Senate directs security agencies to intensify security on waterways

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The Senate on Thursday charged security agencies to step up their surveillance on Bonny-Port-Harcourt waterways.

The upper chamber gave the charge following a motion on piracy attacks on Bonny-Port-Harcourt waterways, sponsored by Sen. Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West).

The Senate also mandated the Committee on Works to ensure adequate funding in the 2020 budget for the completion of the waterways.

Apiafi in her motion at plenary, recalled how four boats were attacked on Sept. 26 by pirates, who dispossessed the passengers of their properties and kidnapped some.

“This unprecedented challenge on the Bonny-Port-Harcourt waterways have put many travellers at risk and almost on a daily basis, armed bandits kidnap commuters, ” Apiafi said.

According to her, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLG) will soon commence its project along that route. Which will increase traffic along the waterways and put more lives at risk.

Sen. Thompson George Sekibo (PDP, Rivers East), who seconded the motion, said the activities of sea pirates had led to the abduction, killing and rape of Nigerians using the waterways.

Meanwhile, five bills scaled first reading on the floor during plenary on Thursday.

The bills are: Federal Polytechnic Kano Bill, sponsored by Sen. Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North); Deep offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 Act, sponsored by senators Albert Akpan (PDP, Akwa-Ibom North East) and Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra South).

Others are City University of Technology, Auchi (Establishment ) Bill, 2019, sponsored by Sen. Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo North); Flag and Coat of Arms Act 2019 bill, by Sen. Olalekan Mustapha; and Federal University, Wukari Bill, 2019, sponsored by Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha.

The bills were referred to the relevant committees by the President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, for further legislative work. (NAN)

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