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NSC urges connectivity, modernisation in transport system

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NSC urges connectivity, modernisation in transport system

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC), Hassan Bello, has reiterated the importance of connectivity in the various transport systems in the country so as to ensure rapid growth of the economy.


Bello said this in a keynote at the maiden National Transportation Summit organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration in Nigeria(CIoTA), on Tuesday in Abuja.

The theme of the event is ”Unlocking the Potentials of Transportation for Sustainable Development’’.

According to Bello, it is also important to ensure the use of modern technology to fast track the nations transport system to enable it compete with the global trends.

“If you have modern transport system, it will affect your economy, if you have outdated infrastructure, your economy will be sluggish and it will not grow.

“The growth of your economy depends on the modernity of your transport infrastructure; we have not been able to do that for a long time because we don’t have professionals running the transport system.

“So, we want the institute to look at the economy seriously and situate transport within that contextp such that if we have a dry port in Kaduna, it should bring economy to the door step of the people.

`We have lost billions of dollars to freight; imagine what this country would have become if we owned the freight we are paying for crude oil.

“If we want Nigeria to work, there is no place to look at than transportation. It is important that we adjust our transport system to the current trend,’’ he said.

According to Bello, lack of transport infrastructure in the country has pushed the cost of production by 45 per cent.

He said:“ The cost of doing business in Nigeria and connectivity of pipeline, inland waterways, railway and air transportation are critical.

“The port in Baro must be able to speak to the Inland Dry Port in Kaduna. Nigeria’s transportation system lacks connectivity.

“UNCTAD scored Nigeria very low over lack of connectivity. We want CIoTA to take over and to concentrate in making things better; they should begin massive advocacy by ensuring transport policy for integrated infrastructure.”

Bello explained that there was massive distortions in the transport system which, according  to him, is not good for a country that wants to diversify its economy.

He urged the institute to concentrate on formulating a transport policy and work with key stakeholders to ensure integrated infrastructure in the country.

“What we want is multi-modalism, but we need inter-modalism more, where goods are brought by sea by the ship, offloaded and taken by the train or inland waterways.

`There must be a policy that certain percentage of goods must be carried by inland waterways, road, pipeline and a majority by rail.

“If we have the pipeline, why will tankers go to Apapa? We have chaos, indiscipline in Apapa and the port is presently overwhelmed. That was why we said that the NPA should own the whole of Apapa,’’ Bello added.

In his goodwill message, the Managing Director, Nigeria Water Ways Authority (NIWA), Mr George Moghalu, urged the institute to partner with various strategic stakeholders to drive the sector.

Moghalu expressed optimism that the institute would ensure ways of expanding the transportation footprint across the country.

He said:“This summit should offer the opportunity to all stakeholders in the sector to discuss and generate ideas  to enable a more efficient transport management and administration in Nigeria.

“Stakeholders should, at this summit, network and share informations on ways of unlocking the potentials of the industry for sustainable development.

“Also, practical solutions should be proffered and factored into government policies and programmes to improve the sector, create jobs and further grow the Nigerian economy,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the three-day event was attended by various key stakeholders in the transportation sector.

Lucy Nwachukwu: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Roundup: Trump’s national security advisor O’Brien tests positive for coronavirus

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Robert O’Brien, national security advisor for United States President Donald Trump, has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced on Monday.


“He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site,” the White House said in a statement. “There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President.”

The diagnosis has made O’Brien, a top aide for Trump, the highest ranking White House official known to have tested positive for the virus, which has infected more than 4.2 million Americans and killed more than 145,000 people in the United States.

Speaking to reporters at the White House before a trip to North Carolina Monday afternoon, Trump said he hasn’t seen O’Brien lately.

“I heard he tested. Yeah. I have not seen him. I’m calling him later,” said the president, adding that he didn’t know when his fourth national security advisor first tested positive.

The White House’s announcement on O’Brien came shortly after multiple United States media outlets broke the news on Monday morning.

O’Brien, 54, has been out of the office since late last week, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the situation. He left his office in the White House last Thursday, CNN reported, citing a source.

O’Brien reportedly came down with coronavirus after a family event and has been isolating at home while still running the National Security Council (NSC), doing most of his work by phone.

Part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the NSC advises the President on national security and foreign policy. The national security advisor’s office is just a few steps away from the Oval Office, the President’s formal workspace.

O’Brien, whom Trump tapped to lead the agency in September 2019 after the ousting of John Bolton, recently returned from Europe, where he met with officials from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy. Multiple photos released from the trip showed that O’Brien had neither practiced social distancing nor worn a mask.

The White House recently ended regular temperature checks for all those entering the White House complex, but those who will come into close contact with Trump are still given rapid tests.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a briefing last week that Trump tested “often.”

“As I’ve made clear from this podium, the president is the most tested man in America,” McEnany told reporters at the White House. “He’s tested more than anyone, multiple times a day, and we believe that he’s acting appropriately.”

However, Trump has dismissed McEnany’s claim that he takes more than one test a day.

“I didn’t know about more than one. I do take probably, on average, a test every two days, three days,” he told reporters during a White House press briefing last week. “I don’t know of any time I’ve taken two tests in one day, but I could see that happening.”

Last week, a cafeteria employee working in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is close to the White House, tested positive for coronavirus, as did a United States Marine assigned to Trump’s helicopter squadron ahead of the president’s planned trip to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Previously, one of Trump’s military valets and Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary tested positive for the virus. Enidtem

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Belgium takes new steps to avoid widespread COVID-19 lockdown

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Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes announced on Monday new anti-COVID-19 measures taken by the National Security Council (NSC) to prevent re-imposing a general lockdown in the country.


From July 29 and for a minimum of four weeks, the number of people in a social contact bubble which currently stands at 15 will be reduced to five for every family. Children under the age of 12 are not included.

The number of participants in the events that attract large crowds will be limited to 100 for indoors and 200 for outdoors. “Wearing masks at these events will also be compulsory,” said Wilmes.

Teleworking is strongly recommended when possible to avoid too much contact among colleagues.

In addition, local authorities have been allowed to take firm action in their municipalities, whenever the epidemiological situation worsens.

The NSC had an emergency meeting here on Monday in view of the renewed spread of COVID-19 throughout Belgium and particularly in the city of Antwerp.

According to the figures published on Monday by the public health institute Sciensano, the daily average of new infections was 279 over the past seven days. The rate of transmission has remained above 1 for several days, a very worrying situation. The institute noted that 47 percent of the new infections last week had been reported in the province of Antwerp.

“The urgency of the situation in Antwerp demands and requires strong measures that must be taken and put into effect quickly,” Wilmes said.

In order to fight the coronavirus effectively, the prime minister called on every citizen to contribute to the collective efforts without exception, by respecting barrier gestures, protecting themselves and others.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Trump’s security advisor O’Brien tests positive for coronavirus

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Robert O’Brien, national security advisor for United States President Donald Trump, has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House confirmed on Monday.


“He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site,” the White House said in a statement. “There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President.”

The diagnosis has made O’Brien, a top aide for Trump and the president’s fourth national security advisor, the highest ranking United States official known to have tested positive for coronavirus.

The White House statement came shortly after multiple United States media outlets broke the news.

O’Brien, 54, has been out of the office since late last week, Bloomberg News reported on Monday morning, citing people familiar with the situation.

He left his office in the White House last Thursday, CNN reported, citing a source.

O’Brien reportedly came down with coronavirus after a family event and has been isolating at home while still running the National Security Council (NSC), doing most of his work by phone.

Part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the NSC advises the President on national security and foreign policy.

O’Brien, whom Trump tapped to lead the agency in September 2019, recently returned from Europe, where he met with officials from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy.

The White House recently ended regular temperature checks for all those entering the White House complex, but those who will come into close contact with Trump are still given rapid tests.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a briefing last week that Trump has tested “often.”

“As I’ve made clear from this podium, the president is the most tested man in America,” McEnany told reporters at the White House. “He’s tested more than anyone, multiple times a day, and we believe that he’s acting appropriately.”

However, Trump has dismissed the claim that he takes more than one test a day.

“I didn’t know about more than one. I do take probably, on average, a test every two days, three days,” he told reporters during a White House press briefing last week. “I don’t know of any time I’ve taken two tests in one day, but I could see that happening.”

Last week, two White House executive offices closed their cafeterias because an employee tested positive for coronavirus.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Shippers Council threatens action against companies, operators over arbitrary charges

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Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has threatened to take action against shipping companies/agencies, seaport terminal operators and off-dock terminals over arbitrary charges.


Mrs Rakiya Zubairu, Head of Public Relations, NSC, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to her, the NSC has been inundated with complaints against shipping companies/agencies, seaport terminal operators and off-dock terminals on the arbitrary levy of container demurrage, storage and transfer charges on innocent consignees.

She noted that the charges were for transportation of cargoes to off-dock terminals unilaterally initiated by terminals without the consignees’ consent.

“It should be noted that based on international standard and recognised practice, freight paid at origin covers movement of cargo to final port of delivery at destination.

“It follows therefore, that cargoes earmarked for transfer to off-dock terminals at the request of the shipping company, seaport terminal operator or off-dock terminal, without the consent of the consignees or their authorized representatives, should not attract charge(s) against the consignees,” she said.

Zubairu said that accordingly, NSC had resolved that all service providers must be guided that import cargoes should be delivered to the nominated port of destination as stated in the Bill of Lading.

She said where the operational convenience of the seaport terminals or some other prevailing circumstances necessitate the transfer of cargoes from the seaport terminals to off-dock terminals, the concerned consignees or their authorized agents must be notified in good time.

According to her, they must not be charged the cost associated with such transfer, including barging cost.

“Storage and demurrage charges on cargoes earmarked for transfer from seaport terminals to off-dock terminals, without the consent of the consignee, should take effect only after arriving at the designated off-dock terminals.

“”NSC considers this act as unethical and unwholesome.

“Consequently, all transfer charges collected from consignees of cargoes transferred from seaport terminals to off-dock terminals, from June 1 to date, must be refunded to the consignees immediately.

“Those changes were at the instance of the shipping companies/agencies, seaport terminal operators or off-dock terminal operators, and without the consignees requesting for such transfer.

““Failure to refund such charges will lead to the council invoking its regulatory powers to enforce compliance,” she said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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