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East-West Road Gulps N80bn – SURE-P…To Be Completed May 2015

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The East-West Road project that has so far gulped the sum of N80 billion would be completed before May 29, 2015.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), General Martin Luther Agwai, during a press briefing on the East-West Roads Niger Delta project held in Port Harcourt Monday.
Agwai said the project is 82 per cent completed and blamed the delay on its earlier completion date to community problems, inadequate funding prior to SURE-P intervention, delay in market relocations, poor soil condition, cost escalation, among others.
He assured that all things being equal, “The Projects which commenced variously from 2006 are expected to be substantially completed by December 31, 2014 and final hand over by the middle of 2015,” adding that due to the importance of the roads and volume of traffic the route generates, the Federal Government had decided to upgrade the existing single carriage way of the East-West Road to a two-lane dual carriageway.
According to him, the project was 47 per cent completed when SURE-P intervened and reiterated the justification of the project due to its access to oil and gas facilities and seaport at Onne, to connect the various state capitals in the Niger Delta region and Federal Government’s response to agitation for adequate development in the South-South.
Agwai, who embarked on a two-day inspection of the projects gave a breakdown of the progress of work and monetary involvement since the inception by SURE-P in 2012, disclosing that the 87km Warri-Kaiama road which connects Effurun/Warri to Ughelli to Patani and to Kaima was 52.21 per cent complete before they took over but is now 91 per cent completed, while the sum of over N20 billion had so far been expended.
He hinted that the Port Harcourt-Ahoada 47km road which traverse Port Harcourt, Eleme Junction to Ahoada is now at 65.12 per cent completion from 23.17 per cent when it intercepted, pointing out that the sum of over N20 billion had also been spent so far.
On the Ahoada-Kaiama 54km road, the Chairman disclosed that work before SURE-P intervened was 18.21 per cent completion but is now at 55 per cent completion with over N20 billion expended, while that of Port Harcourt-Eket Road project, the sum of over N18 billion had been expended with work now at 94 per cent completed from when they took over at 73.44 per cent.
The SURE-P boss also disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had recently awarded a 15km contract to upgrade Port Harcourt-Eleme Junction Flyover to Onne Junction at the sum of over N43 billion.
Agwai further stated that the 51km Eket-Oron Road which lies entirely in Akwa-Ibom State to connect major towns of Eket and Oron had gulped over N7 billion and 81.9 per cent completion from when they took over at 53.55 per cent.
He however assured to render quality services, appealed to communities where the roads traverse to understand and co-operate with the contractors to ensure early completion and pledged not to connive with anybody for selfish interest.

 

Collins Barasimeye

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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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