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$2.7b Ibom Seaport take-off April-FG

By News desk

The $2.5 billion Ibom Deep Seaport, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project would commence operation by April 2019, to decongest concentration on Apapa ports.

According to the Federal Government, Ibom deep seaport was designed to change the landscape of infrastructure in the country.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Imeh Okon, disclosed the timeline for the project in Uyo on Friday at a Stakeholders Retreat on PPP.

“It will have solutions to traffic congestion in Lagos port because those goods that normally go to Lagos will come here.’’

“I can assure you before April, the contract for Ibom Deep Seaport will be signed and the approved consortium will start immediately,” she added.

Okon said that the country has spent N2.7 trillion on infrastructure development in the last three years.

She hinted that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has injected N100 billion into rail projects.

“What we have done as a government is to go back to the 25-year Master Plan on the rail sector. All what you are seeing right now is in terms of rail infrastructure as a result of the Master plan that was on ground.”

She said that the essence of the retreat was to bring stakeholders together to deliberate and develop on policies that would be suitable for the country.

She said that the Federal Government was committed to the development of infrastructure in the country, adding that infrastructural development would enhance growth.

The Presidential Aide, however, said that revenue generation was a major challenge since the country depended on oil for revenue and the price of oil was not stable in the international market.

“The challenge we have seen is revenue; because we are largely dependent on oil to generate revenue and the price of oil has affected government spending.

“So, we are going to partner with the private sector to develop most of our priority infrastructure projects.”

Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah, noted that infrastructure deficit was the major challenge to the nation’s development.

According to him, increase in infrastructure will boost prosperity, growth and peace in the country.

“The President is committed to developing infrastructure, without infrastructure, we cannot have inclusive growth and development.

“The stakeholders conference is to re-define our strategies and create investment to develop infrastructure across all parts of Nigeria,” Izuwah added.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Gabriel Aduda, said that the retreat was organised to discuss infrastructure improvement delivery framework in Nigeria.

Aduda added that the retreat was also put together to examine the legal and operational framework for infrastructure development in the country.

Stakeholders’ demand conversion of Nigerian military barracks to truck terminal

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Worried by the persistent level of gridlock within Apapa and Tin Can ports, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), has demanded that Federal Government converts Signal Barrack in Mile 2, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government, to truck terminal.

They added that the conversion would reduce the stress their members were often subjected to while trying to access the ports in Lagos State.

Speaking on behalf of the association, Remi Ogungbemi, the President, lamented that the infrastructure at the ports cannot accommodate the volume of trucks aiming to access it.

Ogungbemi stressed that deploying hundreds of military personnels to the axis cannot solve the gridlock that had constantly crippled commercial activities within the axis, saying, what we see is the issue that would often arise.

“I remember that 30 year ago, when one visit Apapa, he cannot find any truck on the road. There were designated places where these trucks park. But today, these places have been converted to other uses. We want sanity and orderliness.

“We are not saying that the Federal Government should provide space for all trucks to park but for those that are visiting Apapa, we can provide terminals for them.

“For instance, in Mile 2, there are vast lands available within that axis that can accommodate minimum of 1,000 trucks. We suggest that Government acquire suck property and convert it to terminal for the trucks. And they will only come out when their services are needed.

“Thank God, we are not fighting any war. And in Lagos we have military Barracks everywhere. I will advise that they are converted to truck terminals. For instance the Signal Barrack in Mile 2 can be converted for this purpose. Lets remove some of these barracks,” he added.

Chinese imports from Africa hit global high in 2018

By News Desk,

Trade import and export volumes between China and countries from Africa reached 116 billion dollars in the first seven months of 2018 – up 18.7 per cent year-on-year.

China’s exports to Africa were worth 59.36 billion dollars – an increase of 8.8 percent compared to last year – while its import volume rose 31.3 per cent to stand at 56.81billion dollars.

The figures were announced by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on its website.

China’s imports from Africa hit a global high over the seven-month period, while the trade volume between the two sides was second only to the figure recorded between China and Latin America, said the MOC.

China has continuously called for the strengthening of bilateral ties with African countries.

According to data from the Department of African Affairs at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China-Africa trade has grown from a mere 765 million to 170 billion dollars over the past four decades – a 200-fold increase.

China has also maintained its position as Africa’s largest trading partner for eight consecutive years.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) -one of China’s largest diplomatic events of the year – will be held in Beijing on September 3 and 4.

During the meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to introduce the new facets of China’s cooperation with Africa, while leaders from both sides will work together to find new cooperation opportunities under the Belt and Road framework.

Seven petroleum ships, 28 other to start arriving Tincan ports

By NewsDesk,

At least, no fewer than thirty five ships have been confirmed by Nigerian Ports Authority to be conveying petroleum products, food and other goods, readily to arrive at Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, from Monday.

As gathered, seven of the 35 ships would sail in with petrol while other 28 ships were carrying diplomatic goods, buckwheat, fertiliser, base oil, frozen fish, salt and empty containers.

According to NPA, eight of the ships have already arrived at the ports waiting to berth with bulk fertiliser, container and petrol.

11 petroleum ships, 24 others arriving Lagos port

By NewsDesk,

At least, motorist could sleep with two eyes closed and put on no worry on fuel for next could of weeks with no fewer than thirty-five ships carrying petroleum products, food items and other goods, expected to start arriving at Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos from Thursday.

The development was came out from Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)publication released on Thursday in Lagos, which hinted that a total of 11 of the expected 35 ships will sail in with petrol.

In same publication, the NPA disclosed that the remaining 24 ships contained bulk wheat, bulk sugar, bulk, frozen fish, base oil, bulk gypsum, steel products, diesel, empty containers, bulk fertiliser, general cargo and containers loaded with goods.

The document indicated that 18 ships had arrived at the ports waiting to berth with bulk fertiliser, ethanol and petrol.

Six petroleum vessels arrive Lagos port

By NewsDesk,

At least, six ships laden with various products, including petrol have arrived Lagos ports waiting to berth, as disclosed by Nigerian Port Authority disclosed in its daily “Shipping Position’’ made available.

As learnt on Tuesday in Lagos, five of the vessels are waiting to berth with petrol.

It said that one more ship would berth with bulk fertiliser.

According to the report, 31 other ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods are expected at Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports between March 27 and April 5.

“The expected ships are carrying buck wheat, containers, steel products, container, frozen fish, butane, bulk sugar, buck wheat, empty container, butane, ethanol, bulk fertiliser, general cargo and petrol.’’

Nine petroleum ships, others awaiting berthing order in Lagos

By NewsDesk,

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has disclosed that there were eleven ships laden with various products, including petrol, waiting  at the Lagos ports to berth,

Through its daily bulletin on shipping position on Tuesday, the autority confirmed that nine of the vessels, loaded with petroleum products, were already waiting to berth and other ships having bulk fertiliser and containers, would also berth at the ports.

According to NPA, 31 other ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods are expected at Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports between March 6 and March 24.

“The expected ships are carrying containers, steel products, containers, bulk sugar, empty container, crude palmolein, bulk gypsum, bulk fertiliser, diesel and petrol,’’ NPA said.

NUC approves maritime university undergraduate degree programs accreditation

By NewsDesk,

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta state as eligible insititution that can run undergraduate degree programmes, the approval of which would take effect from 2017/2018 academic session.

As learnt, the accreditation of the instituion was in line with government commitment to develop Niger Delta region.

The Senior Special Assistant to Vice President, Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, explained approval underscored government’s commitment to develop Niger Delta in line with the administration’s new vision to develop the region.

Speaking recently on the approval, Akande said that NUC approved that academic activities begin in three faculties, Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management.

He stated that Faculty of Transport has four departments of Nautical Science, Transport Logistics Management, Marine Economics and Finance, and Port Management and that of Engineering has five departments, Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum and Gas Engineering.

He added that faculty of Environmental Management has four departments: Environmental Management and Pollution, Meteorology and Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Marine Geology.

He reiterated that the maritime university would be extended all privileges accorded to other Federal Universities and that the institution which came into operation in 2017 invited job applications for academic staff with advert placement in national dailies.

The spokesperson noted that President Muhammadu Buhari also approved an increase in the take-off grant to the University from the N2 billion earlier announced to N5 billion, and that the grant was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November, 2017.

He added that another N1billion was approved by the President to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University.

“Under the New Vision for the Niger Delta, which followed the President’s meeting with leaders of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) in Nov. 2016, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was delegated to undertake a tour of the oil producing communities.

“”The take-off of the Maritime University was one of the major requests tabled before the Federal Government,’’ Akande said.

Legislators, Heads of State to discuss Lake Chad’s extinction at Global Forum

By Adewunmi Abodunrin,

In a bid to proffer solutions on saving the drying Lake Chad, the presidency, in conjunction with other Heads of States and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission is planning to have a International Conference scheduled to hold from 26th to 28th February, 2018 in Abuja.

Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this on Thursday, through a statement made available by the Director for Information and Public Relations Unit, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Margaret Umoh when the United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Adamu noted that the objective of the conference is to find lasting solutions in recharging the drying up of the basin, while stressing that in the next 50 to 100 years from hydrological perspective, the lives of the people of that region who depend on the lake as their source of livelihood would be in danger as the Lake faces extinction.

The Minister proposes for cheaper and workable solutions to saving the Lake from extinction. According to him, the MoU signed between the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the POWERCHINA International Group Limited in April 2016 to save Lake Chad from drying up, can be actualized by the transfer of water from the Congo Basin to Lake Chad Basin.

Adamu said that study done by POWERCHINA, shows that it is technically feasible to transfer water from river Congo to Lake Chad thereby increasing the level of the Lake. This, according to him would halt the receding of the Lake and the drying of the north basin due to climate change.

Speaking further, he called for more workable solutions that may be cheaper than the Inter-basin water transfer.

On cooperation between Nigeria and the UN on the re-integration of the people of the North East ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency, the Minister said part of the ministry’s efforts in cushioning the effects of the insurgency in that region under this present administration in the past two years has been by budgeting about 1 billion naira annually to water supply and sanitation facilities for the IDPs nationwide

The Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina Mohammed had said that the purpose of the high-level mission which was an informal consultation on political, human rights, humanitarian and development issues will help scale up UN presence in the North East in particular and Nigeria in general.

She said UN is more committed in the re-integration process on-going in the North East as well as in the planned Conference of Saving Lake Chad that is scheduled for February, 2018. She charged Heads of States and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to consider passing the resolutions of the Conference in a communiqué to the African Union (AU) for further action.

“Saving the Lake Chad is a sustainable development issue and the UN is ever ready in addressing such an issue. All hands must be on deck in saving the Lake from extinction. We need to know how it can work and not how it cannot work,” Amina said.

NIMASA sets for acquiring vessels, maritime safety, security strategy

By Abdulwaheed Usamah,

Acquiring strategic maritime safety and security assets,including vessels have been considered by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as it next line of action just as it was recently approval by Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Aside, it also announced establishment of a Command and Control Centre as part of the maritime security strategic initiative.

Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, stated the agency was set to turn around maritime and that four components of the initiative were situational awareness, response capability, law enforcement and local partnerships and regional cooperation; which are the fulcrum upon which tackling maritime crime will be built on.

Ina statement released on Saturday in Lagos by the Head, Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi, the ageny’s boss said that the move is also in line with the total spectrum of maritime security strategy and that the implementation of NIMASA’s maritime strategy, in collaboration with the agency’s partners, was a panacea to piracy and maritime crime within Nigerian territorial waters.

He gave an assurance that NIMASA would continue to collaborate with the military, especially the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force, among other partners, to make Nigerian waterways safe and secure.

“We are not unmindful of the peculiar environment of Niger Delta which poses its own challenge in tackling maritime crime, especially kidnapping of crew and illegal bunkering that leads to pollution.

“We will continue to work with the Nigerian Navy and regional organisations to strengthen our regional approach to tackling maritime crime,” he said.

The director-general said that NIMASA would not relax in its quest to see the early passage of the Anti-Piracy Bill, the draft of which the Federal Executive Council recently approved for legislative action.

Peterside explained that eradicating maritime crime and piracy would be a priority for the agency and its partners in 2018.

He said that the agency focused on working with all relevant stakeholders, using its laid-out strategy to phase out maritime crime in Nigeria’s domain.