Jime inaugurated the committee at the Committee of Experts Meeting/ Expanded Standing Committee Meeting and Mini-Sensitisation Workshop on African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in Abuja on Wednesday.
He urged the members to bring in their expertise to enable the sub region tackle the high cost of shipping which has posed as a major challenge to the people.
”Let me say a big welcome to all of us. I also like to appreciate all of us for our active participation in the meeting.
”May I remind us that the purpose of setting up this committees is to harmonise first and foremost the transport cost in the sub region and to ensure that all element of cost relating to sharp corrupt practices are eliminated.
”By definition, the committee of experts is supposed to be constituted by one member of the following council members Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
”It is because of the important nature of this assignment that this committee was formed.
”So it is my singular honour to formally inaugurate members of this committee,” he said.
The outcome of the committee will be used as a basis for shipping lines operating within the West and Central Africa ports.
The Secretary-General, Nigeria Shippers Association, Mrs Ijeoma Ezeasor, expressed optimism that the cost of shipping within Nigeria would be reduced following the inauguration of the committee.
She said:”We are expectant at the end of this two days event that the cost of shipping within Nigeria and the region will definitely change to a better outcome.
”Gladly the Executive Secretary and the CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) understands the pains of the shippers within Nigeria and the region.
”We are hopeful that at the end of this meeting, there would be reasonable outcomes in terms of decrease in cost and also better communication for shippers by the service providers.
‘‘The communications come too short, too sudden and also make us not to be able to plan for our future.
”So, we are hopeful that things will change for the better going forward.”
A delegate, Mr John-Patrick Ndume from Cote d’Ivoire, restated the need for a collaborative effort between member states to tackle the increased cost of shipping.
” What I can say is that the union have to try to make all the members to come together to face new challenges in particular the challenges for the new economic area in Africa.
”It is when we come together, join our efforts together that we can face the challenges which all of us are having,” he said.
Also Mr Sebastien Ilboudo, Director-General, Burkina Faso Shipping Council, also reiterated the importance of collaboration between member states.
“We should work to strengthen UASC, it is very important. And we are really intent on bringing in our contribution so that this committee will be really operational because that is where we are having our hopes as shipper’s council.
“The costs are enormous, very high and we think that together with all the other shippers’ council, we must actually work to reduce this cost and of cause eliminate the suffering of our economic operators on the various corridors.
“I like to sincerely thank the Nigerian Shippers council for this initiative especially.
“ I do hope it will not be the last in the spirit, because it is Nigeria that is chairing this committee and that the meeting will be regular so as to provide something that is tangible for the UASC so as to defend all the other shippers’ council and African shippers.(NAN)
UNILAG Waterfront Needs Adequate Shoreline Protection – VC
The University of Lagos’s waterfront is in need of urgent adequate shoreline protection as its ageing perimeter fence has collapsed, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said yesterday,
Ogundipe made the disclosure in an interview with the NewsMen in Lagos.
“The rains that Lagos and its environs have experienced possibly due to the impact of climate change and subsequent higher-than-normal discharge of the rivers emptying into the lagoon, possibly led to the collapse of the already aging perimeter fence and embankment with imminent security issues and attendant ecological perturbations.
“In the morning of yesterday, Oct. 19, the chief security officer of the university called my attention to the sad development.
“We quickly rushed there to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the collapsed perimeter fence on the waterfront.
Ogundipe appealed to the Federal Government to urgently come to the aid of the university in that regard.
“We need reconstruction of the embankment,” he pleaded,” he told Reporters.
According to the vice-chancellor, the waterfront of the university is subjected to wave actions and coastal erosion which are associated with risks of land loss, damage to coastal infrastructure and flooding.
He said that the university had maintained an embankment on the shoreline and waterfront serving as perimeter fencing and ensuring that coastal erosion and occasional flooding were addressed.
“The Lagos lagoon is part of the lagoon complex which comprises a network of nine lagoons namely: Yewa, Ologe, Badagry, Iyagbe, Lagos, Kuramo, Epe, Lekki, and Mahin, stretching from the Republic of Benin.
“It lies behind the barrier beach and extends for 210km along the coast.
“The Lagos Lagoon is, on the average, about two to four metres in depth, but it is 10 metres deep at the entrance at the Commodore Channel around the Lagos Harbor, which empties the lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean,” he noted.
He added that the Lagos lagoon was bound in the south by the five cowries creeks, in the Eastern flank by the Palavar Islands, the northern end by Ikorodu, and on the western border, by mainland communities.
Ogundipe said that the Lagos lagoon waterfront with usefulness as a tourism resource is considered a major artery in the water transportation architecture of Lagos metropolis.
“In this light, the university of Lagos waterfront has already been earmarked for construction of a jetty by the Lagos State Government under the leadership of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“The lagoon is flanked by tidal wetlands and swamps.
“This comprises of the waterfront, known as university of Lagos Waterfront, shorelines of Ilaje-Bariga and shorelines of Makoko community,” Ogundipe said. (NAN)
Foundation Donates N6m to Children with Cancer in FCT
Okapi Children Cancer Foundation on Tuesday donated N6 million to children fighting cancer in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The Chief Volunteer and Founder of the foundation, Ms Kemi Adekanye, said the gesture was part of their annual events.
She stated that the gesture is to support children fighting cancer at the National Hospital, Abuja, and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada.
Adekanye decried the high costs of treating and managing childhood cancer in the country.
She however urged government and other philanthropists to support the patients and families, which will increase the chances of survival for them.
“The organisation had since its inception in 2017 donated over N14.8 million to support the children.
“We have been able to render support to these children, to reduce the costs of treatment, as well as provide emotional support and job opportunities for some of their parents.
“A lot of these children commence treatment and abandon it midway, because of the high costs of treatment and other care,” she said.
She therefore called for more awareness and enlightenment on childhood cancer.
This, she noted, would garner more support and initiation of policies to help manage the disease.
Consultant Paedetric Oncologist, UATH, Dr Uduak Offiong, while commending the Foundation, said the donation would support parents whose children are fighting cancer, especially in accessing blood platelets.
According to her, many children abandon cancer treatment due to financial constraints.
She therefore appealed to the government to subsidise the costs of treating childhood cancer.
Offiong also urged that cancer should be included in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for less privileged families to access treatment.
Similarly, Dr Oyesakin Adewunmi, the Head of Unit, Paedetric Oncology, National Hospital, Abuja, represented by Dr Patricia Igoch, called for more support and attention to be given to childhood cancer.
On his part, the President, Nigeria Cancer Society, Dr Adamu Umar, decried the lack of awareness and neglect of childhood cancer in the country.
Umar also called on the federal government to include it in the NHIS, while funds should be allocated for its management.
A Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Dr Margaret Olokpo, called for more emotional support to both the children suffering from cancer and their parents.
One of the benefiting parents, Mrs Titilayo Adewunmi, commended the organisation for their unwavering support to them in caring, managing and treating their children fighting cancer.
The organisation recently held a walk and Zoom meeting to educate the public on signs, symptoms and appropriate treatment for childhood cancer in the FCT. (NAN)
Aisha Buhari Hosts Turkish First Lady, Lauds Nigeria-Turkey Relations
Mrs Buhari was speaking when she received the Turkish first lady at the side-line of a bilateral meeting between Nigeria`s President Muhammadu Buhari and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the State House, Abuja.
“I really appreciate Mrs Erdogan for the visit and this will go alone way in strengthening the relationship between my pet project, Aisha Buhari Foundation and her Foundation.
She reaffirmed her commitment to supporting the girl-child education and the less privileged, especially children in the Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs).
Mrs Buhari said the visit availed them the opportunity to strengthen their existing relations with a view to finding solutions to the incessant cases of domestic violence, women’s rights and child abuse.
The two first ladies, who met behind closed-doors, expressed their desire to strengthen relationship to secure the future of Nigerian women and children through their individual foundation(NAN)
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