Category Archives: Transport and Aviation

Akwa Ibom begins manufacturing of Cargo Ships, Ferries, Barges, others

The Liberty Free Trade Zone licence and the Ibom Deep Seaport licence recently acquired through the ingenuity of Governor Udom Emmanuel, attest to the readiness of the state to become a melting point in marine transport business.

Subsequently, berthing in Akwa Ibom is the first ship manufacturing yard in Oruk Anam, with capacity to produce security vessels, cargo ships, ferries and barges.

Norfin Offshore Shipyard, located at Oruk Anam local government, is ready to launch its first Nigerian produced vessel on the January 23, 2021.

His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel will be on ground to flag it open and further open the vista to more opportunities for the teaming youths of the state.

Charles Udonwa, an Akwa Ibom born ship merchant, is the chairman of the ship manufacturing factory and has assured that in the next three years, the factory which is currently engaging 85 will have well over 3,000 young people in its workforce.

Members of Government House Media Team, including the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media (Research and Documentation), Mr. Essien Ndueso, visited the Shipyard to assess the progress of work at the factory.

Conducting the team round the facility, the Chairman and CEO of the company, Engr. Udonwa explained that finishing touches were being put to the vessel by the technical unit of the company, assuring that by next week, the vessel would wear a new look in readiness for its launch into the sea.

Also in the team were the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Engr. Solomon Eyo and the Special Assistant on Project Monitoring to the Governor, Mrs. Josephine Bassey as well as members of the Research and Documentation Team.

Ikpeazu commissions 4 new roads in Aba(PHOTOS)

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has assured residents of Aba that the era of “Dubai roads” is gone in the city as his administration has set standards that must be followed by others.

Speaking during the commssioning of the 2.3 kilometres Osusu Road, Aba, reconstructed by the administration using rigid pavement (cement) technology, Governor Ikpeazu who also commissioned 3 other roads today as part of his “Kinetic Abia” tours appealed to the people of the state to work hard to protect roads done in their areas.

After expressing satisfaction with the completion of the roads, the Governor noted that Osusu Road is of great economic value to the state, as it is one of the gateways to the famous Ariaria International Market in Aba. He further informed that his administration has so far constructed 5 other access roads to Ariaria area of the state.

Governor Ikpeazu recalled that prior to the reconstruction of Osusu Road, economic activities in the area was crippled, saying that the project has now greatly restored the people’s diminishing means of livelihood.

The Governor said that his administration did its best in giving the people a quality road using the rigid pavement technology which is a sure way to prolonging the lifespan of roads.

He said that the era of “Dubai roads” is gone in the state as his administration is poised to giving Abians roads of the highest quality using the rigid pavement technology which is now the minimum standard of the State Government.

In his words: “The era of “Dubai roads” is gone in Aba and Abia State. Our Government is committed to executing durable road projects using the cement pavement technology in Aba in particular and other necessary parts of Abia in general. This is the standard we have set for ourselves from the inception of this administration and I am confident that whoever succeeds us will be resisted by Ndi Abia if he or she attempts to construct the “Dubai roads” that we saw in the past in this state. The era of “Dubai roads” is gone for good and there is no looking back”, he said.

The State Chief Executive then directed the Commissioner for Works and other relevant government officials to immediately fast track the ongoing work on Ngwa Road within the next four weeks without compromising quality or risk being relieved of their duties.

Governor Ikpeazu urged residents of Osusu and other newly commissioned roads to set up a task force to protect the roads against vandalism and assured that Okigwe, Immaculate, Cemetery, ABSUTH and other ongoing road projects in Aba will soon be completed and commissioned.

While addressing newsmen after inspecting the newly reconstructed Milverton, Eziukwu and Ojike Roads in Aba, Governor Ikpeazu stated that the Osisioma flyover will be ready for use within the next four months as the project contractor has been fully paid for the job and expressed worry over the absence of Arab Contractors Company handling the Osisioma-Asa Nnentu axis of the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway project.

He also expressed worry over the slow pace of work on the Ngwa Road project which includes the construction of an underground tunnel in the road to help channel storm water to Aba River from the Ndiegoro area of the state revealing that work is ongoing along Ohanku and Obohia Roads respectively.

Speaking while commissioning Osusu road, the Apostolic Nuncio and Head of diplomatic Missions to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago of the Catholic Church, the Most Rev Fortunatus Nwachukwu noted that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has written his name in gold through the project.

The Achbishop said that the array of projects executed by the Governor speak volume of the welfarist nature of the present administration in the state, a disposition that has put the Governor’s detractors to shame. He wondered why some people will demarket the administration and the state through baseless propaganda.

In his remarks, the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Okochukwu said that the brand new Osusu royad is Government’s best New Year gift to the Aba business community, adding that he is pleased to associate with the dreams, policies, philosophies and programmes of the Governor.

In their separate speeches, the state PDP Chairman, Chief Alwell Asiforo Okere and the Chairman House committee on works and member representing Isialangwa North State constituency, Chief Ginger Onwusibe described the road as one of the signature road projects of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

On his part, the Commissioner for Works, Dr Bob Ogu said that the brand new Osusu Road is a confirmation of the Governor’s resolve to bequeath the best road network to Abians and urged the residents to stand against any negative acts that could reduce the lifespan of the road.

The Chairman, Aba South LGA, Mr Emmanuel Clinton-Ebere and his Aba North counterpart, Prince Chimuehiura Ikonne noted that Osusu road remained impassable for over twenty five years, describing the project as the celebration of hardwork and efficient service delivery .

The Project Contractor, Mr Uzoma Onuoha said that the road which can accommodate four vehicles at a time, has its unique mark of quality as it was constructed using the rigid pavement technology .

Expressing their feelings, some indigenes and residents of the area including Eze Isaac Ikonne, Mrs Promise Nwagba, Mr Nnadozie Cajetan, the President of ASMATA, Chief Lucky Akubueze, a representative of National Association of Ngwa Students among others, noted that the road has remained inaccessible for decades, thanked the Governor for coming to their rescue and that of numerous others whose sources of livelihood depend on the the road being accessible.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who earlier inspected progress of work on the Ngwa Road, equally flagged off the reconstruction of Omuma Road, Aba, as well as commissioned a cluster of 3 roads in the Ogbor Hill area of Aba namely Egege, First Avenue and Ebenma/Ama Ohafia roads. He urged residents of the areas to ensure that they protect the road by ensuring proper disposal of refuse and monitor the road to ensure that hoodlums don’t burn tyres or illegally excavate it.

PHOTOS:

You boasted to fix Nigeria’s roads in 6 months, but has failed after 6 years-Eholor lambasts Fashola

Human rights activist, Chief Patrick Eholor has condemned a recent statement credited to the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, over the deplorable condition of roads in the country which the minister had described as manageable.

Eholor, in a letter to the Minister made available to newsmen said the poor state of roads in Nigeria has become a national shame and an unnecessary embarrassment as there is hardly any part of the country that can boast of motorable roads.

The activist who is the founder of One Love Foundation, a civil society group based in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, described their activities as domiciled in the schedule of Federal Government of Nigeria, Amnesty International and other international civil society groups.

He said: “We write to counter the statement credited to you that the state of our roads is not so bad”, adding that most of the roads are in terrible condition even after over 20 years of uninterrupted democracy in the country.”

Eholor said by their assessment as a civil society group, “these bad roads are consequences of poor leadership and woeful planning,” noting that even existing railway system which the Federal Government so boast of is not only dysfunctional, but under-developed and under-performing.”

He recalled that sadly the Minister once boasted that “any serious government should be able to fix electricity in six months”, asking if he was now telling them that he is not a serious person, especially as he has not been able to fix the nation’s roads in over six years.

The activist, who years ago, led other civil society groups to champion the compulsory rehabilitation of federal roads in South-South by the Federal Government, through a mass movement tagged “One Million March Against Bad Roads, ” said the “state of our roads is a national tragedy that does not shock anyone anymore as scores of innocent people have been killed daily in avoidable accidents.”

He said the same poor road network has resulted in poor productivity as immeasurable man-hours are lost in traffic, while the national economy suffers incalculable losses”.

Eholor noted that it was high time government at all levels treated road infrastructure as a priority to enhance economic development and secure lives and property.

Eholor, popularly known as “Democracy Observer-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said the poor state of roads reflects a situation where “corruption has dealt another devastating blow on the country”.

He said from available records “since 1999, a whopping N1.4 trillion ($8.5 billion) has reportedly been spent on road construction or maintenance with very little evidence of the money spent,” remarking that without a functional railway system, roads are the only means of movement for people and goods.

“When roads are not in good shape as is seen all over the country, the nation’s economy is sure to be the first victim,” he stated.

The Activist listed some of the worst highways to include “the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Shagamu-Ore, Onitsha-Enugu-Port Harcourt road, generally believed to be the most strategic economic routes in the country as Lagos seaports are the only viable ones”.

He listed others to include “Ikorodu-Shagamu road, Okene-Lokoja-Abuja and Rijau-Kontagora road in Niger State, Calabar-Itu Road, Ikom Calabar Road, Aba Owerri Road, Aba Port Harcourt Road, Benin, Ore, Lagos Road, with a few exceptions, indeed, virtually all the highways in the country are in terrible state”.

According to him, what is more traumatic travelling through Nigerian roads, as he experienced recently moving from Benin City to Abuja was not only nightmarish but depressing, adding that a journey of five hours took him thirteen hours.

He said after 60 years of independence, it is indeed a shame that Nigeria, “despite the huge revenue earnings from oil, is yet to develop a good transportation system.”

Chief Patrick Eholor said “from 2008 to June 2014 alone, Nigeria reportedly earned N44.655 trillion. Add this to another N2.5 trillion reportedly earned by Nigeria in the last quarter of 2015”.

He said that is why it is quite pertinent to ask the kind of premium government places on roads as economic assets that should aid national productivity

He said “smaller African Countries boasts of better Roads noting that the Lagos-Badagry highway, for example, which links Nigeria with the Republic of Benin, underscores this ugly narrative, whereas the Nigerian side of what should be a super highway, linking the whole of West Africa, is dilapidated and impassable, the Republic of Benin’s portion is not only in good condition, it advertises a certain irresponsibility on the part of Nigeria”.

Eholor said “in every respect, we sympathise with the agonising road transporters. The Nigerian authorities are culpable and they should show responsibility. It has been said often that the building of concrete roads with cement, especially in the southern states where erosion is rife is the way to go”.

The Activist said that option “is what experts have been recommending as a solution to uncertain durability of asphalt roads. But it appears that no one listens or cares about this”.

He said such insensitivity nurtured by corruption, of course, explains a situation in which roads are still being built at prohibitive costs without considering quality, whereas, the World Bank’s benchmark for building a kilometre of road is N238 million, the same one-kilometre is built for about N1 billion in Nigeria”.

The Comrade said maintenance of roads in Nigeria must improve or else the nation’s development objectives will remain unattainable.

He argued that the federal and state governments should enunciate a policy that will involve private sector operators in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model that can also attract foreign investment.

He said already, the Federal Government has launched a road concessioning scheme that accommodates private sector participation adding that there is a commission responsible for this and should be made functional to serve public interest.

He expressed gratitude in advance, hoping that the minister and the Federal Government act urgently in fixing the ugly tragedy of bad roads.

Mob in Onitsha set trailer ablaze, kill for crushing wheel barrow pushers to death

A trailer carrying full load of salt has been set ablaze by an angry mob for its
involvement in a road accident that claimed the lives of two wheel barrow pushers.

The mob also attacked the conductor, leading to his death while the driver escaped.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited learnt that the incident took place around Tarzan junction of the Onitsha-Owerri Road, in Onitsha

The truck with plate number, KRY.294XA, was heading towards down flyover of the Upper Iweka, before it ran over the two wheel barrow pushers.

Men of the fire service on arrival made efforts to put off the fire while hoodlums used the opportunity and made away with some bags of
salt.

How Enugu State Government has been frustrating railway extension to South East-NRC

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) on Thursday accused the Enugu State Government of frustrating the Federal Government’s efforts to extension its standard gauge railway project to the South East by demolishing some of its facilities.

The Chairman, Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, Dr. Josef Onoh, had claimed in a publication that certain property linked to the railway, especially in Emene, Enugu, were obstructing the rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

The agency proceeded to destroy some structures in the area, including the railway land at Ukwuorji, last week.

But the Railway District Manager (East), Enugu, Osidipe Olusoji, dismissed the claims, insisting that its facilities were not hindering work on airport.

He decried the action of the state government, lamenting that the structures were destroyed at a time the Federal Government had redoubled efforts to extend the standard gauge railway to the zone.

The NRC chief said: “Now that the attention of the Federal Government is focused on this, the ECTDA is still unable to see what is coming and is, therefore, trying to frustrate the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the railway land at Ukwuorji in Emene is not in any way obstructing the rehabilitation of the airport. It may also interest the general public to know that the Ukwuorji area is in no way close to the airport in such a way that it will obstruct the airport rehabilitation. The land is not in the direction of incoming or outgoing flights from Enugu airport.”

However, the state government said it only destroyed shanties in the area obstructing the railway project and airport rehabilitation, stressing that it was not interested in the land belonging to the NRC.

The state Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh, said: “We want a new standard gauge to be built just as we begged for the upgrade of the airport.”

Nigeria To Resume International Flights August 29

Nigeria will resume international flight operations on August 29, the Federal Government has announced.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made the announcement on Monday in Abuja at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

“We are very glad today to announce that international flights will resume from August 29, 2020,” he said.

Sirika added, “However, what we have become used to – physical distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands, temperature taking, etc will continue.”

He explained that the process for the resumption of international flights in the country would be similar to that of the domestic flight resumption.

According to the minister, the resumption will commence on Saturday next week at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He thanked Nigerians for their patience while the ban on international flights was enforced and gave an assurance that the protocols and procedures for resumption would be announced in due course.

“Just like we did with the domestic (flights resumption), it will start with Lagos and Abuja. The protocols, procedures, and processes, will be announced in due course.

“So, all protocols exist, and they will continue alongside the opening of these airports,” said Sirika.

He explained, “In the beginning, there will be four flights into Lagos and four flights into Abuja daily, we will give further details on that in due course.

“It is the Task Force decision, not that of aviation (ministry) … under the leadership of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who is the chairman of PTF.”

Air Peace sacks over 70 pilots, cuts salaries by 40%

Air Peace has sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet types as the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a huge toll on its operations.

The airline said it had to take the “painful but rightful” decision in the face of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health.

It said the job erasure for pilots amongst it over 3000 staff became imperative because it could not afford to continue fulfill its financial obligations without carrying out restructuring of its entire operations to survive the times.

Besides, the carrier said the painful decision was to keep its operations afloat after it carried out a raft of measures including cut of zero to 40 per cent in the salaries of staff.

In a statement in Lagos on Monday, the airline management said such move was critical to sustain its operations and survive the times.

The statement reads: “This decision is inevitable under the circumstances we find ourselves. In order to protect the continuity of majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in future, the survival of the airline is of paramount importance. When everything comes back to normal those pilots affected today will have a place to come back to in future if they so wish.

“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period.

“Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff. The new salaries reflect zero to 40 per cent cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff.

“Even after the cuts, it was obvious for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.”

BREAKING: Gov Ikpeazu sacks TIMAAS boss, LG chairmen of Umunneochi, Aba North and South,  Commissioner for Transport

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has approved the immediate suspension of the following

1. The General Manager of Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State (TIMAAS).

2. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba South Local Government Area.

3. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba North Local Government Area.

The Governor has also relieved the Commissioner of Transport, Barr. Ekele Nwaohammuo of his appointment as Honourable Commissioner.

The Transition Committee Chairman of Umuneochi LGA, Engr. Mathew Ibe has equally been relieved of his appointment.

The Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has also approved the appointment of the following as Commissioner Nominees;

1. Tony Nwanmuo

2. Godswill Nwonoruo

The Governor has also approved the appointment of Barr. Ezechikamnayo as Transition Committee Chairman Nominee for Umuneochi Local Government Area.

The Deputy Chairmen of the affected Local Government Areas are to take over and together with their Heads of Service immediately set up a taskforce to check environmental indiscipline and other vices.

TIMASS taskforce is also to be setup to further check these excesses.

SIGNED:

Dr. A.C.B. Agbazuere
Chief of Staff to the Governor.