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NPA decries failed state of Tin Can Port

Eyewitness reporter
The Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko led senior officials of the Authority on a spot assessment visit to the TinCan Island Port Complex with a view to resolving all impediments to the smooth flow of traffic and effective security, within and around the complex.

The Managing Director, who also visited the Sunrise Bus Stop area of the Apapa – Mile 2 highway which had become a failed passage, noted that the poor road situation within this corridor (the major artery in and out of the Tin Can Island Port) remains a huge concern to the Authority.

According to the NPA MD, the improved traffic situation along the Tin Can Port approach from what it used to be some months back is one of the positives from the synergy between the NPA and the Lagos State Government (LASG), which deployed the necessary security and equipment needed to check indiscriminate parking on the road as well as an end to the menace of touts and other criminals.

He observed that some of the internal roads within the Port Complex are in a state of disrepair, but assured that the Authority, in concert with other relevant agencies of Government and the National Assembly, would mobilise resources as soon as possible to fix such roads.

Describing the Tin Can Port Complex as too porous, the NPA MD noted that the wire gauze perimeter fence installed as a means of preventing unauthorized access in line with the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code recommendation have been pulled down, thus a much stronger wall of protection must be put in place to keep people who do not have any business having access to the complex.

He disclosed that upon a thorough security assessment, the management would be left with no alternative than to use prefab wall fencing since the wire gauze type could not stand the test of time in view of how it was easily damaged.

The MD further said that the visit has availed the management an opportunity to evaluate where the access control gate should be mounted out of the three entry gates into the complex, adding that the Authority, working with the relevant authorities,  would move to fast track the necessary public procurement processes.

Speaking on the objective of his visit, the NPA Boss said: “We are here because you recall that we met recently with the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the essence of the visit was to strengthen our partnership with the State Government towards reducing the heavy vehicular congestion, especially in Apapa.

“We also talked about the poor state of the road along the Tin Can Island Port corridor.

“We have pleaded with Hi-tech, the contractor handling the Apapa-Mile 2 highway, to ensure that the Sunrise Bus Stop end of the road is worked on speedily, even if it is palliatives to make it passable, that is why we are here.

“You can see that the Tin Can end of the road is now clear, that is the result of the collaboration between NPA and the Lagos State Government because we’re working together to ensure that trucks that are not meant to be here are not here”

“We want to consolidate on this and consistently ensure that trucks that do business at the ports, picking and dropping off containers, do so without encumbrances.

“We also came here to look at the Port environment, we noticed that the wire gauze fencing had been pulled down by people and we have done the risk assessment. The best thing for us is to consider prefab fences, which we believe will do the work on a sustainable basis”, he said.

Bello stated that there had been reports of pilfering, stealing, and vandalisation of containers, which must not be allowed to continue, insisting that the management is poised to put an end to such criminal acts by moving to upgrade the Authority’s security architecture.

On the internal roads within the Tin Can Island Port, “some of the roads within the Port have failed and it is the responsibility of NPA to fix them.”

“Therefore, we came to look at all these so that we work with the relevant government agencies. We will liaise with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the National Assembly to mobilize the required resources.
“We will ensure that this is treated as an emergency and as quickly as the procurement process would allow us”, he said.

Bello-Koko decried a situation whereby it takes several hours for a truck to access the Ports because of the failed portions of the internal Port roads, citing several instances where container-laden trucks fell while trying to manoeuvre within the Port, a development that is clearly unacceptable, he said.

On the deployment of the electronic call-up system, code-named”Eto”, he noted that the system is yet to be effective in the Tin Can Port corridor, due to the poor state of the access road, as well as some failed roads within the Port, which reinforces the urgent need to fix these infrastructures as soon as possible.

He however noted that though he is not completely satisfied with the deployment of the “Eto” platform, he disclosed that the platform manager has been given up to the end of June to live up to his game in terms of deploying the necessary assets and human resources, to complement the reconstruction of the roads by government.

On Port automation, he stated that the Authority had directed all the terminal operators and shipping companies to embrace smart solutions to enhance service delivery, “while many of them are making the right investments, the level of compliance is not where it should be, he said.

He posited that there is the need for a Port Community System where every stakeholder including the NPA could interface with one another, adding that although it takes significant resources and time to automate, “it is my hope that all segments of the industry would automate their systems to make Port operations timely and less cumbersome”, Koko admonished.

On corruption and extortion on the Port access roads, he acknowledged that some of the deployed security operatives from the Nigerian Police, LASTMA, Nigerian Armed Forces and NPA Security personnel have been found culpable, while he said strong disciplinary measures in line with public service rules are being taken against these “bag eggs.

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Headlines

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

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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Headlines

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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