The Federal Government has assured the Management of Nigeria’s newest and biggest automotive plant, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM), Nnewi, Anambra State of its support in order to ensure that the vehicles that roll out of the production lines are not starved of patronage.
Giving this assurance in Enugu last week, the director in-charge of commodities and products in the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Usman M.D Gwandu, said the vehicles so far produced by the new plant are of high quality standards, and therefore, deserve the best of patronage.
Gwandu, who represented the ministry following the recent dissolution of cabinet by the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, was reacting to an appeal by the chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Innocent Chukuma for support while showing the visitor the interior of an Innoson luxury bus on display during the reception.
Gwandu said he was surprised by the quality of vehicles on display, which include mini buses and an SUV, disclosing that support for Innoson would come in form of creating enabling environment and mobilising patronage for them in neigbouring countries.
Addressing guests at the reception, including Enugu State Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Clement Okwor, and the manufacturers at the forum, Gwandu said “I want to commend Innoson vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited for these wonderful products, I have seen today. The vehicles are of very high quality standards, and we must all be proud of the initiative. I strongly commend Innoson for its efforts. With the commendable work you are doing, the federal government will surely support you”.
Okwor also lauded the investment strides of the Innoson Group chairman and the quality of the range of vehicles show cased at the reception.
Innoson Technical had in an address by Innoson Group’s Executive Director, Mrs Ebele Chukwuma, said the vehicle manufacturing sister company had displayed its products to show that the plant had started rolling out various top quality, rugged and durable models in line with the demand of the on-going buy made-in-Nigeria campaign”.
She decried the state of insecurity in the south-east which she said was discouraging investments in the area. She also lamented that two years after three workers at the Nnewi auto plant were kidnapped and one of the two Chinese victims killed in the process, the businessman alleged to have sponsored the act was yet to face justice.
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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