The National Inland Water Ways (NIWA) has laid the foundation of a modern boat station, tagged “Passenger Lounge”, at Yauri, Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ceremony also featured thd inauguration of two passenger boats.
Speaking during the foundation laying ceremony on Thursday in Yauri, the Managing Director, NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, said: “I recall, I have promised His Royal Highness that I will come back to Yauri, so that promise I have fulfilled today.
“I have assured him that I will justify the confidence reposed in me.
I assured him also whatever I will do to make sure that the Yauri Emirate route that lead us even outside this country will be made commecially viable.
“I want to commend publicly our brother Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah for his commitment to his people, his desire to see that the route between Yauri to outside the country, Burkinafaso, Mali and even leading to hinterland in our country is made viable.
“So, I commend you for your efforts and I appreciate what you do for your people and your desire and determination to do more I will encourage you.
” Moghalu also appreciated the Emir of Yauri, Dr Muhammad Zayyanu-Abdullahi, for his total support, cooperation and encouragement toward the success of the programme in particular and the agency in general.
He added that: “The Government of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to make an impact on the people, that is essentially what we are doing today.
“Because we appreciate the potentials that make our inland water ways all year round applicable, open them up for our people to use.
“The economic potentials are quite enormous and we can tap into it to support and encourage the maritime ecosystem.
” Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi South) observed that the importance of the station as well as the newly launched boats were enormous.
He said it would open Yauri to international markets through the use of inland water and it would also help to ensure quick response in terms of emergency rather than relying on canoe and boats.
“If you have these boats, you can address emergencies, issues regarding to health and the rest.
We also have a boat ambulance there that can go across the river and convey sick people within the shortage possible time.
“This is how to open the inland water ways to ensure that people living by the river benefit from the invention of government.
“The boat station will be a processing zone for those who want to engage in international travel within the comfort, so that Immigration, Customs can do their jobs, they can boat and then depart for Burkinafaso or Mali,” he said.
According to him, it is a durable project and if the Federal Government decides to give them 10 per cent of what it is giving to the Railway, the place will be opened to many businesses.
Na’Allah added that with such support the normal business that used to happen during trans- Sahara trade would be boosted and relationship with other ECOWAS countries would be further enhanced.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Nigerian Airforce, Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah, has commended the Nigerian Airforce for effective deployment of the Super Tucanos and the success recorded so far against the current security challenges of Nigeria.
Na’Allah gave the commendation in a telephone interview on Sunday to assess operations of security agencies effectiveness of the new Super Tucano fighter jets.
He urged the Nigerian Airforce to sustain the good work to gain more ground in their efforts to rid the country of the lingering security challenges.
The chairman described the decision to acquire those platforms as one of the wisest taken by the Federal Government in terms of savings and operational flexibility.
He advised the Federal Government to consider increasing the number in order to significantly cut down the cost of running of the Airforce.
It was a poor outing for Senate Leader, Dr Yahaya Abdullahi, in Kebbi on Thursday as he did not get a single vote at the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress.
The National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Dr Nasiru Idris, emerged the party’s governorship candidate with 1,055 votes out of the 1,090 votes casted.
Alhaji Abubakar Gari-Malam, who polled the remaining 35 votes placed second.
The Returning Officer and Chairman, APC National Monitoring Committee, Alhaji Idris Yahuza, declared the results at the end of the exercise.
Idris expressed joy at his victory and at the smooth conduct of the primary election and thanked his supporters and the entire APC family in Kebbi.
Idris was NUT Chairman from local government to state levels, and currently its national president. He is also Deputy National Chairman of the NLC.
Notable Kebbi APC chieftains who witnessed the election were the state’s Gov. Atiku Bagudu, Sen. Adamu Aleiro, Sen. Bala Ibn-Na’Allah, Sen. Muhammadu Magoro, Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi, the Senate Leader; and Deputy Governor, Alhaji Samaila Yombe-Dabai.
Others included the Minister of Justice and Attorney- General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN; members of the House of Representatives and members of the state’s House of Assembly.
The Senate has urged the Presidency to take over the Nigerian Navy flagship "NNS ARADU" as a presidential asset and resurrect it for national security.
NNS ARADU is the largest ship in the Nigerian Navy's fleet.
The resolution followed a motion by Senator George Sekibo (PDP-Rivers) and co-sponsored senators.
The motion was titled "Urgent need to resurrect the Nigerian Navy flagship NNS ARADU."
Sekibo also urged the Senate to convene a stakeholder roundtable to design a funding regime that will facilitate the refurbishment and restoration of NNS ARADU.
He said this was necessary for the ship to fulfill its role of protecting Nigeria's maritime domain.
According to Sekibo, NNS ARADU is the largest ship in the Nigerian Navy's fleet with a length of 125.6 meters (412 feet 1 inch) and is a general purpose frigate.
“It is a multipurpose combat ship capable of undertaking antisubmarine warfare (short range or extended range using torpedoes carried by helicopters) and electronic warfare (interception and blocking), among others.
"The ship participated in joint exercises with visiting ships from the German, Indian, French and Brazilian navies."
He regretted that in 1987, just five years after commissioning, NNS ARADU ran aground twice and was involved in a major collision.
"It underwent a major local remodel in 1991 at the Nigerian Navy Shipyard, Wilmot Point, Lagos."
Sekibo said that ARADU's misfortune was the transfer of the ship from the Presidency to the Nigerian Navy for maintenance, which could not afford to keep it afloat due to the envelope budget system.
The legislator said the ship could be reconditioned locally or internationally or both to give it an extended service life of 25 years or more.
"The refurbishment of NNS ARADU may require more than 200 million dollars (N82 billion), while replacing it will require more than 700 million dollars."
The chairman of the Senate Air Force Committee, who contributed his contribution, Senator Bala Ibn Na'Allah said it was disheartening that the ship was desolate.
“It makes no sense in our economic situation to start anticipating that $ 700 million can be used for the purpose of replacing them.
"The fact that the job of parliament is to ensure a prudent use of the country's resources, which is why it calls on the Senate to intervene in these types of situations" .
The Senate Committee on Air Force on Tuesday tasked the military to intensify their onslaughts on insurgents and bandits to engender peace and development.
The committee’s chair, Sen. Bala Ibn Na’ Allah (APC-Kebbi) gave the charge when Air Marshal Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff, went to defend the Air Force’s 2022 budget before the committee.
Na’Allah urged Amao to use all resources within his disposal to route insurgents and make the forests uninhabitable for bandits, kidnappers and other criminals.
“The Air Force and by extension, the military deserve commendation on the war against insurgency and banditry, but Nigerians want enemies of the nation to be completely defeated as soon as possible.
Responding, Amao said the Air Force and the military generally were determined to protect Nigeria’s territorial integrity against insurgents and bandits who soon would be completely wiped out.
He explained that the 2021 budgetary allocations given to the Air Force were judiciously used in prosecuting the war against insurgents, bandits and on improving the welfare of its officers and men.
The Chief of Air Staff added that the 2022 allocation would also be expended judiciously for similar purposes
“In the face of challenges at hand, prudence and accountability have been the guiding principle of implementation of budgetary allocations Air Force,’’ he said.