MWUN Protests Tenure Elongation
Members of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Seamen/Niwa and Water Transport Workers, Kono water front branch in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State on Monday, embarked on a peaceful march to protest the elongation of tenure of the branch leadership led by Comrade Roland Yowika by the state executive of the union.
The protesting union members accused the state leadership of the union led by Comrade Francis Bunu for complicity and breached the rules of the union in the area.
Some of the plascards carried by the protesters had inscriptions like “Bunu has no right to tenure elongation”, tenure elongation is unconstitutional, Roland Yowika used our money to bribe the State Council, we want an election, enough of intimidation, forward ever, backward never, there was no election in 2010 among others.
Speaking to newsmen at the union office in Kono waterside, the leader of the group, Comrade Allen G. Wifa said the peaceful protest march was to register their grievances over the purported elongation of the tenure of the executives by the State Council of the union.
According to Comrade Wifa, the branch executive under the leadership of Roland Yowika was elected on the 7th March, 2008 with a mandatory four year single term adding that their tenure expired on 7th March, 2012.
Comrade Wifa accused the State Council of fanning the embers of crisis in the branch by their refusal to conduct a fresh election into the branch executive at the expiration of present excos rather issued a circular dated 13th July 2010 purportedly to have conducted another election which returned all the former executive in to office.
The leader of the group disclosed that various attempt made by the union members to ensure the conduct of election in the branch met some refusal adding that members of the union has vowed not to relent on the struggle until an election is conducted.
In their contributions, Comrade Leader Oko and Daniel Wiwuga averred that they would continue with their protest and threatened to stop all commission being collected in the branch if the election is not conducted.
They called on the leadership of the union to constitute a caretaker committee in the interim pending the election of substantive executive adding that the continued stay in office by the present executive after the expiration of their tenure would brew crises in the area.
When contacted, the state chairman of the union, Comrade Francis Bunu denied the allegations but stated that the purported elections conducted in 2008 was done in error by caretaker committee adding that the matter was quashed by a competent court.
Also contracted on the matter, the Divisional Police Officer, Bori, Mr. Umem Uyoh confirmed the protest but declined further comments as he was not in place to speak.
MOWCA Seeks Korean Govt Support To Establish Regional Shipping Line
Secretary General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Mr. Paul Adalikwu, has sought the support of the Korean government towards establishing a regional shipping line to serve the interest of West and Central African countries.
Adalikwu, who made this request in Abidjan during a visit to the Korean Embassy in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, also highlighted the long standing working relationship between MOWCA and the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
A statement made available to The Tide in Lagos stated that the MOWCA Scribe told Lee Jinmoon, First Secretary and Consul, Republic of South Korea Embassy in Abidjan, that a regional shipping line will be of collective benefits to the 25 member countries and partner institutions like KOICA.
He said such initiative can serve expansion of maritime business opportunities and create employment for the thousands of skilled youths who have undergone training within and outside the continent
He highlighted the importance of South Korea as a maritime powerhouse that emphasizes sharing its experience with developing countries and international organisations like MOWCA.
In addition to the shipping line, Adalikwu said MOWCA is looking at developing capacity in areas of dry docking- ship repairs and maintenance and local manufacturing of ancillary equipment and working gears like life jackets.
Adalikwu disclosed that under his watch measures have been taken to engage with international partners and Agencies to develop cooperation, particularly with International Maritime Organisation (IMO), African Development Bank (AfDB), and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He reiterated MOWCA’s drive to promote cost-effective maritime transport services, maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea, ensuring the training of maritime personnel, sustainable funding of the shipping industry, and facilitating transit of cargoes to landlocked member countries.
He reiterated that MOWCA is committed to actualise the completion of its ongoing projects, such as the Coast Guard Function Network, improving the Centre for Information and Communication, and the Regional Maritime Development Bank.
While seeking support of the Korean government, the SG recalled that between 2005 and 2008, MOWCA received support from KOICA in the form of training of experts, donation of vehicles, computers/servers as contained in the report of its 13th Session of the General Assembly held in Dakar from 29th to 30th July 2008
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Britain Trains 35 NDLEA Officers On Maritime Patrol
In a bid to improve Nigeria’s Maritime sector operations and encourage marine investment, the British government has embarked on training 35 officers of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Marine Command and Seaports Operations
Organised by the United Kingdom Home Office International Operations (HOIO), the training, which lasted for two weeks, was anchored on Maritime Patrol and Tactical Coxswain training by the UK Central Maritime, Training Unit based in Southampton.
This was contained in a statement by NDLEA Spokesman, Femi Babafemi at the weekend.
“The training is to enhance the border control capabilities of the NDLEA by providing specialised training, mentoring and advanced drug detection equipment.
“Key areas covered so far include: boat handling, weapons handling, riverine operations, boarding and vessel search.
“Some of the trainings have been facilitated by the British Military, Nigerian Navy and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP)”, he said.
Babafemi continued that the training will enable them to plan maritime deployments, pursue, stop and board vessels on the high seas.
The Agency Spokesman thanked the UK government for its continued support and commitment in helping the NDLEA to enhance its capacity and capabilities to tackle drug trafficking
He urged the officers to remain steadfast in their professional calling and ensure they bring to bear the essence of the training on their formations and colleagues.
Babafemi assured them that NDLEA will continue to prioritise training and retraining for all officers, men and women of the Agency
Earlier, HOIO Regional Manager for West Africa, Kris Hawksfield, said the UK remains committed to strengthening the mutually beneficial work of the Agency to interdict, seize and destroy illicit substances and drugs which would otherwise harm Nigeria and the UK.
Hawksfield also said he was proud and honoured to work and support the work of NDLEA.
By: Chinedu Wosu
FG Approves N510m Fire Service Equipment For Rivers Port, Others
The Federal government through the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N510,934,600 for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for construction and supply of customised fire service search and rescue vans for Rivers Ports, Lagos Port Complex, Tin-Can Island Port, and the NPA headquarters in Lagos.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, disclosed this while briefing journalists after the FEC meeting chaired by Mr President in Abuja.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation this afternoon (midweek) presented two memoranda to council on behalf of two of its agencies.
“The first agency was the Nigerian Ports Authority, which sought to provide for the award of a contract for the construction and supply of customised fire service search and rescue vans for extrication of accident victims for Rivers Ports in Port Harcourt, Lagos Port Complex, Tin-Can Island Port, and the Marina headquarters, all in Lagos.
“Council considered the memorandum and approved the award of the contract as recommended and reviewed by the Bureau of Public Procurement and the sum of N510,934,600 inclusive of seven and a half per cent VAT, and with a completion period of nine months in favour of Messrs All Works Commercial Company Limited”, he said.
Sambo noted that the second memorandum presented by the ministry was on behalf of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
“The memorandum sought the council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the procurement of rolling stock, operation or maintenance equipment for the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line that is currently under construction.
“The contract was awarded to MSSRs Mota Engineering Nigeria Limited, who are the contractors handling this particular project in the sum of $984,722,302.5 inclusive of seven and a half per cent VAT with a completion period of four years”, he said.
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