The Federal Government on Friday launched two 80-ton Pull tug boats (vessels) at the Lagos ports acquired by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
NPA Managing Director/CEO, Mr Mohammed Bello Koko, said the launch was driven by the need to provide efficient domestic cargo needs, win back transit cargo hitherto lost to neighbours and cater for the maritime requirements of landlocked neighbours.
According to him, “The state-of-the-art vessels, a three-pronged strategy of people technology, infrastructure and equipment, are part of the fulfillment of the agency’s service charter to provide relevant marine crafts to support port security, patrol, surveillance and deliver excellent marine services especially with the commencement of operations of Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport, the Lekki Deep Seaport.
Bello Koko spoke at the launch of the newly acquired Bollard Pull Tug Boats at the Lagos ports by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdelene Ajani.
“I am greatly delighted and honored to welcome you to this occasion, which is a demonstration of this administration’s resolve to position the Nigerian Ports Authority to respond squarely to the contemporary demands of trade facilitation.
“Imbued by our corporate aspiration of attaining hub status by more efficiently servicing domestic cargo needs, winning back transit cargo hitherto lost to our maritime neighbours and positioning to cater to the maritime requirements of our landlocked neighbours, we have deployed a three-pronged strategy driven by people technology, infrastructure and equipment such as the state-of-the-art vessels we are gathered here to commission today.
“This occasion is part of the fulfillment of our service charter to provide relevant marine crafts to support port security, patrol, surveillance and most importantly deliver excellent marine services especially with the commencement of operations of Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport, the Lekki Deep Seaport.
“Our determination to continuously enhance our operational efficiencies accounts for the purchase of these new 80 Ton Bollard Pull Tugboats christened M.T MAIKOKO and M.T DA-OPUKURO to complement our existing fleet of tugs and recently commissioned Security Patrol Boats (SPBs) and Pilot Cutters deployed to enhance channel security across all our locations.’’
On the tugboats, Bello-Koko explained:“These neoteric 80ton tugboats are the first of the 2813 Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) Model in Africa constructed by the world’s leading ship builders (Damen) and they possess exceptional Seakeeping Behavior, Superb Manoeuvrability of 360° using the Azimuth Thrusters, fire-fighting capability and Outstanding Towing Characteristics which will enhance the maneuvering of large capacity vessels of 300 Metres LOA and above presently calling at our Ports.
“In addition to positively affecting the turnaround time of large vessels, their deployment will enable stakeholders leverage the concomitant benefits of economies of scale, especially cost savings.’’
The NPA boss pointed out that the deployment of the Lekki Deep Seaport as launch pad for transshipment remains unwavering, adding that the inauguration of the tug boats is an attestation to the NPA management’s doggedness and commitment to the noble cause.
He assured consignees, concessionaires and other stakeholders of continuous improvement in service delivery from the NPA under his leadership.
Inaugurating the two newly-acquired state-of-the-art marine crafts, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Ajani, said the acquisition of the 2813 model of Damen’s ASD neoteric 80 Tons Bollard Pull Tugboats, the first of its kind in Africa, had accentuated the determination of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to boost port operational efficiency.
“My joy derives from the fact that the acquisition of these equipment, amongst many others that are in the works, signposts Nigeria’s seriousness to optimize the opportunities inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)Agreement to which we are signatory.
“Maximizing the comparative advantages that our maritime assets as a littoral nation confers rests heavily on how much we are able to deepen our efficiencies through the deployment of relevant technology and equipment.
“I particularly want to commend the NPA Management team for delivering on this project in good time to support the optimization of the Lekki Deep Seaport. This is the kind of efficiency that the Ministry supports its agencies to entrench in the polity and I am happy that we are making progress,’’ he said.
Ajani pledged the support of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to the audacious efforts of the NPA, agencies and parastatals of government towards inter-agency collaborations in the attainment of the overarching goal of making Nigeria a global reference point of excellence in trade facilitation.
He congratulated the NPA CEO, the management and stakeholders for the remarkable feat, expressing the hope of greater accomplishments in the maritime industry.
LP celebrates victory of Imo guber Candidate, Achonu, Party chair, Abure at Supreme Court
***says its end of the road for Apapa group
The Labour Party (LP) on Thursday rolled out the drums to celebrate the affirmation of its gubernatorial candidate for Imo State, Athan Achonu and the confirmation of Julius Abure as the party’s national chairman
The Supreme Court had dismissed an appeal brought before it by one Basil Maduka against the Labour Party over the rightful candidate of the party in the Imo state governorship election on the ground of locus standi.
A panel of five justices led by Iyang Okoro also cautioned the Appellant for abusing court process and wasting the time of the courts all through from the lower courts.
Two other respondents in the matter were Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and the Lamidi Apapa led candidate, Joseph Ukaegbu, alias Ikenga, whose request to seek for a consequential order was also rejected by the Supreme Court.
National Publicity Secretary of the party Obiora Ifoh in a statement said with the judgement by the highest court in Nigeria, the Lamidi Apapa’s plot to hijack the affairs of the Labour Party including the powers to nominate candidates has finally come to an end.
Speaking to the media shortly after the judgment, the counsel to the Labour Party, Barrister Okwudili Anozie, said, “Today at the Supreme Court, the antics of Basil Maduka and his accomplice Joseph Ukaegbu, alias Ikenga, was put to an end as they met their Waterloo at the Apex Court.
“Today was a culmination of their deceit and lies to Imolites spanning from their misrepresentation of the true position of the judgments of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
“Upon the exposure and collapse of their lies before the Supreme Court today, Basil’s Counsel, with tails in between his legs, immediately withdrew his subterfuge appeal that was aimed at giving credence to Ukaegbu’s sham, non-existent primaries.
“The Supreme Court didn’t entertain Ukaegbu’s counsel’s ignorant attempt to seek for a consequential order, which even a first year student of law knows cannot be sought by a Respondent especially in this case where the appeal was dismissed.
“Indeed, today has been a day of reckoning for evil doers whose sole plan was to stop the aspiration of Imolites in their determination to Take Imo Back through Senator Athan Nneji Achonu.”
Alleged Tinubu records saga: Group alerts on plot to undermine discovery case
The United Nigeria Group (TUNG) has claimed that President Bola Tinubu has allegedly deployed lobbyists to cause unwarranted delays in the judgment relating to the Chicago State University saga over his certificate the case of which is currently going on in the United States.
The group, in a press statement signed by its National Coordinator Dr Bright Emenena, said that the alert followed the intelligence of a meeting between the President and his cronies in Paris, the French capital.
The statement reads: “Bola Tinubu and a well-known Lebanese merchant based in France met in Paris and recruited a powerful Jewish American lawyer and a known political lobbyist in Washington DC as a consultant to lobby the appeal judge to delay the judgment scheduled to be delivered either this Friday or Monday next week or to their favour.
“This meeting and approval was given last night in Paris at 10 pm Paris time.
“The payments are millions of dollars in cash and with crude oil as bonus.”
It will be recalled that President Tinubu left the United Nations General Assembly session in New York last weekend, in the middle of a scandal arising from the Illinois Magistrate court ordering the Chicago State University to cause a full discovery of his academic records at the university.
It will also be recalled that President Tinubu had caused an emergency appeal to the court order, with his lawyers in the United States, filing their appeal on Monday.
The Chicago court hearing the case is billed to receive the filling of Atiku’s lawyers latest on Wednesday and judgement to be expected in a few days after.
Anti-rape body applauds judge for Life sentence of pharmacist over Sodomy
***Plans to honour Justice Akanbi-Yusuf
A foremost campaigner against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF) has commended Justice Asmau Akanbi-Yusuf of the Abuja High Court for her verdict in the case brought against a pharmacist, Dr. Abubakar Mustapha Danraka for sodomising a – twelve year old boy.
Danraka was a former Chief Pharmacist of the National Hospital, Abuja, and Senior Special Adviser (Technical) to the Director of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development.
Delivering her judgment on September 18, 2023, Justice Akanbi-Yusuf found Dr. Danraka guilty of rape (sodomy) of the minor after luring him to his apartment and spiking his drink. He was charged and tried under Section 1 of the VAPP Act of 2015.
Reacting to the verdict, the Executive Director of Men Against Rape Foundation (MARF), Lemmy Ughegbe described the judgment of the court as a giant step in ridding the society of pedophiles and all sorts of sexual perverts.
In an electronic statement released by MARF and signed by the Executive Director, Ughegbe, he commended the judge “for being courageous, progressive and clear minded about the gravity of the crime committed against the innocent minor and the society.”
“This judgment demonstrates the zero tolerance of Justice Akanbi-Yusuf for rape, sodomy and sundry acts of sexual perversion. While we commend her for boosting our efforts to create safe spaces for our children and women by delivering a verdict that will serve as a deterrent to other sex predators, we call on other judges to emulate her proactive disposition towards eliminating sex crimes or putting away perpetrators for life”, Ughegbe stated.
“Our society is in direct straits of judges like Justice Akanbi-Yusuf and we must specially salute her for her judgment, which has and will go a long way in helping to save the society and our children from predators.
The Executive Director of MARF said the organisation has already resolved to present a special recognition award to Justice Akanbi-Yusuf for her landmark judgement, which will deter perpetrators and in turn make the society safer for children.
“This special award will not only serve as recognition of her progressive disposition to protecting children, it will also send a message to other judges that their work is being keenly observed and will get the needed recognition at the appropriate time”, he added.
Meanwhile, Ughegbe has also commended the dynamic and tireless leadership of the Director General of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi.
Her doggedness in leading the NAPTIP team has culminated in prosecuting the instant case successfully.
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