Following the blockage of Pessu Market river in Warri, Delta State, the management of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has attributed the blockage to the activities of wood traders along the channel.
NIWA has consequently ordered the immediate deployment of technical experts and equipment to the blocked area, in order to link it up to the main Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) outlet.
Managing Director, NIWA, George Moghalu stated this to newsmen shortly after the inspection of the blocked river.
Moghalu expressed concern over the low water level witnessed during the period of high tides and wondered how difficult the situation would be for those plying their trade in the area when there were low tides.
Moghalu, who took time to inspect the remote cause of the blockage, admitted that the situation requires an urgent intervention in order not to endanger the lives of residents who are mostly waterway users, especially women who are into fishing and petty tradering.
He directed the opening up of the blocked area and promised that the river would be dredged soon as a way of averting a delicate situation that could lead to loss of lives.
“It’s a total blockage we are looking at here, and if you can have this volume of water during the high tide, imagine what the situation would be during the low tide.
“So, I am a bit worried about it and I have directed now that a survey team should move in to start work immediately to get the hydro-graphic survey done completely from the beginning down to the major outlets.
“It is after this stage that we will begin to look at the programme of dislodging the entire place and dredging it.
“We want to clear it, otherwise, we’ll lose the body of water here and that’s not in our best interest.
“Due to the urgency we attach to solving this problem, I will be issuing a formal letter so that the work can commence in earnest and we hope to complete it in good time too”, Moghalu said.
Earlier, Obaro Arieigwe, a trader and resident of the community, lamented how residents of the area had suffered for many years due to the blockage and shallow river.
“Look at the water level you are seeing now, that is , it’s the ground you will be seeing and by that time, we won’t be able to do our business of farming and trading with our neighbouring communities as our boats will no longer be able to move,” Arieigwe lamented.
He blamed the river blockage to the activities of the wood traders and saw millers who heaped saw-dust into the river for many years, saying that after a while, they “started experiencing some difficulties in making their way through till it got to this present state”.
Stories By Chinedu Wosu
NPA Warns Against Illegal Containers Stripping On Port Access Roads
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has warned against the illegal stripping of containers by drivers and terminal operators along the port access road.
Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, issued the warning during a visit to Tin-Can Island Port where he inspected designated container stripping yards around the port.
He warned that truckers caught in the act stand the risk of being delisted from the electronic call-up system platform managed by the Trucks Transit Parks (TTP).
Bello Koko said container stripping on the port access road violates operational guidelines and will no longer be condoned.
He also announced that NPA has rolled out standard operating procedures for barge operators.
BMTA Urges FG To Fix Moribund Refineries
Following the incessant hikes on petroleum pump price in the country, Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to fix all the moribund refineries to production capacity
The Association said the repairs of the refineries would reduce the high cost of petrol pump price and alleviate poverty in the land.
Safety officer, BMTA, Comrade Kings Dume, stated this to TheTide during an interview in Port Harcourt.
Dume, who decried the hardship ordinary Nigerians were facing, said boat users hardly travel by water due to high cost of transport fare.
He said a boat journey from Port Harcourt to Bonny Island now cost between N6000 and N6500 per passenger, making it difficulty for travelers to board boats to and from their home town.
According to him, if the pump price keeps skyrocketing, there is every tendency that boat fare may be increased from N6000 to N8000 per passenger this Christmas season
He further noted that the inability of the Federal Government to repair the refineries has brought untold hardships, hunger and suffering to homes.
“Cost of living has skyrocketed everywhere and everyday, the poor can no longer go to market, parents can no longer pay bills and most children have dropped from schools due to poverty and hardships”, he stated.
He lamented that most boat operators were no longer in business due to high cost of procuring spare parts, engine oil and patrol to power their boats.
Comrade Dume appealed to the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government to see reasons and fix all the moribund refineries for use to end hardship and poverty ravaging the land.
He noted that the repair of the refineries by this administration “would bring succour and confidence to an average Nigerian”.
Customs Partners Copyright Commission To End Piracy
In a bid to end all forms of piracy and other social vices, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has expressed readiness to collaborate with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to end piracy of intellectual and creative property in Nigeria.
Customs said their collaboration would create opportunities for the two parties to establish a significant legacy that will end the menace of piracy in the country.
Comptroller General, Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, disclosed this while receiving members of the Commission at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.
He explained that the NCS had concluded plans to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, enhancing its programmes in all aspects through creative activities and training of its staff.
On the need to organize training for the Service’s officers in combating piracy, Adeniyi said, “the programme will introduce officers and men of the Service to new values and expertise that would enhance their capacity and morale to fight piracy”.
The Comptroller General, who noted the importance of the collaboration, said protecting creative and intellectual property significantly contributes to the country’s economic growth.
Earlier, leader of the delegation and Director General, NCC, Dr. John Asein, expressed his appreciation to the NCS for the importance of addressing piracy of intellectual and creative property.
“The idea behind paying this courtesy visit to you, Comptroller General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, was to congratulate you on your appointment and to extend our hands for collaboration to end piracy”, he stated.
The DG further explained that “apart from strengthening the creative skills of officers and men in various sectors, the commission would achieve its mandate by working with the NCS”.
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