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Truck operators clamour for return of Presidential Task Team on Apapa gridlock —-say ETO has failed them

Eyewitness reporter
Following the failure of the electronic call-up system of the Nigerian ports Authority (NPA) to address the malignant Apapa traffic gridlock, truck owners across various unions and associations have called on the Federal government to bring back the disbanded Presidential Task Team (PTT) on Apapa gridlock.
The distraught truck owners, who are currently reeling under the agony of resurgent traffic gridlock, lamented that the much-vaunted ETO platform introduced by the NPA has been compromised and riddled with corruption which has made it fail to address the vexed traffic logjam.
They, therefore, appealed to the Federal government to recall Kayode Opeifa- led task team to come to their rescue.
The operators, who spoke with our  Correspondent over the resurgent traffic gridlock, claimed that the traffic was better managed by  PTT  than the so-called managers of ETO.
It would be recalled that the Presidential Task Team, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and coordinated by Comrade Kayode Opeifa, was disbanded following series of allegations of corruption after over one year in operation.
The management of Apapa traffic was thereafter automated with the introduction of the ETO platform being driven by the NPA, Lagos State Government, and police.
However, the e- call-up system was effective within the first two weeks of operations before it completely collapsed, leading to the clamour for the return of the disbanded PTT.
The Coordinator, Committee of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations (COMTUA), Olaleye Thompson, bemoaned the harrowing experience of members of the union over the traffic in Apapa after the disbandment of PTT.

He added that as a result of the failure of the e- call-up system and lack of solution in sight, the group has issued a 21- day ultimatum to the government to either fix the problems or the members will embark on industrial action.

The ultimatum lapses on Thursday, 10th June 2021.

Olaleye said members of the group from different unions and associations that make up the body have started approaching the leadership of the union to prevail on the federal government to bring back the Opeifa- led task team.

According to him, the team was already getting it right before it was asked to quit even as he accused the government of not allowing the operators of ETO to learn from the team before it was disbanded.

“Opeifa had a passion for this job and I can say it anywhere. The man was not collecting money from anybody,  that is why anytime I read it in the papers where people are accusing him of corruption, I felt it was not true because people can use your name to do anything but not Opeifa, not Odumosu, not even Suleiman”

“That is why most of the union members come to me and start agitating that we should tell the presidency to bring the President-General task team, that they support it.

“If Government wanted to succeed abinitio, they should have arranged a merger between TTP and outgoing presidential team and allow the presidential team to midwife the operation for like six months,stabilise the system and then withdraw them but there was no link between them.

“There was no synergy between them meanwhile Presidential Task Team had already understood the system, they should have allowed them to show them the way, nurture them and show them the way and all these things we are experiencing would have been a thing of the past because it was Opeifa that suggested that there should be TTP.”

It could also be recalled that the Acting Managing Director of NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, had accused the managers of ETO of unbridled extortions, saying there are about 30 extortion toll collection points between Tin can and Apapa ports.

Meanwhile, Olaleye has also condemned the slow pace of work on the port access road, saying the project was taking too long to complete.

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IGP grieves over assault on policewoman

Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola


— orders prosecution of culprits
 Owolola Adebola

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba,  has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

Zainab Duke, a Mbaise-born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in the company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

The IGP also directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

The IGP has equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

It is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low as to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

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Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali


–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Jamoh wears OFR diadem as Buhari confers national honour on NIMASA DG


The Eyewitness reporter 
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed deep appreciation to President Mohammed Buhari for being conferred with one of the highest national honours in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has conveyed this good news to Dr Jamoh in a letter of Award which has slated the investiture ceremony for the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October 2022.

Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years when he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.

Since that time, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994 and culminating in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.

A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve significant milestones in the sector.

One notable example of this is his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has demonstrated the positive outcomes of information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.

Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Dr Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour stating:

“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that Almighty Allah would so favour me to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

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