The Federal Government has said it was working out plans to encourage local ship builders in the country.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki said this in Port Harcourt, yesterday, while unveiling a newly acquired vessel by the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA),at its Port Harcourt Area Office.
Saraki, represented by the Managing Director of the authority, Chief George Moghalu said the programme would encourage investment in the ship building industry as well as checking capital flight.
She said the authority has been directed to ensure regular dredging of the national inland waterways, adding that a number of vessels have been acquired to provide security along the waterways.
Also speaking, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Barrister Magdalene Ajani, said that inland waterways transportation would provide alternative to road transportation.
The permanent secretary, who was represented by Barrister Danladi Ibrahim, said NIWA has provided alternative means of transportation and how to secure inland waterways.
She said that the efforts would complement the Deep Blue project by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), and stressed the need for synergy between NIMASA and NIWA to promote security in the waterways
In his address, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr George Moghalu said the acquisition of the vessel was to ensure the fulfilment of the authority’s mandate as a regulatory body and major player in the maritime industry.
Moghalu, whose address was read by Engr. Joseph Ororo, said the authority has licensed 12 companies for the transportation of cargo from Port Harcourt and Onne to the hinterland with a view to making goods and services available to the masses at a cheaper cost.
By: John Bibor
2023: Nigeria Needs Clean Leaders-Expert
An environmental consultant in Rivers State, Pali- Alabo Maxwell Fubara has urged Nigerians to avoid those who are part of Nigeria’s rot while voting in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking with The Tide recently in Port Harcourt on the 2023 general elections and the place of good governance, Fubara said avoiding such people is a step towards rescuing the country.
According to him, Nigerians cannot afford to choose the next president from among those who have made a career of living in government since 1999, and expect positive changes in their lives in the country.
He said, “The truth is that some of those who have stayed too long in the status quo have become part of the corrupt system, and it is an illusion to expect corruption to fight corruption”.
Fubara, a former State Assistant Public Relations Officer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) argued that a corrupt system cannot fight corruption, and so the nation needs clean, God-fearing, and caring leaders with vast leadership expertise and exposure to emerge in 2023 from the past failures to break the shacles of the rot in order to move forward.
Fubara noted that either in the PDP, APC or other political parties, those whose only duty has been to change from one government office to another and have never done any other productive thing apart from squandering government and public funds, driving convoys of cars around that they do not fuel themselves, escorted by security paid for by government are far removed from the realities of Nigeria, and are therefore incapable of comprehending the urgency and depth of development Nigerians need currently.
“I laugh when I read about someone who has never set up even a barber shop in his or her life promising young people employment.”
These are people who do not understand how business run.
“ The solution to national security challenges, the unemployment problem, high cost of petroleum products and basic items requires new approach to handle, which those who have never paid for anything they consume in the past 23years running cannot understand.”
The image-maker who said that what attributed him to the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) was Governor Nyesom Wike’s belief that corruption must be crushed in Rivers State.
Ahead of the 2023 general polls, Fubara advised politicians, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the electorate to play the game based on level playing ground, where peace and tranquility would be sustained.
He enjoined them to see election next year as not a do or die affairs, rather do the needful by working towards better Nigeria “Our Founding Fathers Fought For”.
By: Bethel Toby & Oribim Ibama
Navy Rescues Seven Victims From Kidnappers
The Nigeria Navy has said it has rescued seven male victims who were abducted on May 10 by sea pirates off the coast of Bonny Island in Rivers.
The Tide’s source reports the seven passengers were transiting to Port Harcourt from Bonny when their commercial boat was intercepted and the victims abducted by pirates.
Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim, the Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt presented the rescued victims before newsmen on Tuesday at the naval headquarters in Port Harcourt.
He said the kidnappers, after intercepting the commercial boat, diverted it to an unknown location inside the thick swampy forest of the State.
“After the pirates kidnapped the passengers on May 10 along Bonny Channel, near Yellow Platform, we (NNS Pathfinder) immediately mobilised and started tracking to identify the abductors.
“Through intelligence gathering, we were able to identify one Mr Victor Padei, who intelligence revealed masterminded the abductions.
“Thereafter, we mobilised troops and stormed his camp (in Rivers). Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at the camp, Padei had already relocated with his victims.
“Padei knows the terrain very well and he deploys his local informants who give him information on the movement of troops”, he said.
Ibrahim stated further that reconnaissance was conducted to determine the whereabouts of fleeing abductors which revealed the suspects relocated to another camp in Bayelsa.
“Again, we mobilised personnel in collaboration with our naval base in Bayelsa to raid the kidnapper’s camp but unfortunately they have already relocated with the victims before we got there.
“However, intelligence later discovered another camp in Bayelsa where kidnappers held the victims against their will.
“Upon storming the kidnappers’ den, we applied pressure (force) and issued them (kidnappers) to release the abductees unconditionally.
“Subsequently, on the midnight of May 21, the seven victims were returned unharmed to us and they are currently with us,” he added.
The navy officer said troops were currently on the trail of Padei and his gang of kidnappers and assured of their arrest and prosecution in no time.
He called on members of the public to go about their legitimate businesses as the navy in collaboration with other security outfits has further secured the waterways in Rivers.
Narrating his ordeal, one of the rescued victims, Jude Ichikpro, 57, expressed gratitude to the Nigeria Navy for rescuing him and his fellow passengers from kidnappers.
The victim told the source that after their boat was intercepted, their abductors blindfolded and took them to an unknown area.
“We transited several hours by sea and later arrived at their camp which I am still not sure about the location.
“After we arrived at the camp, they gave us our phones to contact and inform our family members of our abduction.
“Thereafter, they demanded N350 million (N50 million each) for the seven of us to secure our release; threatening to kill anyone of us whose family did not pay their ransom.
“I was horrified and worried that I would be killed knowing that my family cannot raise such huge funds to secure my release. So, I kept praying fervently.
“The entire experience was horrific as they kept threatening us. I was overly worried knowing that my family cannot raise such huge sums of money to secure my release.
Ichikpro, a Delta State indigene, said that they were held for 12 days and fed with uncooked food; drank dirty and salty water and sometimes slept inside the swampy waters.
He said on the day of their rescue, he heard loud noise which he initially thought was from the villages shadowing the kidnappers’ den.
“But the sound became louder, and only then did I realise that it was from security men because I can hear their voices but I was terrified and confused at the same time.
“Moments later, some men came to where we were kept and requested for our identity. It was only then I realised that they were naval personnel.
Ichikpro said that the navy operatives later took them away for de-briefing.
“I am so grateful to God and the Nigeria Navy for coming to my rescue without paying even a Kobo ransom to my kidnappers,” he said.
2023 Presidency: Monarch Sues For Peaceful Conduct
A royal father in the Niger Delta, and the Mingi of Nembe Kingdom in Bayelsa State, King Edmond Dakoru, has urged the electorate in the South to maintain a peaceful disposition in the midst of provocation in the quest for a Southern President come 2023.
Dakoru, the former minister of petroleum, in an interview with aviation correspondents shortly on arrival, Wednesday, at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, observed that everywhere is tensed with the quest for a southern president.
He stated that no sacrifice is too small or big to make, if we want Nigeria to remain as one country, adding that any position that is good should not remain for one group.
“Whether the principle of zoning is enacted in Constitution or not, I think it’s ideal that it should be rotated between the North and South.
“We have actually operated in that principle. That is the principle that has kept us as one people since independence, and even the principle of national stread and Federal character.
“If a position is important enough, it should not remain in one particular section of country, and why dragging on and on for a long time on this southern president for 2023?
“Zone it to the southern part of the country, instead of raising political tension each time. The southern part will know where it is supposed to go among the three zones, and just leave them to decide.
“There should not be tension, no matter the provocation, but let the right thing be done. The unity of the country is important”, Dakoru said.
The royal father, however, noted that the size of any country matters, adding that Nigeria should not be fragmented, but should remain as one.
He also urged the electorates not to be misled by people who make provocative statements, saying that most of such people who make such statements, will run when they see crisis.
By: Corlins Walter
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