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Union Wants Govt To Repair Bonny/Nembe Jetty Walkway Roof

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The management of Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA), an umbrella  body of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, has called on the state government to repair the leaking roof of the Bonny/Nembe Jetty walkway.
Noting that some parts of the walkway have been deroofed by wind, and could no longer provide shelter for passengers, BMTA said this has forced passengers to seek alternative means of travelling to the Island.
Disclosing this during an interview in Port Harcourt, the Marine Safety Officer of BMTA, Comrade Kings  Dimkpa, decried the poor state of the jetty’s walkway, and called on government to carry out an urgent repair of the leaking portions of the roof.
He noted that passengers travelling to Bonny Island and its environs during the rains find it difficult to board boats to their destinations.
Dimkpa appealed to government to fix the roof in order to enhance operations at the walkway, and  also guarantee safety of the teeming passengers.
The mariner commended the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration for deploying more gunboats to Bonny waterways to curb piracy.
“There are no more issues of piracy and sea robbery along our waterways. Passengers now travel without fear of being kidnapped”, he said.
He appealed to the Nigerian Navy and Marine Police to ensure proactive patrol of the waterways, especially, as the state and the nation prepare for the 2023 general elections.
Dimkpa also urged security agencies  to arrest and prosecute any youth involved in act of piracy and other forms of vices along the waterways and creeks as a deterrent to others.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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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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Maritime

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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Maritime

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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