The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), has given assurances that the commission will collaborate with the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) to create a tourism-based economy in the Niger Delta region.
A statement by the Director, Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Ibitoye Abosede in Port Harcourt and made available to The Tide, yesterday quoted Ndoma-Egba as having made the commitment when members of the travel and tourism private sector body paid him a courtesy visit at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.
The NDDC chairman affirmed that tourism was a huge industry which had sustained the economies of many countries, and declared: “Nigeria is blessed with several tourism assets. I think we can begin to develop a programme with NANTA to showcase the Niger Delta region for the purpose of creating a thriving tourism industry.”
Ndoma-Egba assured that the current NDDC board was desirous of encouraging partnerships, adding that NANTA was well placed to offer the desired partnership with NDDC because part of the mandate of the commission was to showcase the Niger Delta region to the rest of the world.
He regretted that the Niger Delta narrative had been dominated by sad stories of environmental degradation, militancy and other negative attributes, stressing that the NDDC had through the efforts of the Federal Government secured an enduring peace and security in the Niger Delta.
According to him, “Militancy is no longer as active as it was in the past. What we have now is a new kind of militancy for development because the region needs development very badly. We believe that development will pave way for tourism to flourish by creating the right environment for visitors to come to the region.”
Ndoma-Egba said that Nigeria must begin to engage the world on a different level, explaining: “We must begin to sell ourselves to the rest of the world. Nigeria is not about Boko Haram and robbery. There is a creative side of Nigeria that we must begin to emphasise.
“We owe ourselves the responsibility to market the lofty sides of our country. These days, it is very common to see Nigerian restaurants in other countries, and the world is beginning to know the Nigerian cuisine. So, marketing our cuisine should be a deliberate policy,” he added.
The chairman said that a similar impact was being made in the area of dress-making, which he noted, was also getting the attention of the entire world.
“We can conquer the world through our cuisine and fashion,” he said.
Earlier in his address, President of NANTA, Mr Bernard Bankole, had said the association was eager to partner with the NDDC to create a sustainable rural-based tourism economy in which the commission’s rural development interventions would be on display.
He said: “There is no denying the fact that rural roads, markets, schools and health facilities, among others, are key drivers of domestic tourism.”
Bankole observed that there was the absence of a facilitator to connect the gains of development powered by NDDC to benefit those who dwell in the rural areas beyond the physical presence of noticeable structures that need interpretation to add more value to the rural areas.
NOSDRA Blames Drop In Gas Export On Vandalism
The drop in Nigeria’s gas export by as much as five million standard cubic meters per day (MMSCM/d) has been blamed on the activities of vandals operating in Azikoro community of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the drop was sequel to an explosion which occurred at the 24 Ogboinbiri and OB-OB gas pipeline, the gas export feed to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant.
The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Idris Musa, confirmed the pipeline blast to newsmen, last Wednesday.
He said that the blast was reported to the agency in the early hours of Tuesday, noting that the damaged facility normally evacuates an average of five MMSCM/d.
Musa said following the notification, a team of officials comprising the Secretary of Azikoro community, the Bayelsa commissioner for Mineral Resources and representatives of NOSDRA visited the incident site early Wednesday.
He said that the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), the operator of the facility, was promptly notified of the incident.
“Due to the high pressure, NAOC was directed by NOSDRA to depressurize the facility preparatory for a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) which will follow immediately to ascertain the cause and extent of the incident.
“NAOC is already at the incident site, with the agency among other stakeholders working to contain the explosion and secure the incident site preparatory to JIV and other remedial measures,” Musa said.
He said that NOSDRA would conduct the investigations in a transparent manner, and pledged that its findings would be made public in due course.
Meanwhile, officials of NAOC declined comments when contacted for reaction.
Some of the residents near the incident site said that they heard sound of explosions on Tuesday morning in the area.
They also alleged that some small batteries and wires suspected to be used by the vandals to detonate improvised explosive device were found in the area.
The gas pipeline was vandalised three times in April, 2022.
ANLCA Seeks N200bn Compensation From Bank Over Demurrage
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called for the payment of over N200 billion compensation on demurrage and storage charges incurred by customs brokers and freight forwarders as a result of Guarantee Trust Bank’s suspension over alleged non-remittance of import duty collected on behalf of the Federal Government .
The foremost customs brokers association insisted that its members have lost about N200 billion in the line of duty.
Speaking in Lagos recently on behalf of the association, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila, expressed dissatisfaction over the slow responses by management of GTB on the suspension with Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Mukaila noted that the association was aware that NCS gave GTBank two weeks notice to resolve their challenges.
The scribe said despite the marching order from the NCS, GTB has not resolved the issue or made alternative arrangement for the interest of their clients.
The ANLCA chieftain said its members won’t bear the cost of demurrage incurred, while insisting that they won’t let go of the losses.
He recalled that in the past, some banks have had similar problems, but quickly appointed a receiver bank pending the resolution of the matter.
Speaking with representatives from GTBank in Lagos, Mukaila stressed that the approach of the Gtbank amounts to negligence on their.
“Where there is negligence, someone or group suffers the detriment and as such in every detriment there must be compensation.
He reiterated that the aims and objectives of the association is to protect its members, while asking the bank officials how they intend to mitigate the losses.
Other members of the association in attendance also took turn to condemn the bank’s attitude and concluded that there will be no stand down on demand for adequate compensation.
In his response, the representative of GTbank, Lanre Kola-Banjo, apologised to the customs brokers, explaining that the problem was a result of technical fault from the server.
He however debunked that they were given two weeks notice.
Contrarily, he said, “we woke up one morning only to discover that we had been disconnected”.
Meanwhile, he said they have contacted their customers who were directly involved, apologised and explained the circumstance to them.
He further explained that it was after they had been suspended from accessing the NCS portal that they were given 2 weeks to fix the technical problem or face serious sanction.
According to him,”the problem has been resolved since the 9th September”.
He promised to take ANLCA’s demands to the top management of the bank for further action.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
BOT Registration: ANLCA Acquires CAC Certificate
As further confirmation of recognition, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has issued fresh certificate recognising Dr. Taiwo Afolabi and Chief Ozo Chukwura as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Registered Board of Trustees (BOT), Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) .
The certificate issued recently with registration number 6754, also listed Onyenaechi Offor, Emmanuel Azodo, Eniola Igbaroo, Ayokunle Abel, Aliyu Isa, Shamsudeen Awopeju and Christian Igwe as members.
Chairman of SIFAX Group and proprietor of Marriot Hotel, Lagos, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, was elected the Chairman of the BOT of ANLCA.
Afolabi was chosen by other BoT members in Lagos last year.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
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