• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Nigerian Dredging & Inter-Modal Transport Digest

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Harris Dredging and 3 others win N3.88b Lagos ferry routes dredging contracts

Harris Dredging and Marine Services has won a N3b contract channelisaton contract for the Lagos State Government. This is part of contracts the state government awarded to four firms for dredging and channelisation of ferry routes. Total sum of the project is N3.881 billion.

The dredging locations include the Tolu/Ajegunle-Tin Can Waterfront and the Port Novo Creek to the Liverpool Bridge Basin, which was awarded to Razz International and FBN Nigeria Limited, at a cost of N482 million.

Another location is the “approaching sweeping dredging” between Mile 2 to Marina, which was awarded to Messrs Numbers Nigeria Limited at a cost of N148 million, while the ferry route from Ikorodu to Osborne via Bayeku Badore to Osborne en-route Okeira Nla, Chevron Waterfront and Lekki and Oke-Afa to Mile 2 corridors were awarded to Harris Dredging Limited at a cost of N3 billion.

The pre and post-dredging, hydrographic surveys and environmental impact assessment of these ferry corridors are to be carried out at a total cost of N201 million. This is to ensure that proper procedure is adopted for the dredging activities embarked upon.

State Commissioner for Transportation, Prof. Bamidele Badejo, said it was time to put in place an efficient waterways transportation system as part of alternatives to over dependence on road transportation.

He said Lagos was a littoral settlement with abundance of potentials for water transportation and that the state government has started plans to establish the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LSWA), which will be charged with the responsibility of creating an enabling environment for water transportation to thrive. (Nigerian Guardian)

Inland waterways: NIWA pushes Lagos-Abuja jaw-jaw

The National Inland Waterways Authority has petitioned the Presidency over an alleged encroachment into its mandate and authority by the Lagos State Government. Consequently, the Presidency has directed the Federal Ministry of transportation and NIWA to engage the state government in dialogues to resolve all contentious issues.

Sources close to the development said the Presidency has directed them to approach the Supreme Court for interpretation of existing laws on inland waterways if they fail to resolve the matter through dialogue.

NIWA specifically petitioned against a possible forming of a parallel inland waterways authority by the Lagos state government. It said this contravened its statutory mandate as contained in Decree 13 of 1997 which gave it exclusive right over Nigerian Inland waters and land up to 100 metres inland from the Nigerian coast.

But the Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Special Duties and the Supervisor of the state’s government Inland Waterways Project, Mr. Kofo Abayomi has said the state would go ahead with the new creation as according to him Lagos State was a unit among the others that came together to form the Nigerian Federation. Moreover, he was quoted as saying that the NIWA Act was a Decree by a military government.

Currently, a Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority Bill has passed through a public hearing stage by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Nigeria Will Be A Major Aluminum Producer By 2020

Minister of state, mines and steel development, Alhaji Ahmed Gusau, has said that the Yaradua administration is determined to ensure that Nigeria becomes a major producer of aluminum and steel products in the world by 2020.

The minister who made the remark during a visit to Rusal Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State recently. He said his visit was aimed at ensuring that companies in the sector operated in line with vision 2020 of the present administration.

In a press statement, the minister said that, “by the year 2020, we should be able to say that Nigeria is a major producer of aluminum products, and dominate the steel sector in Africa.” He said that the steel sector was vital to industrialisation, the downstream sector and wealth creation, hence the need to ensure its growth.

Managing director of ALSCON, Mr. Andry Partyanskiy, pledged to ensure that the company’s operations were in line with the policies of the Federal Government and to always lead the operations of the company towards nation building and international competitiveness. (Leadership).

Maritime Academy Oron To Get Training Assistance From Norway

Ship owners association from the Republic of Norway is to enter into a collaborative training programme with Maritime Academy of Nigeria at Oron Akwa Ibom State.

This indication was given recently when a delegation of the Norwegian ship owners association visited the Maritime Academy of Nigeria . The team, led by Mr. Reider Noheim, has Capt. Heige E.K and Mr. Moses Kragha among others.

Receiving the delegation in his office, the rector, of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron, Mr. Nseyen Ebong thanked them for finding the academy worthy of their visit. He disclosed that the institution which is the best in Africa was ready to partner with any institution that will uplift the standard of the academy and that their vision and mission statement has been the utmost guide. Mr. Nseyen told the Norwegians visitors that the high standard and qualitative training which the academy has attained and which has made it known all over the world was due to hard work, dedication and determination by staff and students of the institution..

Responding, leader of the delegation Mr. Norheim expressed happiness at the present standard of the academy which he described as impressive. He disclosed that the envisaged collaborative arrangement between the two international institutions would take into consideration their curricula and such assessment would help them in determining the level and nature of assistance to be rendered.

Among those who welcomed the delegation were the registrar of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Mr. Sayid Adamu and other principal staff of the institution.

He assured that the collaboration would assist both countries in no small measure to revolutionise their maritime institutions.

In related development, the chairman senate committee on women affairs, social and youth development, Senator Eme Fut. Ekaete has commended the Nigerian Maritime Academy for giving qualitative training to the 36 youths from Oron community sponsored by her to undergo skill acquisition training programme. in the Institution. (Leadership Nigeria).

Calabar dredging projectContractors abandon site?

THE dredging of the Calabar channel, which was awarded to two foreign firms at the cost of N8 billion, may have been abandoned.

It was thought that the dredging project would open up the channel for navigation and boost ship traffic to Calabar port. It was also hoped that the channel dredging would open up the state for tourism as the port was expected to support the tourism project of the state to boost its commercial viability.

The Chairman of Ecomarine, an indigenous shipping company, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, told Maritime reporters at the weekend in Lagos that the firms had abandoned the project apparently due to non- payment.

Tukur, whose company participated in the concessioning of Calabar port and which today owns a terminal at the port, said the situation with the channel was contrary to his expectation, saying he participated in the bidding process because of the promise that the channel would be dredged.

Fielding questions from The Guardian at his Victoria Island office, Tukur said only a portion of the channel was dredged, adding that the companies have since abandoned the project for reasons he did not specify.

“They dredged only a session of the channels, not all and the company has gone and siltation will set in again. I went to Calabar because of the good intentions, but we are loosing heavily. Our intention is to bring in containership to the port. They are not coming because the draught is poor. We thought the dredging of the channel will be completed in 2006.Our investment there is not commensurate with the traffic. We have invested up to $10 million to upgrade the port. The port is okay now for serious port operation but the channel is yet to be dredged and vessel traffic still very low even when productivity at the port has increased tremendously. We have equipment that are far under-utilised at the Calabar port because of the low traffic. The vision we have for the Calabar port was the same with that of TINAPA because we thought the port will compliment it to fast-track the flow of ships and goods from the port to TINAPA”, he lamented.

” Calabar River needs dredging and ships cannot come into the port. They spent billions of naira on TINAPA and free trade zone and you cannot dredge the river that will make them to work. All these investments and concepts cannot work if you don’t dredge to allow sizeable vessels to come in.”

The Federal Government had in 2006 taken bold steps to revive the dying Calabar port with the N8 billion contract awarded to two Dutch companies to effect the dredging of the 84 kilometres Calabar channels.

The project, on completion was expected to transform Cross River State economically by supporting the state’s economic revival initiatives.

Already the state government has commenced a business tourism project -TINAPA- in an attempt to open up the state for commercial activities.

With the dredging of the channel, government intended to support the state government’s economic development efforts as the port would have definitely become a centre of attraction to ship owners who may become willing to allow their vessels to patronise the Calabar port, which have since been abandoned because of the shallow nature of the channel.

The port would have witnessed increased in vessel and cargo traffic, as big and small vessels would have been attracted to the port because of the new draught along the channel.

The two Dutch dredging companies that signed ?56.5 million (about N8 billion) dredging contract of the channel with the Federal Government in Port Harcourt last Friday were VAN Oord Nigeria Limited and Jan-de Aul.

While VAN Oord Nigeria Limited was expected to dredge an area covering 40 kilometres along the channel from the port at a contract sum of ?26.5 million, Jan de-Aul was asked to continue from there and up to a distance of 46 kilometre along the same channel for ?30 million.

It was not possible to confirm which of the two companies abandoned the project as a male voice who spoke with The Guardian on the telephone recently at Van Ord directed all enquiries about the Calabar dredging project to the Nigerian Port Authority. The two companies were given 66 weeks to complete the dredging contract at the time it was signed.

They were asked to remove 25 million cubic metres of silt from the 84 kilometres channel, which would at the long run have a gradient of 1:3.

Before calling it a day, according to the agreement, the two companies were expected to achieve at least 10 metres draught along the dredged area and the width area of not less than 150 metres.

The then Cross River State Governor, Mr. Donald Duke, who witnessed the signing of the contract, described the event that time as a watershed for the state.

The former governor lobbied for the project and as desperate as he was, he once accused the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) of sabotaging the dredging of the Calabar channel. He clamoured for the project, thinking it would complement his efforts at opening up the state for commercial activities.

“It brings a lot of joy to our hearts”, he said, as he witnessed the ceremony which took place in his office that year.

Assessing the high potential of the Calabar port, Duke said the port of Calabar was of great value to Trans-Saharan trade and the transportation of slaves from Africa during the slave trade era.

“The greater number of slaves taken from Africa had their passage through Calabar being the most developed channel in Africa. The river was easily navigable and slave traders needed not to build infrastructure for their merchandise that is why there is no slave camp here. They shipped the slaves directly, but looking at modern Calabar, we have been challenged to create a kind of economy for the state. This state is being run from the Federal allocation. We are trying to do something to provide resources, for the creation of resources and for the government to manage the state. In doing that, we identified two major areas- agriculture and tourism.”

He said the state government was trying to develop a mercantile economy for the state hence the need for the development of the Calabar port and its infrastructure.

“A lot of money was spent on the port many years ago and I don’t think it has lived up to its expectation by stimulating local economy and by creating employment.”

According to the former governor, the port and other associated business could generate employment necessary to make the state more secure.

“In few cases when vessels were diverted to Calabar port, the state recorded zero crime within the period. So job creation is very critical to national goals.”

Defending his clamour over the years for the dredging of Calabar channel, Duke said: “We felt that if we could activate the port, we could reduce unemployment and its associated problems. I can recall my first meeting with Sarumi, I asked him if we have done anything to warrant the present state of Calabar port. But he replied, saying he was more emotional having served at the port before. We know very well that if that port is activated, it could serve as a hub. It will create jobs, bring meaning to the overall economic development of the area. I want to encourage the NPA to develop the second port in Calabar neighbourhood. But we need to sign this first,” he concluded.

Former Transport Minister, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who signed the contract agreement on behalf of the Federal Government and the NPA, said the government was ready to make down payment for the dredging job.

Nigerians Threaten Boycott of British Airways

Hundreds of Nigerians in Diaspora have threatened to boycott the British Airways following the deplorable conduct of the officials of the airline towards Nigerian passengers. They are also protesting the manner the airline treated a Nigerian who was forced back to the country last month.

On March 27 this year about 137 Nigerian passengers who boarded British Airways flight 0075 from London to Lagos witnessed the maltreatment of the said Nigerian, who was handcuffed and forced into the flight. The way he was manhandled, which made the deportee to shout for help, prompted a Nigerian passenger, Ayodeji Omotade, to call on British Immigration officials to exercise restraint unless they wanted to kill him.

Angered by the words of sympathy from Omotade the Immigrations officials took the deportee and the sympathizer out of the plane and arrested the later and detained him, while the deportee was returned to the flight. Outraged by that incident Nigerians who were witnesses and many others who read the report in the British tabloid, Daily Mirror, wrote a protest letter, which was signed by over 1000 Nigerians to the President, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, demanding a front page apology in a national Nigerian daily newspaper to all passengers on-board flight BA0075; a written apology and appropriate compensation to Mr. Ayo Omotade; lifting of the life ban imposed on Omotade by BA and all criminal charges against him dropped forthwith.

The Nigerians also demanded that BA should sign an undertaking that it should desist from such attitude in future and April 30 was given as deadline for the airline to respond.

“Failure on the part of the British Airways to comply to the above demands will result in us calling for worldwide boycott of British Airways by Nigerians”, the petition stated.

Maltreatment of Nigerians and spraying of disinfectant inside the flights coming into Lagos were the butt of dispute between the former Minister of State, Air Transport, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who insisted that the spraying must stop and that BA should adopt a better attitude while dealing with Nigerian passengers.

Commenting on the issue, Omotade said, “There are also numerous accounts of less than acceptable customer service by BA to Nigerians on board flights to and from Nigeria. Such treatment must stop.” Daily Mirror reported that the BA pilot took the “extra-ordinary” decision to boot off everyone who had witnessed the arrest of Mr. Omotade, an IT consultant from Chatham, Kent.

“The captain took the view they were all guilty of disturbing the flight, although no more passengers were arrested. After the economy class section was virtually cleared, the deportee, aged about 30, was brought back on and the flight left”.

“The passengers were booked on to later flight, but Mr. Omotade, was told by BA staff he was banned by the airline for life.” (Thisday)

Infrastructure: Africa Needs $22bn Yearly – Ezekwesili

World Bank’s Vice-President, Africa Region, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, has disclosed that Africa needs an investment of 22 billion dollars (N2.6 trillion) on “annual basis” for infrastructural development.

This includes the construction of highways, water and air transportation facilities, as well as other social amenities,” Ezekwesili told journalists at a breakfast meeting at her office at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC yesterday. She said the investment was urgently needed to address the lack of infrastructure in Africa, which she said was also affecting sustainable economic growth and development on the continent.

Therefore, African countries will need an infusion of that huge layout of financial resources to put up those infrastructure that will support their socio-economic upliftment,” she said. The Vice-President also said between 17 and 18 billion dollars (N2 -3 trillion) would be required for the operations and maintenance of existing infrastructure to ensure optimal performance.

Ezekwesili challenged African governments and the private sector to build up a “Public-Private-Partnership (PPP)” to invest in infrastructural development. She said: “The World Bank approach is that we on our part will coordinate with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other development partners and donors to support PPP arrangement in Africa in that direction”. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that Nigeria will, on its part, need between 5 and 6 billion dollars (N585-702 billion) to develop its infrastructure.

Lagos needs $50bn for infrastructure

AT least $50 billion (about N6 trillion) will be required to bring the infrastructure in Lagos State to a functional level.Mr. Ben Akabueze, Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, who said this during an interview with the Nigerian Tribune on Thursday, said the infrastructure in the state was abandoned for a period of 30 years with the effect that the infrastructure problem in the state became compounded.

Akabueze said the forthcoming Lagos State Economic Summit tagged “Ehingbeti 2008” billed for next week was conceived partly as a way of finding solution to the challenges of infrastructure in the state.

According to him, “In today’s global economy, $50 billion is peanuts. There is a lot of investment capital looking for outlets around the world. All we want to do is to demonstrate to the world that Lagos is ready and capable of housing a lot of the development capital floating around the world.” (Nigerian Tribune).

ISS-HASS Intensifies Mining Activities
ISS-HASS Limited, one of the leading mining firms in the country, has concluded plans to expand its mining activities, following the its recently obtained gold-mining license.
According to the company’s managing director, Omar Belooshi, “we finally obtained the license to mine in several locations with current mining activities adding up to 105.6 kilometers in Kebbi State.
“We have significantly invested in this project and we intend to further increase in our deliveries within the next decade. Aside exploration, we are fully committed to providing benefits to the environment and the local communities.
“We are well aware of the need to ensure that our activities meet the requirements of government on environmental protection and safety of the miners. Our desire is to be a shining example to other competitors through professionalism.”
ISS-HASS’s current mining site is at Mafuta Town in Kebbi State. At present, its mining activities is done manually basis with the small crushing machine and a mill for separation. This, Belooshi said, is time consuming.
As a result, the company has concluded plans to venture into automated mining, which Belooshi said would enhance profitability and security. “We are seeking financing to acquire equipment which will come mainly from proceeds from gold mining. With our activities now almost in full swing, it is our desire to really open up the mining sector in the country,” he said.
Belooshi explained that the company hopes to seek better relationship with the host community by creating income for the surrounding populace. Minerals being mined in the Kebbi site include tantalite, wolframite, ruby, columbite and tourmaline.  (Thisday).

FG needs N100bn for Abuja rail project – FCT Minister

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo, has said the Federal Government would require N100bn to execute the metro rail project for Abuja . Speaking in Abuja at the inauguration of 300 new Peugeot 307 cars for the Abuja Green Cabs Scheme, Modibbo lamented that only N1bn was earmarked for the project this year.

He said if the FCTA had to rely on federal allocation; it would take 100 years to complete the project. The minister said to fast- track the construction of the rail line for the capital city, the FCTA had concluded arrangements to review the project to make it more attractive to genuine investors.

He disclosed that the FCT Administration would also look into ways of subsidizing public transportation in the Federal Capital Territory to enable operators make profits. (Thisday).

Port concession: Reps clear INTELS

The House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation has confirmed that Integrated Logistics Company, (INTELS) did not default when the Bureau for Public Enterprises concessioned port facilities in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri to it.

The Vice-Chairman of the committee, Mr. Abass Braimah, said in Abuja that an enterprise visit by members to the ports offered explanations for issues that had been the subjects of speculations in the industry.

The committee, in the course of the visit, found out that in 1982 for example, the Onne Port was abandoned by the initial foreign contractors on account of non-payment of their fees by the Federal Government.

INTELS, according to the committee, took up the task of developing an integrated supply base within the boundaries of the government-owned ports in liaison with the NPA.

Subsequently, NPA leased its facilities at Onne, Calabar and Warri ports under a five-year agreement to the firm. INTEL, in 1992, applied for a 21-year extension of its leases, having realised the benefits in the exercise.

INTELS, according to the committee, has been able to create 8,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect ones by bringing under one roof, the logistics and cost of services of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. (Thisday).