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NIWA to Remove Five Wrecks, License 2,200 Boats in Lagos

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From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos

As part of its regional target, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) will remove five wrecks on the Lagos inland waterways in 2024, license 2,200 boats and train 1,500 skippers, the agency has said.

The agency explained that Lagos, being the hub of inland waterways activities in Nigeria, has already been boosted with five patrol boats to monitor activities on its waterways.

“One of the targets I gave the area managers when I resumed is increasing the number of navigable waterways that we currently have in this country,” the NIWA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Munirudeen Oyebamiji, told newsmen over the weekend.

“Nigeria has about 10,000 kilometres of waterways in this country, but anytime you search via Google, you will always find out that only 3,000 kilometres are navigable. I have given the area managers a target of increasing navigable waterways to 5,000 kilometres.

“This means that as part of the deliverables, NIWA has to dredge an additional 2,000 kilometres of waterways to meet the targeted 5,000 kilometres of navigable inland waterways.

“Another target I gave the area managers is tied to the number of jetties that NIWA has. I asked them to give me the number of jetties that they want to add to what they already have. In the next four years, we need to know the number of jetties that we will want to build so that by 2027, we would have said that this number of jetties were built during this period.

“Also, on the issue of wrecks, I gave each area a number of wrecks to remove. Lagos, being our busiest area, has a target of five wrecks to remove yearly.

“On boat operation, I expect 2,200 boats to be licensed yearly in Lagos, and I have charged the Lagos area manager to train and license 1,500 skippers yearly.

“All this was part of the targets I gave each area manager during our meetings to measure their performances in office on a yearly basis. This will let everybody have a sense of direction.”

On maintenance of physical presence on the Lagos waterways, Oyebamiji revealed that five patrol boats have already been deployed to Lagos, being the agency’s busiest axis. A patrol boat is strategically stationed at Badagry, Badore, Ikorodu, Ijegun and Marina, to cover the five axes respectively.

According to him, “the patrol boats have been deployed along the axis to monitor issues like over-speeding and overloading, among others. It is a way of increasing our presence on the waterways.

“We have also installed a gauge inside the water here at Marina to monitor wave movement and give us information on what to expect every day. The gauge has a range – from Marina to Badagry and Ikorodu.

“We are also looking at deploying some boats in the northern part of the country as accidents happen in this area due to the rickety boats being used, as well as water marshals across the country. This is already in place in Lagos, but we want to replicate it nationwide.”

NEWS

Alleged Defilement: Businessman Docked for Failing to Produce Suspect

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Court Sentences Applicant to 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Cell Phone
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A businessman, Robert Makolo on Monday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court, for failing to produce a suspect he stood surety for in a case of defilement.

Makolo had promised to produce the suspect, John, who is his brother in court by the adjourned date.

The Magistrate Mr Lateef Owolabi, adjourned the case until May 30 for mention and to enable the defendant produce the suspect.

Reports says that Makolo had earlier been arraigned on Jan.

22 and stood trial on a two- count charge of conspiracy and perversion of justice.

He had pleaded not guilty.

Magistrate Owolabi, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum who must produce evidence of 3 years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

He said that one of the sureties must be a blood relative.

The prosecutor, SP Josephine Ikhayere had told the court that Makolo stood in as surety on  Nov 16, 2023 at the Anthony Police Station.

Ikhayere alleged that Makolo stood as a surety for his brother Paul, who was involved in a case of defilement.

She said the defendant promised to produce his brother the suspect anytime his presence was required at the police station until the case is finally disposed of.

She said that the defendant undertook to produce the suspect on Nov. 30, 2023 but failed.

The prosecutor said that the section contravene the provisions of Section 97 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos.(NAN)

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Education

Minimum Entry age to Tertiary Institutions18 Years – FG

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The Federal Government has directed that admission to tertiary institutions should not be given to candidates less than 18 years.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman gave the directive on Monday during a monitoring exercise of the ongoing 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory.

He decried the activities of some parent, who were pressuring their underage students to get admissions into tertiary institutions,

The minister said that the 18-year benchmark is in line with the 6-3-3-4 system of education.

“The minimum age of entry into the University is 18, but we have seen students who are 15, 16 years going in for the entrance examination.

“Parents should be encouraged not to push there wards too much. Mostly, it is the pressure of parents that is causing this.

“We are going to look at this development because the candidates are too young to understand what the whole university education is all about.

“This is the period when children migrate from controlled to uncontrolled environment; when they are in charge of their own affairs.

“But, if they are too young, they won’t be able to manage properly. I think that is part of what we are seeing in the Universities today,” he said.

On skill acquisition for those who will not be able to gain admissions into tertiary institutions, Mamman said the ministry is taking skills to pupils from primary school.

“ In overall, it is 20 per cent that can be admitted into the University, Polytechnic and Colleges of Education system.

“So, where will the 80 per cent go to? That is why the issue of skills acquisition is very important.

“Any student who is unable to proceed to tertiary institutions should be able to have a meaningful life after primary and secondary school’s education and the only solution to this is skill acquisition,” he said.

Corroborating the minister’s position on the benchmark of 18 years for admission to tertiary institution, the JAMB spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin said 18 years is the is in line with the 6-3-3-4 education system.

The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu who was in the monitoring team applauded the conduct of the 2024 UTME, particularly, the introduction of online examinations as a way of checking malpractices.

He said the Computer Based Test (CBT) had reduced examination malpractices to the barest minimum.

Sununu commended the Board for setting simple but high standard for the examination. (NAN)

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EFCC Arraigns Businessman for Allegedly Tampering with Forfeited Property

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a businessman, Ifeanyi Bosah-Reginald, before an Ikeja Special Offences Court for allegedly tampering with forfeited property.
Reports says that Bosah-Reginald was arraigned on a count charge alongside Magnificat Homes & Leisure Ltd.

 and fifth Neighborhood Management Ltd.

The EFCC alleged that the defendant ran foul of the offence of dealing with forfeited property without authorisation contrary to Section 12(1) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The EFCC Counsel, Mr Babatunde Sonoiki, thereafter applied to the court that the defendant should be kept in appropriate custody and also  asked for a trial date.

According to the EFCC, the defendant was alleged to have trespassed property of one  Jokotade Tade Estate Resources Ltd. and that of one Mrs Foloshade Ogundare.
The EFCC said the property, a subject of forfeited order in suit ID/2168/2015, was said to be measuring about 10,687 hectares, situated at Sangotedo Lekki, Lagos State.
It said the property had been forfeited to the Federal Government based on the interim forfeiture order of the court of competent jurisdiction.
Justice Rahman Oshodi ordered the defendant to be remanded in Kirikiri Correctional Centre.
The judge, however, adjourned the case until  May 31 for commencement of trial. (NAN)

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