revenue collection is first of its kind in the history of the command”, he said.
Saidu said the increase in the revenue profile was as a result of the strategic plans put in place to enhance the revenue collecting capacity in Onne Port.
He said the measures had since been put in place to ensure that importers and their agents complied with extant laws on international trade, even as he restated the NCS’s zero tolerance for false declaration of goods or other deliberate infractions.
On the number of confiscated goods, he disclosed that the command recorded a total of 66 seizures with Duty Paid Value of N865.9m in the third quarter of 2019.
Saidu listed some of the seized items to include 12 x 20 feet containers comprising 13,180 jerry cans of 25 litres of vegetable oil with DPV of N82.5 million, 5 x 20 ft containers comprising of 8,706 cartons of foreign soap worth N79.4m.
He also listed two containers loaded with 57,300 pieces of matches, 59 cartons of matches, 1,300 sacks of shovel, 100 cartons of hook knives, 172 sacks of diggers, amounting to N52.4 million as some of the items confiscated by the NCS within the year under review.
Saidu explained that the seizures were successfully accomplished as a result of the renewed determination of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ibrahim Ali, to rid the country of illegal importations.

 

Stories by Chinedu Wosu

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Navy Acquires 250 Boats To Fight Maritime Crimes

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The Nigerian Navy Command has acquired 250 patrol boats, several offshore patrol vessels and seaward defence boats to tackle oil theft and other maritime crimes in the Niger Delta.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, disclosed this in Onne, Rivers State, recently during the passing out parade and commissioning of 200 cadet officers of the Nigerian Naval College, Onne.
“Nigerian Navy has matched intent with practical steps, evident by ongoing fleet expansion programme that has led to acquisition of several offshore patrol vessels, seaward defence boats and induction of over 250 riverine patrol boats”, he said.
The Chief of Defence Staff said there was substantial infrastructural and manpower development as well as strategic collaborations with regional and more advanced navies to enhance the navy’s capacity to effectively secure the nation.
“In addition to assisting sister services in North East operations against Boko Haram insurgents, Nigerian Navy has continued to spearhead internal security operations in the Niger Delta against militants, pirates, operators of illegal refineries and oil thieves.
“Significant successes have been achieved by the Navy alone or in collaboration with other security forces at curtailing excesses of these miscreants. Maintaining these successes will definitely be tasking and requires developing appropriate knowledge, skills and attitude on-the-job onboard and ashore as well as through pragmatic training in all naval training institutions,” he said.
Olonisakin urged the newly commissioned officers to justify the huge resources committed to their training and their personal sacrifices to make the Nigerian Navy proud.
“One way you can do this will be by drawing from the knowledge and competence gained from the college for your future assignments,” he said.

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