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SON, Navy Set To Return To Seaports 

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The Nigerian Navy Service (NNS) says it is planning to return to the nation’s seaports after 30 years.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, made the disclosure during a webinar to mark the 100 days of Service Chiefs in office, last week.
Gambo said the NNS has discovered that years after it left the task of monitoring incoming goods and persons for the officials of the Nigerian Customs and Immigration Services, there is high proliferation of illegal arms in the country.
He said the return of the NNS to the nation’s seaport became imperative to correct the anomaly at the seaports and to effectively secure the county’s sea borders against influx of light weapons.
“We have realised that arms are circulating indiscriminately and their effects are devastating. Our efforts in combating their proliferation must therefore be viewed as contributing to the good, rather than a zero-sum game.
“We are pushed by the fact that killing and neutralising of terrorists while these weapons still flow in will do us no good.
“This is because the right to life and the right to live in freedom and dignity are rights that all Nigerians must uphold in various fora”, he said.
The Naval boss said the Navy was working with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to establish port commandant at the seaports.
Similarly, the management of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says its return to the seaports would help it check the influx of substandard products into the country.
Director General, SON, Farouk Salim, said, “We are supposed to ensure that the borders and the ports are monitored properly, and in doing this we protect the country from substandard goods.
“One of such ways is to make sure that the employees of SON are in the point of entry in the country, especially the Lagos port where majority of goods comes into this country.
“Our people can be efficient if we are allowed to work at the point of entry of these goods, but right now we are not allowed at the ports.
“They allow us once in a while to check goods but that should not be the way, because SON as an organisation should not depend on the kindness of other organisations to do its work.”
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Maritime

NPA Blames Under-Utilisation Of Eastern Port On Insecurity

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The management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has linked the under-utilisation of the four Ports in the Eastern states to acts of insecurity in the waterways
The Authority also attributed the  length and drafts of the channels as factors for low traffic and under utilization by investors.
Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, disclosed this in Port Harcourt during a recent tour of facilities in Rivers Port Complex.
Koko, who stated that NPA is interested in decongesting ports in Lagos, said they are partnering with the Nigerian Navy and Community youths to secure the waterways in the Eastern region to attract investors and importers to do business in the Ports.
“We will like to decongest the Lagos Ports by encouraging the Eastern Ports to compete favourable with other ports in West Africa.
“We are serious at increasing the traffic in the Eastern Ports and make them more competitive with other West African Ports”, he explained.
He further noted that as a way of attracting investors and importers to patronize the Ports, NPA has reduced tariff in the Eastern Ports to encourage investors to do business in the Eastern Ports.
On dredging of the Rivers Ports, Koko said dredging of the channels to a little above 9.5 metres to 13 metre would collapse the berth, noting that the port is a colonial port built over One hundred years ago.
”We are discussing on how to revitalize the collapsed berth 7 and 8 and make it more functional to attract investors to move bigger vessels to the terminals.
“We need to dredge and deepen the channels to accommodate more and bigger sea going vessels to increase flow of traffic to the ports”, Koko said.
He diclosed that NPA is working towards moving more cargos from the Rivers Port Complex and Eastern to Onitsha  Port.
He noted that the idea, when put into effect, would reduce movement of containers by land and make it more safe and secure for the importers.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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NIWA Links Boat Mishaps To Lack Of Navigational Aids

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Management of  National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)  has attributed the incessant boat mishaps at night to lack of navigational aids installed in the boats.
The Authority said over 95 percent of mishaps happened at night hours or wee hours.
Managing Director, NIWA, George Moghalu, stated this during a media parley with journalists in Lagos.
“Ninety to Ninety-five per cent accidents happen in the night or early in the morning. These vessels do not have night navigational aids, therefore, they should not move in the night. But people will still move at nights.
“The drivers will avoid the right jetties and at times, they do not even move from jetties, but at river banks to the water to expose our people to dangers,” he said.
The Authority said it is working with barge operators to have a comprehensive insurance cover for both barges and cargoes on Nigeria’s waterways.
NIWA said an improved quality insurance cover for vessels is a prime project it is fully committed to in its bids to decongesting the nation’s ports and reducing pressure on Nigerian roads.
“We are looking at having quality insurance to cover both the barges and the cargoes.
“This was some of the issues raised by the importers, because they do not want a situation where they would gamble with their goods to bring their goods from China and Europe and then getting to lose it on the Nigerian waterways”, Moghalu explained.
The Authority insisted that it would arrest and prosecute any boat driver found wanting in the act, even as he appealed to boat owners and operators to desisted from plying at odd hours to avoid mishap
He admonished drivers and passengers to always obey safety rules and regulations to avoid carnage in the waters.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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JTF Nabs Two Pirates In Rivers

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In a bid to sanitise the Nigeria’s waterways and make it safe and secure, the Joint Military Taskforce (JTF), code named “Operation Delta Safe,” has apprehended two pirates who specialise in terrorising the waterways in Rivers communities
Also in the soldiers’ custody are 10 suspected pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta region.
The arrests were made known  in a statement by Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, shortly after a bi-weekly briefing of the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
Onyeuko gave the identities of the suspected pirates as Fagha Golden (aka Fine Boy) and Victor Elkanah (aka Victor Padi).
The Director said Golden was apprehended at Nonwa village in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State, while Elkanah was nabbed at Pharzy Spring Diagnostic and Wellness Hospital in Onne in Eleme Local Government Area of the State.
He said the suspects were  responsible for  series of armed attacks on oil vessels, kidnapping of expatriates and illegal oil bunkering in Rivers State.
He said the arrests show the unrelenting efforts of the troops, which “have sustained their offensive posture to deny criminals the much- needed space for their illegal operations in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States. In the process, several illegal oil-refining sites were discovered and destroyed.
“These include 37 illegal refineries, 68 dugout pits, 188 storage tanks, 33 wooden boats”, he said.
Others include 16 pumping machines, one generator, one vehicle, 175 cooking ovens and 23 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.  Also recovered were 3.7 million litres of crude oil and 2.01 million litres of AGO.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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