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Ember Months: Wike, FRSC Advocate Safety On Roads

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Kinika Mpi

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has urged road users in the state to apply adequate safety measures in this ember months as government has provided the necessary logistics to enhance free flow of traffic in Port Harcourt and its environs.
The Governor gave the charge last Thursday during the flag-off of 2019 ‘Ember’ months Road Safety, Campaign Rally, themed “Road Safety is State of Mind, Road Traffic Crash is an Absence of Mind; Stay Alert, Stay Alive,” organised by State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
The governor who was represented by the Administrator of Greater Port Harcourt Authority, Ambassador Desmond Akawo, cautioned drivers against setting late time to appointments, driving against the lane (one way), drinking while driving and not fastening their seat belts, stressing that obeying the traffic rules and road signs is better than reading the road signs.
He said, in a bid to boost traffic flow in the state and rid the roads of any form of road traffic congestion caused by human activities, government recently inaugurated special taskforce on illegal motor parks, street trading and road side mechanic. He said the state government had also directed the road maintenance agency to fix all the visible potholes on roads as well as awarded contract for the construction of three flyovers with a view to ease movement in the city.
Earlier, in his address, the FRSC Sector Commander, Rivers Sector Command, David Mendie, said that the event was aimed at creating public awareness on issues affecting road safety and need for members of the public to join hands to tackle the menace of road traffic crashes on our roads.
According to him, driving requires 100 percent concentration, urging drivers to desist from all forms of distractions such as use of phone while driving, eating while driving, making-up, engaging in discussion and argument while driving.
While urging stakeholders to put in place road safety measures during the ember months and beyond, the FRSC boss expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for donating five JAC pickup patrol vehicles to the State sector command.
In a goodwill message, the chairman, Taskforce on Illegal Motor Parks, Street Trading and Roadside Mechanics, Hon Bright Amaewhule, suggested that drivers should be made to undergo training to acquaint them with the basic rules and regulations of driving with a view to reducing auto crashes on the road, saying that most of the road crashes were caused by human errors that are avoidable.
He urged FRSC to collaborate with the police, Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) and other agencies to ensure that vehicles were up to standard and road worthy.
The Airforce Chieftain, Air Commordore E.O.E Ebiowe, in his goodwill message, reiterated the preparedness of the military to partner with FRSC to ensure that safety of lives was achieved, as he urged drivers not to drink and drive.

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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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