In a bid to reposition the effectiveness of Nigerian ports, the Federal Government has approved the construction of six pilot cutters and tugboats in Onne Port to enhance efficiency.
Managing Director, Nigerian Port Authority, (NPA), Mrs hadiza Bala Usman disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt during the stakeholders’ forum at the Onne Port.
Usman also said, the Federal Government is working seriously to tackle the issue of sea pirates in the Onne water ways to improve traffic at the port.
Represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mohammed Bello Koko, Usman said, the improvement in security at the port would attract more investors to the ports and increase revenue for the nation.
She noted that, other marine facilities would be constructed, saying that Onne Port is strategic to the nation.
The Managing Director stated that, the aim of the stakeholders meeting with terminal operators and other key players is to brainstorm on ways forward and improve the operators in the port.
On erosion, the NPA boss said, the authority is carrying out studies on the possible ways of tackling erosion and other environmental challenges at the port.
She also decried the indiscriminate anchoring of water vessels at the port and appeal to stakeholders and companies to remove wrecked vessels from the waterways to ease traffic.
– The Managing Director who frowned at the collection of charges by third party agents, warned that such act must stops as it is only the NPA that has the sole right to collect charges from companies.
According to Usman, “no third party is allowed to collect or levy charges on companies operating in the port than NPA, it is only NPA that has the sole right to level and collect charges from companies in the port”
Hadiza Bala Usman called for collaboration between NPA and managers of companies, including oil & gas in the ports for effective productivity in business, than work as enemies of progress in the Federal lighter Terminal (FLT).
Earlier, Port Manager, NPA, Onne, Alhatan Ishamela Abubakar said, Onne port has recorded improvement in areas of service delivery to its operators, especially as it relates to doing business.
Onne port, he said, recently received six CCTV cameras and two security patrol vans to enhance its surveillance operations from its corporate headquarters.
The port manager also disclosed that the gross tonnage at the Onne port has increased from 39,887,31MT in 2016 to 42,903,447MT in 2017 showing that the port has appropriately aligned with Presidential Enabling Business council PEBEC.
He also told the stakeholders that Onne port has witnessed improvements in vessels traffic handling from 662 in 2016 to 684 in 2017.
The port manager equally said the port has commissioned six classroom blocks at Ikpokiri and a transformer project at Onne, while works are ongoing to complete a civic centre projects and water project at Owogono in Ogu community.
He called for cooperation and understanding among terminal operators at the port for higher productivity.
Redeployed Customs Officers Assume Office At New Posts
Redeployed Zonal coordinators and controllers affected by the recent swapping exercise in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have since taken over their new posts.
Assistant Comptroller General and Comptrollers affected by the change of batons have gone into action in the respective Zones and Area Commands respectively.
As at Press time, ACG Bello Jibo, the new Coordinator, Zone A, has begun to hold forth at the Harvey Road Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, Jaiyeoba, and Shuaibu have resumed their duties as Customs Area Controllers of Tincan Island Port, Apapa and Idiroko Commands respectively.
Comptroller Timi Bomodi has also begun overseeing customs activities at Seme-Krake Border Command.
In an exclusive chat with The Tide, Chairman, Seme Chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agent (ANLCA), Chief Oyekachukwu Ojinma (aka Sule) described the outgoing Controller of the Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, as a very hard-working and dedicated man, while welcoming the new Customs Area Controller to the border post.
The ANLCA Chairman expressed his wish for a successful tenure of office for Compt. Timi Bomodi.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
‘Electricity Act Will Transform Power Sector’
Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has stated that the recently signed Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023, will play a fundamental role in transforming the power sector.
According to him, it will unlock the potential of the energy mix and promote the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid system.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Conference and exhibition in Lagos, Adelabu said the Act aims to create an environment that supports sustainable growth and investment in the power industry by focusing on accelerated private investment and the promotion of renewable energy sources.
“As a game-changer that reformed the NESI, the Electricity Act will, undoubtedly, engender increased access to electricity and regulatory oversight, clean energy transition, improved service delivery, and infrastructural developments.
“In particular, the act will stimulate economic growth by creating a conducive environment for investment and competition. It will generate job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract foreign direct investments”, he said.
The Minister called on operators in the power sector to intensify their efforts towards improving communication with the general public, emphasising that the Nigerian masses have a lot of roles to play in safeguarding power infrastructure.
He said issues such as vandalism, passing of meters, and damage to TCN and DisCo infrastructure must be addressed holistically to make significant gains in the power sector.
Adelabu emphasised that the power sector is a cornerstone for economic growth in the country and that the gains made over the years in the power sector can only be consolidated by unlocking equity investments and funds for power development.
He said: “Of course, a lot of investment is required in the power sector. In three weeks, I’ve seen humongous investments that have come into this sector.
“But what are the steps that are required for those investment opportunities to reap the benefit of those investments, additional investments in the form of equity and capex need to come into this industry.
“The power sector is not an industry for short-term players to invest in less than two to three years and expect to make maximum benefits.
“The industry requires medium to long-term investments. Investors must understand that the moment we can break even, we will start making profits in the power sector.
Adelabu also urged operators in the NESI value chain to improve their service delivery, adding that Nigeria’s energy expansion plan of 60,000 Megawatts by 2060 is an achievable target.
He, therefore, called on gas companies, GenCos, TCN, and DIScO to showcase their success stories in generating and transmitting power to the last mile that pays for all the segments of operators in the value chain.
‘Nigeria Loses $1.5bn Annually To Malnutrition’
Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, has said Nigeria loses $1.5 billion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to micronutrient deficiencies.
Bagudu therefore called for coordinated efforts to ensure a swift response with expected positive outcomes.
A statement released by the Ministry said the Minister disclosed this, last Tuesday, while speaking at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in Abuja.
In the statement, Bagudu noted that the government was determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan, and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
“It is also a commitment to achieving optimal nutrition status for all Nigerians with particular attention to the vulnerable group as highlighted in the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition”, he said.
Bagudu, who urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and develop innovations that will boost nutrition, explained that doing this “would contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring Universal Health Coverage, and bringing about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria”.
He told members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria “to prioritise innovation and research in the field of nutrition towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage and transformation of the landscape of nutrition in Nigeria.
“Nigeria currently requires nutrition professionals who have extensive knowledge, good communication skills to address nutrition education, emotional intelligence as well and a good understanding of self-motivation and drive to address nutrition dynamics”.
The Minister urged the NSN to embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to find sustainable and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s nutrition challenges.
He assured members of the NSN that his ministry would strengthen coordination and provide the required leadership for the nutrition sector.
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, in his goodwill message, said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) had identified areas of key commitments for the realisation of a healthier citizen and country, including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
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