From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has revealed that as part of the ongoing reforms in the nation’s marine transport sector, the Federal Government will conduct a forensic audit of ports.
The minister gave the hint on Tuesday in Abuja, notimg that the decision to conduct forensic audit of ports in Nigeria would be dependent on the findings of the performance audit of ports, which is about to commence.
According to him, “when we do the performance audit reforms, what we see will likely push us into forensic audit. If we see massive corruption, we will go into forensic audit. What we meet on ground will determine what next step we will take.”
The former governor of Rivers State, who spoke during a parley with Inland Port Concessionaires, emphasised that the Federal Government was committed to reviving the ports across the nation.
His words: “Port reforms start first with audit. We have not started the audit. It is not going to be easy. It is going to be challenging because a lot of vested interests are found around the seaports. The audit is not here to witch-hunt anybody.
“The audit is there to first and foremost tell us what challenges we are facing at the seaports, how do we reform and make amends, how do we make seaports begin to generate money, not only for private individuals but also for government.”
On the commitment of the Federal Government towards developing the inland ports, the minister pointed out that in the past, seaports had been unable to create wealth for the people but for few individuals, assuring the concessionaires that government is committed to assisting them conclude their investment.
He said: “They have had some challenges. Those ones that involve the state governments; we will be glad to meet with the state governors to render their own support. They will create employment. Government is trying to revive the economy and they are great part of that process.
“The new ports will decongest the existing ports. It will bring goods and services closer to the importers. For example, the Kano man doesn’t have to go to Lagos to get his goods because he knows they will deliver it at the inland port at Kano. Just like the Kaduna man or the man in Funtua.”
NOA: DG NOA blames nation’s woes on bad leadership
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Garba Abari, has blamed the current crisis in the country on the failure of leadership over the years and the inability of the country’s leaders to manage state affairs.
The DG, who said the situation led to high rate of moral decadence and retarded development, called on Nigerians to be proactive by making painstaking efforts in choosing leaders that will impact and manage the affairs of the country meaningfully, irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliations.
A statement by the Deputy Director of Press, Mr. Fidel Agu, quoted Abari as commending, in his remarks at the Ahmudu Bello University Annual Leadership Workshop in Zaria, Kaduna State, the student body for organising such a forum to identify among them those with leadership potentials, noting that such efforts would guarantee and form the fulcrum for future Nigerian leaders.
“It is a worthwhile initiative and we will align the agency’s programme to this great initiative, as a way to encourage the students in this noble cause, a cause which is purpose-driven and beneficial for the development of our country,” Abari posited.
The Guest Speaker at the event, Bashir Bugaje, enjoined Nigerians to understand the clear definition of leadership.
Defence: FG inaugurates white paper committee on revision of National Defence Policy
The Federal Government has inaugurated a white paper drafting committee on the revision of the country’s National Defence Policy (2015) to reflect its current security challenges.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Amb. Danjuma Shani, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Defence, inaugurated the committee in Abuja yesterday. The committee, chaired by retired Lt.-Gen. Isaac Obiakor, has six weeks within which to come up with the white paper.
Shani said: “All nations in the modern world require a National Defence Policy to guide the core functions of their sovereignty and nationhood.
“Nigeria has operated a National Defence Policy since 2006 to guide our national direction in defence, economic and military affairs both locally and internationally.
“It, therefore, behooves on you to collectively and dispassionately execute this ‘national assignment’ irrespective of service affiliations and primordial differences.
“Terms of reference are to capture government’s view/position to each of the recommendations in the revised National Defence Policy. To make recommendations to government to realistic strategies for the implementation of the revised National Defence Policy.”
NIGER DELTA: FG, Niger Delta govs reach accord on development
From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Federal Government, governors of oil producing states and investors have reached an accord to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, made the disclosure, while briefing newsmen after a meeting with the governors of the states in the Niger Delta region and some investors.
Pastor Usani noted that it was not possible for the federal, state and local governments to do things independently in the Niger Delta region for socio-economic and industrial development of the area, hence the need for partnership.
He said: “We have reached an accord to guarantee a working relationship for the good of the people of Niger Delta region.”
According to the minister, modalities are being worked out to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with each of the nine states in the region for commencement of operation as soon as possible.
He explained that with the completion and operation of the skill acquisition centres, foreign exchange spent on the training of youths of the region overseas would be conserved since training would be done locally.
In his remarks at the meeting, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, commended the minister for the initiative in organising the meeting of the governments of the Niger Delta region and private investors.