Roads Rehabilitation: Aba Residents Urge Govt To Monitor Firms
A cross section of Aba resi
dents have called on Abia State Government to monitor firms rehabilitating roads in the city, to ensure adherence to the contract specifications.
The respondents said that in spite of government’s interest in the rehabilitation of roads in Aba, it should put a monitoring mechanism in place to ensure that the jobs were done according to specifications.
The residents, in separate, interviews with our correspondent in Aba recently, noted that ineffective supervision and monitoring were the bane of perennial road dilapidation after rehabilitation.
In his comments, Mr Sunny-James Ede, a businessman, said: “I have not seen this type of road rehabilitation before; if you give me a job to do, you should be coming to the site to see if what you asked me to do, is what I am doing.
“When I was in Israel, I worked with a construction company there called Hilcon. They dry out water on any road before they start work but that is not the case with these construction companies in Aba.
“Government should not go to sleep after giving these contracts expecting that the work will go on as planned without monitoring and inspecting the work’’, he said.
A fabrics dealer on Jubilee road, Mr Martin Nwakamma, said that the construction companies should be checked to ensure that they do not continue the destruction of what Late Gov. Sam Mbakwe did.
“If you look at the one they have done, you will see how they destroyed the area that the governor of former Imo State, Chief Sam Onunaka Mbakwe did.
“But when you ask them to reconstruct it to the standard that Mbakwe did the job, they cannot do it and this should not be allowed to continue’’, Nwakamma said.
Mr Prince Uchenna, another trader, said that the companies were not working according to the specification given to them.
“You can see here that when they come today and pour sand and gravel on it, they leave it and go, making it easy for the rain to wash away’’, he said.
Uchenna also observed that the lack of suitable drainage systems in Aba was responsible for the quick failure of rehabilitated roads in the city.
He urged the government to de-silt the blocked drains in the city before rehabilitating the roads, to ensure that they did not fail after one week of its rehabilitation.
“You can see that they have rehabilitated Jubilee and Faulks Road by Omenazu Street almost thrice since January 2013, yet the roads keep washing away,’’ he said.
In his view, Mr Onyekwere Okorie, said that the contractors were working according to the specifications given to them by the government.
“If they were asked to do a better job, they would do it because we have seen local construction companies in Enugu that do quality jobs.
“If you go to these companies, you will see civil engineers. So it is not as if they cannot do it better but what they are doing is what they were asked to do and you cannot question them’’, Okorie said.
He called on government to provide more refuse bins at strategic places in Aba to ensure proper disposal, to reduce the clogging of drains with refuse.
Okorie noted that it was the only way to guarantee easy flow of water and preserve the rehabilitated roads for a long time.
Our correspondent reports that some roads recently rehabilitated in Aba failed before they were two weeks old, with deep pot holes.
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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