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Court Assumes Jurisdiction Over Transporters’ Dispute

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The disagreement that has rocked transport business operators in Rivers State over operations, particularly the Rivers Transport and Investment Cooperative Union Limited (RTICUL) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), has taken another dimension, as a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has held that it has jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Ruling on a matter brought before it, the Judge presiding over Court 12 at the Port Harcourt High Court, Justice B.A. Georgewill, held that it has the power to proceed on the suit involving various transport unions and groups, since all the parties involved are not transport trade unions but also include other associations that do transport business in Port Harcourt.

The suit with Number PHC/1560/2009, which was instituted by RTICUL as claimant, against the NURTW, Road transport Employers Association (RTEAN), Port Harcourt City Local Government (PHALGA) Ministry of transport (MOT) and the Obio/Akpor Local Government Council (OBALGA), alleges that the defendants, through their agents, have hindered them from operating their lawful business in the transport sector.

Counsel representing NURTW and PHALHA, Chief T.A. Amadi, had argued that such matter can only be entertained at the industrial court, since it involved various transport unions.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Georgewill, noted that the cooperative group is not a trade union and as such, the matter involving them cannot be taken to industrial court.

Such pronouncement made by the court have doused the tempo and hope of the defendants that the case will be trasferred to an industrial court, where it will be handled as trade union matter.

Already, the court had adjourned the matter to the 31st May, 2010, for hearing on the case, as the counsels to the parties on the suit have been put on notice.

The RTICUL headed to court to seek for redress on matters of assault on its members, impoundment of vehicles and the general disruption of the transport business by the NURTW and PHALGA which are alleged to be principal actors.

The cooperative had alleged that NURTW has no right to ask its members or force them to pay any form of levy or tax, since the law gives the cooperative right to organise its own business.

NURTW, on its part, had maintained that every one that is engaged in the work of road transport automatically becomes their member and must pay to it all necessary dues as required by law. 

 

 

Corlins Walter

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Transport

Immigration Steps Up Anti-Touting Vigilance

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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

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Maritime

Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty

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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

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Maritime

Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations

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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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