MARITIME THIS WEEK

MARITIME THIS WEEK

MONDAY APRIL 13, 2020

Abiodun OBA

Editorial: Port Concession Review:  Who is Afraid of Shippers’ Council?

In 2006, the Federal government, after several years of horse trading and meticulous planning, decided to privatise port operations for efficiency and high revenue yield.

Consequently, the nation’s ports were balkanised into 25 terminals whose operations the Nigerian ports Authority (NPA), ceded to private owners.

As good and desirable the concession programme was, its process has been a subject of controversy.

The exercise was said to have been conducted in opaque manner, steeped in irregularities and secrecy.

More worrisome to the teeming agitated stakeholders, of which we are among, was that the concession agreement between the NPA, the statutory custodian of the ports, and the concessionaires, was said to have been shrouded in secrecy.

OPEC+ planning to cut production 20 mn bpd – Trump

US President Donald Trump said top global oil producers are considering cutting production by 20 million barrels per day under the terms of a deal to boost prices.

Trump, who took credit for brokering the deal, on Monday, said the agreement was bigger than expected and will help the energy industry recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Having been involved in the negotiations, to put it mildly, the number that OPEC+ is looking to cut is 20 Million Barrels a day, not the 10 Million that is generally being reported,” Trump tweeted.

“Thank you to all of those who worked with me on getting this very big business back on track, in particular Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

TUESDAY APRIL 14, 2020

President Buhari increases households on social register by a million

* Expresses satisfaction with coronavirus guidelines compliance level
* Extends lockdown by 14 Days

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced additional 1 million households to the National Social Register (NSR) up from 2.6 million households to cushion the effect of the impact of the coronavirus.

President Buhari said this in a second nationwide broadcast on Monday. He said the addition should be done in the next two weeks.

He said a technical committee will submit a report on the development to him “by the end of this week.”

“I have also directed that the current social register be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks,” Buhari said. “This means we will support an additional one million homes with our social investment programs.”

President Buhari ordered the extension of the lockdown by another 14-days in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun State as efforts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Recall that the first lockdown was meant to end by Monday night.

PTML Donates N150m, Masks To FG, Lagos Government

In a bid to combat the spread of the deadly Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the Nigeria’s roll-on-roll-off (RORO) terminal, Ports and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) and its parent company, Grimaldi Nigeria have collectively donated a total of N150million, 10000 nose masks and 5000 hand gloves to various arms of government.

While PTML donated N100million to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Relief Fund Account created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Grimaldi Nigeria donated N50million to the Lagos State Government.

PTML also donated 10,000 nose masks and 5,000 hand gloves to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Tin Can Island Port to support NPA’s effort to check the spread of the virus at the nation’s seaport.

The Managing Director of PTML, Mr. Ascanio Russo, said the firm deems it necessary to identify with the efforts of the Federal Government, Lagos State Government and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in strengthening measures towards containing the spread of the global pandemic in Nigeria, and particularly the port industry.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 15, 2020

Gulf of Guinea world’s piracy hot spot; 37 ships boarded, 22 seafarers kidnapped in Q1, 2020 – IMB

The Gulf of Guinea remains the world’s piracy hot spot. However, as many incidents remain unreported seafarers are advised to remain vigilant at all times.

In total, IMB’s 24-hour Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 21 attacks in the Gulf of Guinea in the first three months of this year of reports of 47 attacks the bureau received in the first three months of this year.

Of these, 12 were on vessels underway at an average of 70 nautical miles off the coast.

Armed perpetrators are targeting all vessel types. They approach in speedboats, boarding ships in order to steal stores or cargo and abduct crewmembers to demand a ransom.

Seventeen crew were kidnapped in three incidents in the GoG waters, at distances of between 45 and 75 nautical miles from the coast.

COVID-19: SIFAX donates protective equipment to NPA

SIFAX Group has donated protective equipment to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as part of efforts to further strengthen the fight against Coronavirus.

Philips Ojo, Corporate Affairs officer of the Group communicated this in an electronic mail to our correspondent on Tuesday.

He stated in the statement that the donation was made through the Nigerian Ports Authority Liaison office at Tin Can Island.

The statement read, “At the short ceremony, Capt. Ibraheem Olugbade, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock, explained that as an organization committed to flattening the curve and curbing the spread of COVID-19, SIFAX Group is donating 100 cartons of hand sanitizers, 200 boxes of hand gloves, 20 packs of special nose masks and 100 boxes of nose masks to the Nigerian Ports Authority.

THURSDAY APRIL 16

Military pounces on illegal refinery operators in Rivers

The Nigeria military has pounced on illegal refinery operators in Delta and River States and destroyed the sites of operations.

In a statement by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major-General John Enenche, the military personnel intercepted two wooden boats laden with about 3,000 litres of product suspected to be Automotive Gasoline Oil popularly known as diesel packaged in polyethylene bags as part of ongoing Operations curb oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

This statement issued in Abuja, explained that the operation was carried out by the Nigerian Navy Ship in collaboration with an Ocean Marine Service (OMS) surveillance crew which also helped to deploy two swamp buggies to the island for anti-illegal bunkering/Crude Oil Theft (COT).

“The team commenced swamp buggy operations at the illegal refining sites and deactivated 24 ovens, 35 receivers, 25 surface metal storage tanks and covered one dugout pit.

Governors urge PMB to reform distribution of palliatives to forestall crisis

Nigerian governors have told President Muhammadu Buhari that the mode of distribution of palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians affected by the coronavirus impact must be reformed.

The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday, briefed Buhari on the limitations of the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable persons to curb the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Fayemi spoke in his capacity as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) during a teleconference with president.

The details of the meeting were made available via a statement signed by the NGF spokesperson, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo.

 

FRIDAY APRIL 17, 2020

COVID-19: NIMASA extends certificate validity for Seafarers

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it has extended the validity of Statutory and Trading certificates for all Nigerian Registered vessels.

According to a press release by the agency signed by the Head of its Corporate Communication, Philip Kyanet, the certificates include Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates for seafarers issued by the Agency.

The statement added that the Director-General of the apex maritime agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh made the statement at the Agency’s head office in Lagos.

Customs intercepts cannabis-filled Volkswagen – As Drug traffickers hide N483m cocaine in cargo of face masks

A Volkswagen Golf 3 car with Reg no. ABC 45 LP laden with 5 bags of suspected cannabis has been intercepted in Kaduna.

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Deputy Comptroller in charge of Northern zone and Assistant Comptroller Customs, Baba Kolobe, the told newsmen on Wednesday in Kaduna.

Kolobe explained that the suspect was arrested through the intelligence gathered.

In a related development, sons-of-the-devil drug traffickers exploiting the coronavirus crisis of the moment hid cocaine in a cargo of face masks.

Their plan was to sneak the 14kg drug into UK, with the most sought-after protection for the virus.

However, the plan collapsed

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