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We thought NIMASA floating dock belongs to our school—-NMU

Bashir Jamoh, DG, NIMASA

—as Jamoh pledges NIMASA’s support for  maritime University

Eyewitness  reporter

The management of Nigerian Maritime University(NMU), Okerenkoko Delta State, may have been nursing a forlorn hope of inheriting the multi-billion dollar giant modular floating dock which was purchased by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Their hope was largely fuelled by the unending controversy which surrounded the final abode of the floating dock, many years after it came to Nigeria.
While it seems the floating dock became an orphan without a place to moor the giant asset, stakeholders have suggested that NIMASA should gift the dock to the Nigeria Maritime University to use as its sea-training vessel for its students.
That was before the Nigerian Navy offered its shipyard to accommodate the dock.
Apparently, it was this belief the university management took to the headquarters of NIMASA last week when it paid a courtesy visit to its Director-General, Dr Bashir Jamoh.
During the visit, Dr Jamoh explained the efforts his administration was making to deploy the floating dock for the good of the industry.
Commenting on the Modular Floating Dock, the NIMASA boss noted that experts from the manufacturers of the Floating Dock have been in Nigeria for over a month working on the nitty-gritty of deploying the dockyard.

He also informed the NMU Management that the facility will be available for students from the University for practical experience when it becomes functional.

“Experts from the firm that built the Modular Floating Dockyard have been in Nigeria for quite a while now, providing technical support and working on how to deploy the dockyard productively.

“When I gave them a deadline recently, I was given professional counsel not to rush the deployment. If we have waited this long, we might as well wait a while longer and ensure we don’t regret a deployment in a hurry.

Our students from NMU and other institutions will be welcomed for practical experience in mechanical, electrical, welding, and other areas when we begin full operation.” he said.

It was this explanation that apparently corrected the misconception that the school management had on the floating dock.
The leader of the team and the Chairman of the governing board of the university who was represented by Alhaji Bello Dakku Salihu, expressed delight at clarification about the Modular Floating Dockyard which they had perceived belonged to the school.
” With a better understanding of the history and technicalities involved in the Floating dockyard, we are satisfied with the steps NIMASA management is taking”, the representative of the board chairman of NMU posited.
Dr. Jamoh has however reiterated the Agency’s commitment to the development of the university.

 He noted that despite handing over the university to the National University Commission,(NUC) the Agency is committed to supporting NMU by completing projects it initiated in the University.

While advising the Management of NMU to seek national and international accreditations to ensure certificates from the school enjoy global recognition, Jamoh urged NMU management to seek collaboration with the World Maritime University,(WMU) amongst other specialized higher institutions of learning.

“Nigeria Maritime University can conveniently bridge the gap in terms of human capacity deficiency in the Nigerian Maritime sector.

“All you need to do as management is to seek collaboration with similar specialized institutions and ensure that NMU certificates enjoy global recognition.

“Our goal is to seek top-level manpower development from NMU instead of the current situation where institutions abroad are preferred to Nigerian based.”

The NIMASA DG noted that despite handing over the University to the National University Commission, the Agency still makes budgetary provisions for NMU to ensure the completion of projects NIMASA initiated in the university.

 “Our belief is that a well-funded NMU will greatly enhance youth employment and engagement, particularly in the Niger Delta Region of the country.

“Our financial commitment to NMU is based on the principle of capacity development.” he declared.

Dr. Jamoh also disclosed that a proposal to convert the NIMASA Science and Technical college Okoloba into a campus of the Nigerian Maritime University is under consideration.

“Our facilities at the Science and Technical College Okoloba in Delta State are grossly being underutilized. A proposal to hand over the facility to the Management of the University is under consideration.”

On his part, the Chairman of the NMU governing board who was represented by Alhaji Bello Dukku Salihu said that “the school is in the process of signing an MoU with the Ghana Maritime University commended NIMASA for constantly supporting the University.

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Danish court returns guilty verdict on Nigerian pirate —- remands him in prison

The Eyewitness reporter

A Danish court on Monday found a Nigerian guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.

However, the court declined to sentence the Nigerian, Lucky Frances, 40, despite a call from the prosecutor for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months.

As part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October last year.

The following month, it intervened in an alleged attack on a commercial vessel, killing four pirates and capturing four other suspects.

“The court emphasized that the 40-year-old Nigeria, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.

Frances, who was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash, was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana.

 Danish authorities deemed it unsafe to release him in Ghana. His leg was amputated as a result of his injuries.

Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen told Reuters.

Charges against the three other suspected Nigerian pirates were dropped in January after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them.

They were released from detention on the frigate and put to sea in a small dinghy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict, Thygesen said.

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Possession of NIN by passengers now requirement for boarding trains—Sambo

 

— as government shifts resumption of Abuja-Kaduna rail services to December
The Eyewitness reporter
As part of the multi-layer security measures put in place on the troubled Abuja-Kaduna train route, the federal government has announced that no passenger will be allowed to buy tickets for train services without a National Identification Number (NIN).
In addition, no minor will be allowed onboard unless registered by an adult with a NIN who cannot register more than four minors per trip.
Reviewing the security measures put in place ahead of the resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna train route, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said these and other security initiatives which the government has taken are necessary to forestall the reoccurrence of the sad event which occurred on March 28th, 2022 on the route when the train was derailed by insurgents who killed and kidnapped passengers.
The minister, who on Sunday at Kaduna expressed satisfaction over the level of security measures in place, also said the steps taken so far will also stop ticket racketeering which has been the order of the day among the railway staff on the route.
The Minister also expressed confidence that the measures put in place are adequate enough for the train service to commence.” There is sensitive equipment that we have deployed that I will not reveal. The other thing I can tell you is that for every journey, the train is monitored every second on the screen.

” The train driver can see from a distance if there are any threats on the tracts that will enable him to match the break long before getting to the threat, and that is why I am telling you confidently,” said the Minister.

The Minister debunked the rumour that train services will resume on Monday, adding that the newly introduced measures will delay the resumption of business along the corridor for a few more days for passengers to get acquainted with the new protocol involved in train boarding before it will resume services.

“We have not said that train services will start tomorrow. I want to be very categorical about that.

“Now, we have introduced a new system before you buy a ticket. The purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile you because that is the beginning of the security checks. So at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who are on board.

“If you don’t have a NIN you are not going to board our train, it is as simple as that. If you are a minor, an adult will register for you and an adult can only register for not more than four minors.

“Now, we want to give sufficient time for the Nigerian public to listen to these two requirements, to assimilate this new system.

“So if you go and start tomorrow, a lot of people will be disgruntled. Why didn’t they tell us that this is a new way of doing it? Why didn’t they give us adequate time to do it? So we want to give you adequate time. Definitely between 3,4,5 days, certainly not more than a week.

Sambo assured Nigerians that a smooth and secured train ride is guaranteed while noting that the trains will not travel at night for now, while there is also going to be a review in train fares.

“I can assure you that we are a compassionate government and will consider the masses in the review of the train fare.”

We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.

“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snags”.

“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company, called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.

Sambo said that although only God can guarantee maximum security, he assured Nigerians that everything is in place to guarantee a secured and smooth train ride.

“We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.

“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snacks”.

The Minister assured that Secured ID would continue to handle the e-ticketing services.

“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.

The Minister was accompanied by the Minster of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye; Minister of Water Resources Eng. Suleiman Adamu; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria; Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation Ibrahim Musa.

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As Nigerdock recants operational breaches, FG may lift suspension on the facility

The Eyewitness reporter
The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to lift the suspension order on Nigerdock following its willingness to abide by the rules and its contributions to the growth of the National economy.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, stated this recently when he visited the firm in Lagos in the company of the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye and some Management Staff of the Ministry.
Addressing the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani and other officials of the company, the Minister pointed out that the reason why they were suspended was as a result of complaints from other Terminal Operators, saying Nigerdock had operating advantages over them.
“What led to your suspension was that I received complaints from Terminal Operators, saying that you are not on the same level with them. In the sense that they pay more to the government than you do. You’re likely to attract freight at a much lower cost to the detriment of businesses”,  the Minister disclosed.
He, therefore, urged them to liaise with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work out all the operational licenses needed to enable them to operate and the latter will forward the same to the Minister of Transportation whose prerogative it is to give approvals.
Speaking further, the Minister said: “We will never do anything to undermine the things you are doing here in terms of generating wealth and jobs for Nigerians.  The only thing we are saying is that the law should be followed. We should not encourage lawlessness “.
Responding, the CEO, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani, said the firm has taken notable steps in this regard as they have been granted bonded permits by the Nigerian Customs and they are currently working with Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure all processes of getting the needed approvals are followed accordingly.
“We are seeking your support Honourable Minister and that is why we wrote a letter of appeal for your guidance and your support to see that we have followed all processes and procedures” Jarmakani stated.
Furthermore, Jarmakani informed the Minister that in the 30 years of its existence, Nigerdock has employed more Nigerians than its peers, assuring that the company will not undermine the country’s extant rules and regulations.
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