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NSC Executive Secretary visits Port Harcourt, Onne Ports

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…Assures stakeholders of constant engagements

By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

The Executive Secretary (ES) of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barr Pius Akutah has paid a 2-day working visit to Port Harcourt and Onne Ports, in what he called a familiarisation tour.

The tour basically afforded the ES the opportunity to inspect the facilities of BUA Ports and Terminal at Rivers (Port Harcourt) and Onne Ports.

The General Manager of BUA Ports and Terminal, Alh Mohammed Labo conducted the Executive Secretary round its facilities at Port Harcourt Port.

Fielding questions from journalists shortly after the inspection, the ES said he was satisfied with what he saw.

According to him, the essence of his visit was to have an on-the-spot assessment of the facilities of the Terminal Operators.

 He emphasised that as the Economic Regulator of the ports, NSC cannot sit down in its comfort zone and assume that all is well at the ports.

“As an Economic Regulator of the ports and having assumed duties barely six months ago as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, there is a need to constantly visit the ports, with a view to engaging the stakeholders in the subsector.

“The whole idea is to facilitate trade, in line with Mr President’s vision on ‘Ease of Doing Business,’ to grow the economy,” the Executive Secretary said.

The visit also took the ES to Onne Port, where he inspected the facilities of the Onne Multi-purpose Terminal (OMT) and the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT).

The Commercial Manager, Mr Innocent Ogbuji and the Operations Manager of WACT took the ES and his entourage round their facilities. The OMT Management also did the same.

They had earlier pinpointed some of their challenges, which include lack of power from the national grid, shallow berths and channels for possible expansion and poor state of the East-West Road, among others.

Addressing journalists after the inspection, Barr Akutah said he was equally pleased with the equipment put on ground by both terminal operators.

He said his administration will be driven by continuous engagement with stakeholders, pointing out that having inspected the facilities of the Port Terminals, he will now take his findings back to the Hon Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for his prompt attention.

He assured the people that all the reservations expressed by the stakeholders at the interactive meeting on Wednesday in Port Harcourt will be addressed.

The stakeholders meeting recorded attendance from several industry players, which included different shippers associations from the Eastern Zone, comprising Delta, Calabar, Bayelsa, and Rivers.

The landlord of the ports, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANALCA), Freight Forwarders, Nigerian Police, NIMASA, among others were all in the all-important stakeholders meeting at Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.

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PSC: Arase’s removal unwarranted – PANDEF

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The Pan-Niger Delta Forum has condemned the removal of the former Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Solomon Arase, describing it as “unwarranted, and an unnecessary provocation”, which reflects negatively on the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

President Tinubu had last Tuesday appointed retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Hashimu Argungu, as the new Chairman of the Police Service Commission, ending Arase’s tenure.

Arase was appointed in January 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari. https://www.google.com/amp/s/punchng.com/tinubu-removes-arase-as-psc-chair-appoints-argungu/%3famp

PANDEF said Arase’s removal portrayed the Tinubu-led administration as one which did not regard competence and integrity but sacrificed merit on the altar of favouritism.

This was contained in a statement signed by the National Chairman of PANDEF, Senator Emmanuel Essien, on Sunday, who asked the President to tell Nigerians what had warranted Arase’s dismissal, noting the reforms the former PSC Chairman had instituted during his tenure.

The statement partly reads “We, hereby, express profound disappointment, and denounce the unjust manner in which Dr. Solomon Arase, a former Inspector General of Police, was relieved of his duties as Chairman of the Police Service Commission by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday, 10th June 2024.

“PANDEF views Arase’s removal as unwarranted, and an unnecessary provocation that reflects negatively on Tinubu’s administration, indicating a lack of regard for the nation’s laws that Mr. President swore to uphold and protect.

“This singular act further portrays this administration as one that does not prioritise competence, integrity, and efficiency; sacrificing merit on the altar of favouritism. The pivotal question remains, “What warranted Solomon Arase’s removal from office by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu?”

PANDEF urged “Tinubu to tell Nigerians, and the world, at large, the reason or reasons for Arase’s removal. We stand against injustice, oppression, and likewise, misconduct.

“The question arises as to why any serious government would dismiss a personality like Solomon Arase, who had initiated positive reforms and improvements at the Commission, and given his meritorious track record as a diligent police officer, who rose through the ranks to become the 18th Inspector General of Police of the Nigeria Police Force and retired with dignity.”

Essien stated that the President had contravened the law under Section 3, subsection (1)a of the Police Service Commission Act 2002, subject to the provisions of Section 4 of the Act, which provided for a four-year term for the PSC Chair, noting that past Presidents had appointed former Chairmen for the stipulated four-year

Essien said, “According to Section 3, subsection (1)a of the Police Service Commission Act 2002, subject to the provisions of Section 4 of the Act, a member of the Commission, other than ex-officio members, shall each hold office for a term of four years and no more.

“It is important to recall that when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, he retained Sir Mike Okiro as Chairman of the Police Service Commission until the end of Okiro’s tenure, appointing Musiliu Smith, also a former IGP, in May 2018 to succeed Okiro. Sir Mike Okiro, the 13th Inspector General of Police from 2007 to 2009, was appointed as Chairman of the Police Service Commission in May 2013 by Buhari’s predecessor, former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

PANDEF also alleged marginalization of its people by the Tinubu administration, adding that political considerations should not be entertained in appointing a chairman for the PSC.

They cautioned the President against continued disregard for the Constitution as it sent the wrong message to citizens and posed a threat to Nigeria’s stability.

Essien said, “It is pertinent to implore that political considerations mustn’t be entertained in appointments to sensitive institutions such as the Police Service Commission.

“Mr President should likewise note that the continued disregard for the constitution and the rule of law by the government not only mirrors negatively on law enforcement officers, the military, and political leaders but also sends a dangerous message to citizens, posing a threat to Nigeria’s stability.”

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Direct AGF to release Nnamdi Kanu, Clark tells Tinubu

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The leader of the Ijaw nation, Edwin Clark, has called on President Bola Tinubu, to direct the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, to file a nolle prosequi for the release of the leader of the Independent People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

Clark urged Tinubu to ask the Attorney General of the Federation to file a nolle prosequi to release the detained IPOB leader, noting that his (Kanu’s) freedom on political grounds was long overdue.

This was contained in a second letter to the President on Sunday, following a first in which the elder statesman urged the President not to tow the path of his predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari, who marginalised and subjugated the Igbos, by exempting them from certain appointments

“The release of Nnamdi Kanu by Mr President on political grounds is overdue as earlier explained. Mr President should direct the Attorney General to enter a nolle prosequi to free Nnamdi Kanu who has shown his intention to work with the Federal Government, to bring peace and stability in the South-East and to Nigerians as a whole, as it has been recently done in similar cases of treasonable felony as in the case of Miyetti Allah president, Abdullahi Bello Bodejo of Nasarawa state.”, he said.

The PUNCH however reports that Kanu was denied bail in April by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, who granted an accelerated hearing instead. https://punchng.com/breaking-court-denies-nnamdi-kanu-bail/

In his letter, Clark said the move would complete the reconciliation of Nigeria and end the sit-at-home order in the Southeast.

He said the IPOB had “fashioned a place for itself” in the hearts and minds of young people, because of the short-changing of Igbos from the South East over the years while urging the use of the “carrot and stick approach”, rather than military force, in addressing the agitations in the region.

“Apart from demanding the restructuring of Nigeria, the political freedom of Nnamdi Kanu will no doubt complete the reconciliation of Nigeria and bring an end to the needless Monday sit-at-home order, which has disturbed businesses and civil activities in the South-East.

“The short-changing of the Igbos of the South East over the years is the reason why IPOB has fashioned a place for itself in the hearts and minds of the young people in the Southeast with its demand for self-determination. I have physically seen these IPOB boys in action, at the Ekwueme Square in Awka, Anambra State, when I attended a meeting of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum there.

“None of these youths witnessed the civil war and are, definitely, not abreast with the history of the war and its full ramifications. I advise, therefore, that rather than the use of military force which has already proved counter-productive, they should be carefully treated with the “carrot and stick approach”, in the interest of the peace, stability, and progress of Nigeria as a whole and the Southeast zone in particular.”

Clark further emphasised the importance of reintegrating the Igbos into the mainstream of Nigeria, in which their region would be equal with other regions in the country, noting that anything short of that would not be in the interest of the country.

“Let me re-emphasize the importance and urgency of reintegrating the Igbos into the mainstream of Nigeria where their region will be equal with other regions in all ramifications, meaning that they should be fully and unconditionally united or be admitted into the Union of Nigeria as it was before the civil war.

“Anything short of that is not in the interest of a united Nigeria and there may be no end to the insecurity in Nigeria.”

He also called for the restructuring of Nigeria, of which he said the President had also been a principal advocate before becoming Senator and the Governor of Lagos state, adding that restructuring the country “will be one of your most enduring legacies when you leave office”.

“Mr President you have always been the principal advocate of restructuring even before you became Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Governor of Lagos State.

“During your time, you passionately advocated for a Sovereign National Conference, which was even more inclusive than the current restructuring we are demanding, in Nigeria. Undoubtedly, this pursuit of restructuring will be one of your most enduring legacies when you leave office,” he added.

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Abiodun harps on peaceful co-existence at Eid-el Kabir celebration

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Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Sunday appealed to Nigerians to promote peaceful co-existence and pray for the country’s leaders.

The governor made the appeal in a message during Eid-el Kabir celebration at Akeja Praying Ground in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government  Area of Ogun.

His message was delivered by his Deputy, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele.

Abiodun said that peace and unity were important for any meaningful development.

He added that prayers for Nigeria’s leaders would help them to do better.

Abiodun said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration had formulated programmes and policies to tackle the country’schallenges.

He appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the administration as it continued to strive to tackle the challenges.

The governor called on Muslims to show love and kindness in the spirit of Eid-el Kabir.

The Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, told the Muslim faithful that the celebration was in remembrance of the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim when God asked him to sacrifice his son.

He urged the faithful to always adhere to God’s instructions.

The royal father urged parents to train their children well to reduce vices.

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