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Warri River Channel Blockage: NIWA Fingers Wood Traders

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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

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10 Ships With PMS, LNG, Others Arrive Eastern Ports, Today …Lagos Port Hosts Five Ships With Frozen Fish

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The Management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA ) says a total of ten ships laden with different cargoes will arrive three Eastern Ports, today.
The Ports are Onne, Calabar and Warri Ports, all located in South-South of Nigeria.
Vessels for Warri Port are Elizabeth A Spirit, Ozuchukwu, Akor, MT Picton and ST Walga, while those due for Calabar and Onne Ports are African Marvel, Asian Pride and Maersk Cubango.
Others are LNG Rivers and LNG Enugu for Onne port respectively.
This was contained in the Authority’s weekly Shipping Position, copy of which was made available to newsmen.
Names of the shipping agents for Warri Port are Amco, Admiral, Pinapat, Blue seas and Kach, while that of Calabar is Allray Maritime Services.
Onne Port has Samcham, Maserk Nig Limited, West Atlantic Port services Nig Limited, and Comet Shipping Services as agents.
The statement added that the ten ships are laden with Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), Crude oil, LNG, Bulk Fertilizer, Containers, Inballast, and Float Glasses.
In the same vein, Lagos Ports will receive five ships laden with Frozen Fish, while sixteen ships would discharge their bulk cargoes.
NPA said out of 21 ships expected to arrive at the ports,16  are bulk cargoes, while five are carrying Frozen Fish.
Other cargoes in the 16 ships include general cargo, bulk sugar, container, butane gas, petrol, bulk gypsum, jet fuel and automobile gasoline.
The NPA said the ships were expected to arrive at the ports from May 14 to May 26,2022.
It stated further that 12 other ships had arrived at the ports and waiting to berth with bulk sugar, bulk salt, bulk wheat, bulk fertiliser, petrol and base oil, adding that 19 other ships were at the ports discharging bulk cargoes.
The bulk cargoes include, wheat, general cargo, frozen fish, bulk salt, ethanol, bulk sugar, container and petrol.

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FG Urges IMO To Retrain Port State Control Officers

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Worried by lack of training and retraining of personnel in Ports State Control in Nigeria’s maritime industry, the Federal Government has charged the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to remain committed to the training and retraining of Ports State Control Officers.
This, the government said, is in a bid to aid effective and efficient examination of substandard ships in West and Central Africa.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, stated this in Lagos during the regional workshop for Heads of maritime administrations in West and Central Africa.
She enjoined Port State Control Officers in the region to acquaint themselves with new trends, innovations, inventions, and topical issues in their field.
“One of the yardsticks for measuring an effective MoU is its ability to ensure a harmonised system of Port State Control, strengthen cooperation, as well as information exchange amongst members with the ultimate aim of preventing the operation of substandard ships within the MoU region.
“This workshop/training, which will keep participants abreast of current events, innovations, inventions, and topical issues in the industry, couldn’t have come at a better time than now when the Abuja MoU is striving to become the enviable MoU in terms of quality of service and performance amongst the nine regional MoUs. I commend the Secretary-General and secretariat of the Abuja MoU.
“The essence of port state control is to inspect foreign ships in national ports to verify the condition of the ship and its equipment and ascertain that she is manned/operated in compliance with the requirements of international conventions/regulations to ensure maritime safety and security and prevent pollution of the marine environment.
“To this end, regular training and retraining of port state control officers are key in ensuring that they display a high level of professionalism and skill in the conduct of inspections on board ships calling at their ports.
“I, therefore, wish to urge the heads of maritime administrations here present to ensure that similar training(s) as this is replicated for Port State Control Officers in your respective administrations.
“It should be noted that the Abuja MoU is not tied to one Member State alone. All Member States here present are critical stakeholders of the MoU.
“Therefore, we must all join forces and strive to ensure that we constantly uphold the ideals and objectives upon which the MoU was established. For this reason,
“I urge all member states to play their part in contributing to the growth of the Abuja MoU, so that we can constantly meet expectations and safeguard our marine domains.
“I wish to encourage every member state that has not ratified and domesticated the Abuja MoU relevant instruments, which include the IMO and ILO conventions/codes for PSC to do so promptly, so that we can move with the tide of the IMO,” Ajani noted.

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Boat Misharp: NIWA Tasks Drivers, Passengers On Safety Rules

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Following the incessant accidents in the nation’s waterways across the country, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has called on boat drivers and passengers to always adhere to safety rules and guidelines regulating water transportation.
The Authority also appealed to water users to always use their life jackets, desist from sailing at night, and overloading of passengers.
NIWA said the use of standard boats and not overloading, as well as not over speeding the boats are key guidelines for safe passenger transportation
General Manager, Corporate Affairs, NIWA, Mr Jibril Dardau, who stated this in a statement issued to newsmen in Lagos, appealed to passengers and boat drivers to “obey the rules and guidelines regulating passenger transportation”.
The Authority, he said “ recently distributed life jackets and some patrol vessels to all its area offices across the country to enhance surveillance and monitoring of activities on the waterways”.
He expressed displeasure over the recurring boat accidents across Nigeria in spite of the efforts put in place by the agency.
“The authority noted with sadness the unfortunate boat accident that occurred on May 4 at about 11:00 p.m. in Mai-Adua Local Government Area of Katsina State in which 15 persons lost their lives.
“We are greatly pained that this mishap occurred, despite all the measures the Authority has put in place to forestall such mishaps.
NIWA insisted that we will not relent in our efforts to curb these occurrences within our inland waterways,” he said.

By: Stories by Chinedu Wosu

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