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    Safety, Security, Unregulated Fishing, Marine Tourism, Top Of My Agenda — Oyetola

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    The Minister of the Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, has stated that tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, harnessing marine tourism, safety and security are top of the agenda of his administration as Minister of the newly created Ministry of Marine and Blue economy.

    He stated this during a working visit to NIMASA headquarters in Lagos, where he met with the Top Management staff of the Agency. The Minister said the time has come for Nigeria to fully harness its vast potentials in the maritime sector, noting that the working visit was to ascertain and properly appraise the situation of things with a view of taking practical steps and measures towards addressing them.

    In his words, “Today, we have come to see some of the things you told us in Abuja and to properly appraise the situation of things with a view to taking practical steps towards addressing them. I am particularly interested in the NIMASA Modular Floating Dock because of its potential to generate employment and stemmed capital flight. But we must find a way of ensuring stakeholders’ buy-in, in whatever we do so that we are seen to be working together for the growth and development of Nigeria”.

    Speaking further, the Minister noted that it was time for Nigeria to float a National Carrier, stressing that through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement, and the support of stakeholders, such a plan would be achieved in the interest of the maritime industry and Nigeria as a whole.

    The Minister averred that management of the resources of Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy entailed proactive, smart and strategic thinking. He called for the rediscovery, harnessing and packaging of the nation’s maritime resources, including seafoods, in line with all associated international standards and specifications.

    The Minister, who bemoaned foreign dominance of the fishing industry, assured that under his watch it will no longer be business as usual.

    In his words “According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the fisheries sector contributed 1.09% of the country’s total GDP in the year 2020 and 0.9% in the Q3 of 2021. We are regarded as a net importer of fishery products. But we are determined to change the narrative by putting in place measures to make Nigeria a major player in that regard”.

    Oyetola stressed that safety and security of the maritime corridors of Nigeria was a priority area in his agenda for the ministry, noting that without safety and security, there can never be a meaningful achievement in the industry. He added that with the rich endowments of her marine and blue economy, Nigeria had no justification not to develop marine tourism, which is a revenue-spinner for most countries, especially at the period when diversification of the economy from oil was sacrosanct.

    According to him, “Nigeria makes up about 853 kilometres of the estimated 47,000 kilometres of coastline in Africa. Nigeria has one of the largest wetlands in the world, with its coastal and marine ecosystems covering a total of 70,000 square kilometres. There are countries around the world that rely solely on earnings from the tourism sector. Here in Nigeria, we also have what it takes to attract tourists to waters. Therefore, we shall be developing the infrastructure in cities and towns that are lake or coastal facing for this purpose”.

    The Minister commended the Management of NIMASA under the leadership of Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR, for his grit and determination in ensuring that the Agency fulfils its mandates. He noted that he had full confidence in the capabilities and dedication of the Agency’s management, and stated that he looked forward to witnessing the continued success of NIMASA in shaping the future of the country’s maritime sector, reiterating that together, a thriving marine and blue economy that benefits everyone can be actualised.

    Jamoh, in his opening remarks, had welcomed the Minister to the Agency, declaring that his appointment was unique and timely. The DG noted that the uniqueness of the Minister’s appointment was based on the industry and stakeholders’ clamour for independence, and the magnanimity of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to create the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, showed that the President was a listening leader.

    During the visit, he also inspected the NIMASA Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and intelligence, C4i centre, NIMASA e-library, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) radio room, Marine Environment Management Laboratory, the newly acquired NIMASA headquarters, Search and Rescue Base Clinic and the NIMASA Skill Acquisition Centre in Apapa.

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    Makinde suspends Oyo monarch

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    The Oyo State Government, yesterday, suspended Oba Gbolagade Muritala Babalola (Gbadewolu I) as the Onido of Ido in Ido Local Council of the state.

    The government, in a letter dated February 2, 2024, and signed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Olusegun Olayiwola, said Governor Seyi Makinde approved the suspension on February 1, 2024.

    “I wish to inform you that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State of Nigeria, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sub-section 1&2 of Section 26 of the Chiefs Law, Cap. 28 Vol I, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000 and by virtue of all other enabling powers in that regard, has approved your suspension as the Onido of Ido in the area of authority of Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State,” the letter read in part.

    It directed Oba Babalola to hand over all government properties in his possession to the chairman of Ido local council.

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    Bauchi Agog as Tribunal Affirms Mohammed Bauchi Gov

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    Bauchi State capital and environs erupted in jubilation yesterday following the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal’s affirmation of Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed as the duly elected governor of the state.

     

    The 3-man tribunal led by Justice PT Kwahar, dismissed the petition by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and its gubernatorial candidate, Ambassador Saddique Baba Abubakar.

     

    The tribunal affirmed that Mohammed, who was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the gubernatorial election, actually won the election with the majority votes cast.

     

    The tribunal dismissed the APC petition for lack of credible evidence to discredit result of the gubernatorial election as declared by INEC.

     

    The tribunal’s premises, however, erupted in Jubilation by members and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) engaged in drumming and praises to show joy and happiness over the victory.

     

    Reacting to the verdict, Mohammed commended the tribunal for upholding his victory despite the indiscriminate demonisation of the country’s judicial system.

     

    Speaking shortly after the tribunal affirmed his election, he called on his opponents to sheathe their swords and join him to harness enormous resources of the state to create a modern economy that would benefit everyone within Bauchi State as Nigeria’s pearl of tourism.

     

    “Today, the Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Bauchi, revalidated the mandate that you gave to me last March. It was a profound judgment that will continue to resonate within multiple circles as a demonstration of judicial rigour and common sense and an affirmation of the sovereign will of the people over political brinksmanship and an entitlement mentality.

     

    “Our victory today is by the grace of Allah, who gives power to whom he wishes and takes it without consulting the holder. We are once again reminded that all power is held in trust on behalf of God.

     

    “It is an unambiguous statement that despite the mischief of political merchants who arrogate to themselves kingmaker status and deceive some of our unsuspecting compatriots into believing that they can determine the destiny of others, God still reigns in the affairs of all his creations,” he said.

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    Adeleke to Fix Lasting Infrastructural Projects in Osun, Says PDP Chieftain

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    Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke will soon commence fixing of long lasting Infrastructural projects in the state as part of the promises made to the people of the state.

    Speaking with Freelanews in Osogbo, former Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic party ( PDP) in the state, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, noted that all abandoned projects within the state would be revisited for timely completion.

    Adekunle stressed that roads will also be constructed in all local government areas in the state, while the federal constituencies would equally benefit immensely in the developmental agenda of the state governor.

    He remarked that since the enthronement of the present administration, all promises made are being fully followed to the letter.

    According to him “Adeleke had surpassed people’s expectations considering the situation met on ground because he has done well based on Infrastructural development so far.”

    He also recalled the medical outfit for the people of the state in all the constituencies, saying the governor had surpassed people’s expectations on Health.

    The PDP chieftain remarked that health palliatives for the people of the state is under way as all health facilities would be given face- lift in all ramifications.

    He emphasised that all general hospitals in the state would receive a boost in order to turn them to a world-class medical centres which will serve as medical tourism to other state to visit.

    Adekunle stressed that there are enough medical personnel to make the state proud of being a world-class medical tourist attraction.

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