From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has urged members of the governing board of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to assist the management of the agency to discharge its mandate optimally.
Delivering a keynote address at a retreat for board members, on the topic “Integrating the Transport Sector with the Ocean Economy in Nigeria,” Amaechi urged the board to collaborate with other transportation stakeholders to build an efficient intermodal system for the country.
Represented by Director of Maritime Safety and Security, Mr. Danjuma Dauda, the minister acknowledged the strategic importance of the maritime industry to global commerce, calling on the NIMASA board to “place the agency in an enviable position to optimally perform its functions and deliver on its mandate.”
He stated that the retreat was expected to strengthen the board members’ capacity for the assignment ahead, adding: “A sound knowledge of the laws empowering the agency to effectively regulate the Nigerian maritime industry will help in addressing the challenges of the sector for maximum economic benefits to the nation.”
While stressing that government was committed to the total development of the transportation system, Amaechi said: “We must effectively harness the opportunities in the maritime sector in collaboration with other sectors, which explains why government is working assiduously towards improving transportation by seamlessly integrating maritime with road, rail and air modes of transportation.”
Responding, the board’s chairman, Gen. Jonathan India Garba, thanked the minister and assured him that the board would cooperate with the management team to reposition the agency to discharge its mandate effectively.
Lack of benchmark, bane of achieving UN 2015 development projection – NBS
From Basil Obasi, Abuja
The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, has attributed the inability of Nigeria to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 on the lack of comprehensive and harmonised benchmark data for monitoring targets and progress made.
Kale, who made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja during a training exercise, explained that robust and reliable statistical information needed for setting benchmarks and tracking progress in implementation was pivotal in achieving the United Nations 2030 agenda.
The Statistician-General noted that the training was apt and timely, considering the need for early preparation, in order to effectively monitor the goals and track progress towards achieving them in a comprehensive and systematic manner at both national and sub-national levels.
According to him, because of the overarching importance of data, the NBS, as the custodian of official statistics in Nigeria, wants all stakeholders to support the administrative data collection exercise so as to provide government with comprehensive, timely and reliable statistics for the implementation of the SDGs.
Also, speaking at the event, Senior Special Assistant to the President on the SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, commended the NBS and development partners for the level of synergy being put in place to ensure that the experience with the MDGs is not repeated in the implementation of the SDGs.
NOA decries human rights abuses
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
Despite allegations by Amnesty International that the Nigerian security forces killed at least 150 supporters of the pro-Biafra group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the past year, the Federal Government yesterday said it was committed to the protection and promotion of human rights.
Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, who stated this when he received a delegation from the Human Rights Awareness Initiative (HURAI), which presented copies of its publication, HURAI Journal, to him, said the agency was instrumental to the return of civic education in Nigeria’s school curriculum.
In addition, he disclosed that the agency created the Social Justice Unit at the headquarters with desk officers in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory as well as the 774 local government councils, who cater for issues concerning human rights, social justice, rule of law and alternative dispute resolution.
Represented by the Director, Special Duties/State Operations, Mette Edekobi, the NOA boss noted that there was need to properly sensitise Nigerians on their rights, stressing that once a man is aware of his rights, he can do everything humanly possible to defend them.