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FG urged to implement laws to spur indigenous operations in maritime sector

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Federal Government has been urged to develop an actionable plan that would leverage on the existing laws to  ensure increased participation of Indigenous operators in the maritime sector.

The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMLCA) in a letter to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which was obtained by SlyeNews, decried the low participation of Nigerians in the maritime sector, as foreigners continue to play a domineering role.

The letter, signed by President, NCMLCA, Lucky Amiwero, said Nigeria currently has some laws in place to achieve the objectives, but was faced by poor implementation.

With the establishment of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry, Amiwero said the sector should be made to promote economic growth, social inclusion, preservation and improvement of livelihoods.

He said the marine-based economy would aid the future generations by contributing to food, security, poverty eradication, employment, health, safety, equity and political stability.

According to him, Nigeria as at now has overall, coordinated maritime policy to activate the blue economy, for the creation of both wealth and generation of employment based on the three legal instruments such as Coastal and Inland shipping (Cabotage) Act 5 of 2003; The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act No. 17 of 2007 and Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act No. 2 of 2010.

Since the enactment of these three legislative instruments meant for the development of indigenous capacity in the maritime sector, he said “Nigeria is yet to find its feet due to the absence of developmental strategy as contained in various Acts, which is to activate and trigger the activities of indigenous operators and generate employment.”

He said the Federal Government should ensure urgent implementation of the three Acts to activate and trigger the blue economy in creating sustainable economic growth, social integration and livelihood.

“Nigeria as a maritime nation needs to speedily develop, organizational architecture and responsibility to ensure the continuous growth of the economy in an increasing, dangerous and competitive environment,” he added.

On the waiver clause in Section 9,10,11,12 and 13 of the Cabotage Act which allows the minister to issue waiver on every component of the (Cabotage) regime, he said this reduces the participation of the indigenous operators in the (Cabotage) activities and allow the continuous  domination of foreign operators in both our waterborne commerce and (cabotage) regime.

According to him, the continuous existence of the waiver clause in the Act, will rob the nation of capital flight of huge transfers of foreign exchange out of the country due to foreign dominant power.

He said this will also lead to the continued dominance of freight components by foreign operators.

The waiver, according to him, would also lead to: lack of employment of Nigerian operators due to non participation of indigenous operators; lack of ownership of maritime Infrastructure by indigenous operators as a result of non- operation; and lack of skill as a result of the continuous use of the foreign operators.

Amiwero further stated that the National carriers status should be developed and facilitated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for the expansion of fleets, in the carriage of shared cargo based on the Act.

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Lagos to begin demolition of Oshodi market extensions July 30

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The Lagos State Government is set to begin the demolition of Oshodi Market by July 30.

This was disclosed by the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Gbolahan Oki, on Monday.

He said, “The Lagos State Building Control Agency, in conjunction with the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Council Authority, has embarked on the sensitisation of property owners, residents, shop owners, and market women and men on the removal of illegal structures, extensions built on road setbacks, shops, buildings, and public school premises around the Oshodi-Isolo LCDA.”

Oki noted that the expiration period before demolition compensation is July 30.

He said, “The expiration period that we are looking at is July 30, and the action we are taking is to remove all the attachments.

“As you can see, some buildings are right on the road, and it is because of these attachments. Some believe that the attachment is part of the building.”

The general manager asserted that change was the simplest thing but very difficult to achieve.

He added, “If we want change, it is going to affect us, and we are going to have that change at all costs.

“All these extensions are on work, which should not be.

“People selling on the road is unnecessary, and that is what we are trying to put in place; it is not a tribal issue. We must all comply with the rules and regulations.”

Oki urged traders without building plan approval to leverage the 90-day amnesty period given by the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu.

“The reason we are here is to enforce; the directive of the governor is very clear; there is no attachment.

“Nothing should disrupt the flow of movement, which is very important, and that we stand on.”

The Executive Chairman, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Kehinde Oloyede, said in every market, accessibility was essential.

He said, “For market women to maximise whatever they are selling, they need access to the road.

“The state government believes that good access to roads would better help them in the performance of their duty, particularly agencies like the fire service.”

Speaking on the local government partnership with LASBCA, Oloyede asserted that the state government had given the traders grace until after the festive period.

He added, “The local government is partnering with LASBCA to the end that we have been given grace that after the festive sale ends in July, the state will intervene.

“However, before then, the local government would see to it that most of these extensions and attachments were removed.

“Those that fail to comply, then the Lagos State Government will take charge and do what they deem fit.”

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Lagos Govt returns 11,957 children to school under project zero initiative, establishes nine new schools

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By Sodiq Adelakun

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced that his administration’s Project Zero initiative has successfully helped 11,957 out-of-school children return to their studies.

This achievement was revealed on Monday during the Children’s Day celebration parade and rally held at Police College, Ikeja, where the Governor was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.

In addition to the success of Project Zero, the Governor highlighted other efforts made to improve children’s access to education. These include the establishment of nine new schools in busy and remote areas, which now cater to 4,588 students, comprising 2,310 girls and 2,278 boys.

“We have also improved many existing schools, completing over 1,500 projects that include building, renovating, and providing new furniture,” he said.

The governor said public schools are now secured with fences, CCTV cameras, and other safety measures, noting that it was working closely with security agencies to keep students safe.

“For our older students, we have hired over 2,000 new teachers in subjects like STEM, History, Yoruba, French, and Geography since May 2023,” he said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the new Digital Situation Room had also been established to monitor school performance and ensure smooth operation.

The governor charged children to continue to dream big, strive for goals and surpass imagination, assuring them that his administration would continue to advocate the mantra, “No Child Is Left Behind”.

He stressed that the state government was fully committed to providing the children with the environment, skills, opportunities and security to achieve their dreams.

The governor explained that the yearly celebration rededicated the government’s responsibilities to the children by preparing them for the challenges of the future in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive world.

He stressed that the 2024 theme, “Advocate for Children: Policies & Actions that Protect and Support Children’s Well-being,” encouraged all to speak up, take action, and always stay safe, happy, and thriving.

Earlier, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, urged students to maintain excellence in both their academic and co-curricular pursuits, emphasising that they represent the future of the state and nation.

Mr. Alli-Balogun praised the Sanwo-Olu administration for its dedication to the education sector and acknowledged the crucial role teachers play in guiding and mentoring the students.

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Abiodun to commission Hospital road in Ogijo

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The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun is set to commission the newly completed Hospital Road in Ogijo.

The event is scheduled for today, May 28, 2024, at 2:00 PM.

In an official invitation, Hon. Babatunde Olaotan, HBO, Special Adviser Government House and General Services, extended the invitation on behalf of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

This commissioning marks a significant milestone in the state’s infrastructure development, reflecting the governor’s commitment to improving road networks and enhancing the quality of life for Ogun State residents.

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