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Change of guard at NIWA as new helmsman takes charge

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Boss Mustapha (Right) takes over as NIWA MD from Danladi Ibrahim

Boss Mustapha (Right) takes over as NIWA MD from Danladi Ibrahim

Change of guard at NIWA as new helmsman takes charge

The newly appointed Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Mr Boss Mustapha took over the mantle of leadership today at the authority’s headquarters in Lokoja.
Speaking today at NIWA’s headquarters in Lokoja during the brief handing over ceremony, the managing Director said President Muhammad Buharii holds the magic wound for turning around the Nigeria Inland Water Ways and by extension the Nigerian economy.
He indicated that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to ensuring NIWA is upstage for self reliance as his legacy in the next three years.
On his part As the new helmsman he promised to do everything possible with the support of NIWA’s management team to ensure the waterways are opened up to boost economic activities and generate revenues for government.
 “So we would re-task, we would get it into the consciousness of the management and also the staff that this is where we are heading. 
“This is what we envision for the future that is key and critical. As far as the enabling act is concerned.”
He indicated that the last management under the leadership of Barrister Dan ladies Ibrahim has made things easier for the new team l by getting an executive bill in the national assembly which had gone through the second reading. 
Mustapha said very soon the authority would be up for public hearing when it would prepare and go to push their course. 
“We have the support of the man that is sitting in the driver’s seat because he wants to leave the development of the Inland Water Ways.”
He said the executive is strongly in support of their stand as well as the leadership of the National Assembly.
According to him, all they needed is to place their position at the public hearing and ensure they sway the content of opinion because other people will come to counter them.
“People who will feel that we are encroaching into an exclusive area they have kept for themselves. But by a combination of so many factors we would be able to overcome. 
“I have the experience in dealing with issues like this and we will bring them to bare along with the management team who are skillful in their various departments.”
He said Nigeria neglected the water transportation sector and it is paying a very big price for it.
“If we had sustained the navigability of the rivers by today the movement of goods and materials would have accounted for the major source of transportion on Inland Water Ways since it can access 28 States.
Mustapha said the Government of Tafawa Balewa in the 60s had muted the idea of dredging the River Niger and build the Inland ports.
He said that was because they knew that Nigeria was predominantly an agrarian community that needed to open up the Inland water ways so that farm produce from the communities can easily be evacuated to Europe.
“With an 800tonne badge statistics has it that you would be removing 45 trailers off the road, we are returning to these things now because we don’t even have the roads again. So we are paying the costly price and we are learning the hard way.”
The director assured that his team would do everything possible using all connections that they have to actualize the new dream.
He assured that in the next three years they would have made NIWA as the leader in Africa Inland Water Ways transport in line with its vision.
Earlier, the outgoing Acting Managing Director of NIWA, Mr Danladi Ibrahim enumerated some of the achievements recorded in the last one year under his watch to include dredging of the Niger River from Warri to Baro in Niger State; renovation of Onitsha and Baro River Ports, purchase of 18 security patrol boats to ensure safety on the water ways, procurement of water clearing equipment and ferries amongst others.
He said the Lokoja River Port is about 58 percent completed while work is yet to commence on the contract awarded for the dredging of the River Benue due to lack of funds.
Danladi outlined some of the challenges facing NIWA to include inadequate funding to carry out capital projects, lack of enabling Act that would enable the agency generate revenues just like its sister agencies and under staffing.

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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Monday, said Nigeria that was a shinning star in the 60s is now a shadow of its glorious past, now pushed further into a deep mess with ethnicity as as the supreme order.

Speaking at his official presentation of his autobiography “Made in Aba” in Abuja, the Abia Senator said Nigeria has continually regressed and the citizens were now reclining into their ethnic enclaves.

Abaribe noted that the country has regressed to the level that it would be difficult for any citizen to survive “if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave.”

He said: “I try to say a few things (in the book) that we might have forgotten. Why is it that we had a better life – we had pipe borne water, we had electricity 24 hours – in the 1960s?

“Now it is 50-60 years later, every person has to have borehole in his house. So he becomes his own NEPA generating power for himself; he becomes his own water board. Then I asked, why would life be like this? I tried to caption the reason why we are where we are today.

“I also tried to capture that there was a Nigeria, where it is said, in our former anthem, that though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.”

He said in his early career life, he secured jobs and got promotions in places outside his southeast region only based on merit without anyone asking where he came from.

“Now, what we have done is that we have a big Nigeria that has continually regressed and now all of us are into our ethnic enclaves.

“And if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave, you won’t be able to survive in Nigeria today.

“In the book, I also look at the possibility of Nigeria that we may have assuming if each and everyone of us is committed to the country.”

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

By Princess Rose Yusuf

The Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri has waded in to the war of words between the Governors of Bauchi and Benue State as the recent altercations between the Governors have become very disturbing.
He called on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wade in and ensure that the matter is resolved.
He was speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Bala Muhammed in Bauchi State Government’s House Thursday.
Diri said,
“The raging current issue between two brother Governors of the same party is not good, I seize this opportunity to advise and call on both of you who are members of our great party to please cease further actions and reactions on the burning national security issues.
“May I also use the opportunity to call on our party to immediately intervene and resolve whatever issues that are still yet unresolved amicably as a party and as brothers.”

In his response, Governor Muhammed promised to cooperate and reduce the tension and he gave the assurance that no words would be heard on the matter again. He also seized the opportunity to  apologise to all Governors, the national assembly, his constituents and all Nigerians.
He said, “There is no disharmony between me and my brother and my friend in Benue, we are just having the courage to discourse a burning National issue and I am happy that Nigerians have the opportunity, to discourse the issue and we are going to do everything on my own part to make sure we disedcalate the issue that it will not bring injury to our party and to national unity. I was not doing anything in anyway to insult, or to cause any injury to my brother whom I have worked together with at the cabinet and now as Governors.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to my various contituencies; especially the national assembly even though I said the truth but it has injured their sensibilities or it has touched on their privileged as we used to say in parliamentary parlance.
“I was doing it out of nationalism and patriotism. At the same time the Governors if what I said was also injurious to them, I apologise to them and say sorry to them and indeed all Nigerians.
“But certainly as I said, my brother, I have no apology for saying the truth, but certainly sometimes you say the truth and it would be injurious.

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was confirmed after being grilled during Senate plenary.

For more than six years the commission was headed by persons in acting capacity.

For the first time a staff of the commission who is not a police officer is being appointed as chairman.
He rose through the ranks from the academy before being nominated to head the commission.

The Anti graft agency’s chairmanship designate reacted to a plethora of questions posed by Senators on his preparedness for the job, given his age and working in a complex society like Nigeria, at planary

Bawa, addressed most of the concerns of lawmakers, while assuring that he would bring his experience to bear having joined the agency in 2004.

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