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Infrastructural decay: AMJON, ANLCA seek urgent intervention of FG in maritime 

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The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) on Friday, expressed displeasure over how federal government has neglected the maritime industry over the years.
Recall that the maritime industry is second highest earner for the government but has not received adequate government attention to boost its efficiency.
At a one-day conference organised by AMJON in Lagos on Friday, the ANLCA, called for the establishment of maritime ministry for adequate attention as it is in other ministries.
National Vice President of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Collins Farinto representing the National President, Chief Tony Iju Nwabunike, while presenting a paper on Roles of Customs BrokersFreigjt Forwarders in Seamless Port Operations, urged the federal government to focus on the industry to revamp it.
Speaking at the 3rd Annual Conference/Awards of the AMJON, Farinto lauded the Acting Managing Of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Bello Koko for his efforts in clearing the bottlenecks at the ports so far.
Koko stated that there are lots of factors militating against the maritime industry in Nigeria as well as.lack of infrastructure like scanners to speed up cargo examination.
“Numerous agencies of government at the seaport carrying out similar functions. Perennial traffic gridlock hindering easy access to the seaport. Poor road network within the port vicinity,” he mentioned.
Others, according to him, are lack of functional railway system for immediate evacuation of containers out of the port, activities of miscreants within the port corridors, and corruption and sabotage in the system.
Earlier, the President of AMJON, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri, said that if the 10- kilometer Oshodi-Apapa expressway which has been under construction for many years is completed, it would reduce the Apapa gridlock by 40 per cent, adding that a motorable road system is essential in the drive towards a “Seamless Port Operations in Nigeria”.
Ogbuokiri also charged management of the Nigerian Shippers Council to join the effort of other government regulatory bodies, so that Nigerians will see the full benefit of the ‘blue economy project’.
According to him, it is expected that the Nigerian Customs Service will just allow the scanners to work and shame those who believe that officials of the agency deliberately sabotage all efforts at making cargo clearing a seamless operation, done real time with little or human contacts.
He further said: “The Nigerian maritime industry which hitherto was held down by many setbacks to the extent that it has completely failed to reach its potentials, is on the march to reach its potentials as vast media reports quoting the International Maritime Bureau indicate that piratical attacks dropped by 77 percent in the first nine months of 2021 in the Nigerian waters and the Gulf Guinea which in recent years became the epicenter of piracy and sea robbery.
“We have noted that the leadership of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), has commenced a campaign for the removal of the war risk insurance on Nigerian bound cargoes and is also inching closer to returning Nigerian to a position of importance in global maritime politics.
“It has also come to our notice, that, the new leadership at the Nigerian Ports Authority has reworked the Electronic Truck Call System (ETO) to the extent that it brought down the notorious Apapa traffic gridlock by about 60 per cent.
”We’re looking forward that this magic wand on the new administration at the Ports Authority put traffic completely under control so that Apapa, Nigeria’s foremost port city will regain its grove”.
The event also witnessed the presentation of awards to individuals who, according to AMJON, are driving the new effort to reposition the Nigerian maritime industry and contributing to its effective return to the path of growth after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recipients include: Dr. Bashir Jamoh, DG of NIMASA; Mohamed Bello-Koko, Acting MD, NPA; Dr. Kayode Farinto, National Vice President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); Mallam Farouk Salim, DG of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON); Enr. Salat Lara Braimah, Lagos Area Manager, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA); Compt. Yusuf Malanta, Area Controller of Apapa Customs Command.
Others are: Compt. Festus Okun, Head of Port and Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) Command; Alhaji Abdulazeez Mikhaila, National Secretary of ANLCA; Hajia Bola Muse, CEO of Bomarah Investment Limited; Kehinde Hakeem, Chairman, MMA Chapter, ANLCA and Segun Alabi, President, Advocacy for Maritime Development Associations (AMDA).
The Association also used the event to unveil the AMJON Express Magazine, a special purpose magazine which promises to be the voice of the maritime media.

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