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Government Restates Commitment to Shipping Sector Development

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  • Government Restates Commitment to Shipping Sector Development

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi has assured that the Federal Government is committed to building a virile platform through the implementation of policies and programmes that will further enhance the contributions of the maritime sector to the national economy.

The minister added that the Federal Government has signed an undisclosed commercial contract agreement with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), on the Calabar and Port Harcourt coastal rail project segment, which will extend from the Onne Port in Rivers State to boost transportation.

Amaechi, who was represented by Mrs Ijeoma Chijioke Adindu, at the formal inauguration of the executive committee of African Maritime Journalists Association (AMJA), in Lagos, said the Federal Government is desirous of ensuring that the maritime sector played more commensurate role in galvanising the economy of Nigeria.

On the coastal rail line project, the minister added that the project was aimed at fostering a more seamless cargo delivery at the ports.

He said: “In continuation of government’s effort to improve ports efficiency and ensure seamless movement of cargoes within the country, the Federal Government recently signed commercial contract agreements with the Calabar-Port Harcourt segment one extending to the Onne deep seaports of the coastal rail project with CCECC.”

The minister further said that, “the Federal Government is also determined to enforce the provision of coastal and inland shipping (Cabotage Act 2003), which is an important pillar for home grown capacity for the sustainable development of the Nigeria maritime industry.

“This is timely more so when the government is paying attention to promoting the local content of the maritime sub sector by developing indigenous potentials to contribute to the growth of the nation, creating jobs and wealth for our teeming youths for sustainable development”

Amaechi also said the Federal Government and the concessionaires are working assiduously to relieve the seaports of the burden of perennial congestions, “providing opportunities for even infrastructural development, harnessing the potential for consolidation and other numerous economic benefits that abound in the maritime sector.

“Let me state here that the federal government is committed to building a virile platform through the implementation of policies and programmes that will advance the contribution of the maritime sector to the development of the economy.

“Furthermore, exploiting the various opportunities in the maritime sector has the capacity to contribute to the prosperity of African countries by increasing by increasing the Gross Domestic Products (GDP), Per Capita income and also serves as an alternative source of government revenue,” he stressed.

Speaking on the theme of the inauguration, the minister called on African countries to diversify their economy by exploring the opportunities in the maritime sector in order to broaden the revenue base and also provide employment for the teeming population.

“The blue economy is made up of vast resources that are ocean based”.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market.

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COVID-19: EU Restricts Nigerians From Entering Europe After Infecting them

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European Union Excludes Nigerian from 54 Nations that Can Enter the Region

The European Union (EU) has excluded Nigeria from the list of 54 nations that will be allowed to enter the region when it eventually opens its external borders in July.

In a statement published on schengenvisainfo.com, the union listed the 54 countries as Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guyana and India.

Others are Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.

While China, the outbreak nation, South Korea and Japan, two of the most affected nations in the world, will be allowed to enter the Euro-area when external borders reopen in July, Nigeria with fewer cases of COVID-19 has been excluded from the list despite an Italian businessman been the index case.

The Italian businessman had traveled to Nigeria in February 2020 and tested positive to COVID-19 on February 27 after interacting with Nigerians that came in contact with him.

The Nigerian government had allowed citizens of Euro-area to travel into the country despite the rising number of new cases in the region, especially in Italy, France and Germany. However, the revise is the case now, even with Nigeria addressing the situation started by the European Union.

Eric Mamer, the spokesman for the commission, said “The European Union has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers.”

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FG Test-Runs Nnamdi Azikiwe, Lagos Airport Ahead of Flight Operations

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FG Test-Runs Nnamdi Azikiwe, Lagos Airport Ahead of Flight Operations

The Federal Government on Saturday conducted a test-run of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport ahead of commercial flight operations following months of lockdown due to COVID-19.

In line with safety protocols, passengers will be duly screened to protect them and the cabin crew.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), provisions were made for hand wash and alcohol-based sanitisers, there were temperature checks, as well as strict compliance to social distancing of about one metre.

Also, the Federal Government has acquired robots to process passengers at the departure hall, according to NTA news.

robot 2

These robots were reportedly tested in Lagos earlier this morning.

robot

It would be recalled that Air Peace had flown 25 empty planes from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos to ascertain their working condition ahead of flight resumption.

The airline spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, stated on Thursday.

He said, “All the aircraft took to the skies flying to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos without passengers.”

Speaking on the airline readiness, Olisa said “We have been operating ‘special flights’ to local and international destinations, and we have more of such flights in the works.

“This accentuates our preparedness for operation restart as our pilots, cabin crew and engineers have been hands-on and are current. So, we are 100 per cent ready to resume.”

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Oxford University Commences First Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa

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Oxford University Commences First Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa

Oxford University in Partner with the University of Witwatersrand has rolled out the first human trials of COVID-19 vaccine in Africa in South Africa.

The trials that started on Wednesday will consist of 2,000 volunteers between the age of 18 to 65 years, this will include HIV positive patients. Together they will be administered the vaccine and monitored for 12 months to evaluate how well the vaccine protects them against COVID-19.

Shabir Madhi, a professor of vaccinology at Wits University and leader of the trial said, “Once 60% of the population, especially the adult population, becomes immune, we expect that effective reproductive rate to go under 1, which basically means the virus will still be around, it will still circulate, but its chain of transmission has been interrupted.”

South Africa is now the second country after Brazil to take part in the trial outside the United Kingdom where 4,000 people had previously volunteered.

The ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, also known as AZD1222, was developed by Oxford University scientists, that are now working with AstraZeneca on development and production.

The trial has created a mixed feeling among Africans following decades of using Africans as guinea pigs for new medical trials.

Junior Mhlongo, a volunteer who received the vaccine at a hospital in Johannesburg, said: “I feel a little bit scared, but I want to know what is going on with this vaccine so that I can tell my friends and others.”

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