MARITIME THIS WEEK: Recap of News and Events

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MARITIME THIS WEEK: Recap of News and Events

MONDAY NOVEMBER 18, 2019

Abiodun OBA      |        

This medium started the week with an editorial opinion captioned “Lagos Ports Access Roads: Killing the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs

 

It is no gainsaying that the Lagos ports access roads have become a national embarrassment.
The roads have also become death traps that have claimed many lives over the years.

It is disheartening to note that the roads leading to the ports that generate the second highest revenue for government have been left to depreciate and rot to a lamentable level.

It is instructive to note that Lagos ports, which comprise two of the biggest and busiest ports in the West African region, generate more than 70 percent of the Customs revenue that have in recent times hit the trillion-naira mark.

It is also the heartbeat of the Nigerian maritime industry that is reputed to account for the second highest revenue yield for the government after oil and gas sector.

The same maritime industry which stakeholders claimed is capable of generating over N7 trillion annually if its potentials are maximally developed and exploited.

Sadly, the roads that lead to this goldmine, the cash cow, have suffered criminal neglect by successive governments over the years.

The medium however quickly added that it was not satisfied with the current level of work on the roads which we consider slow, considering the excruciating pains being experienced daily by port users who wish to access the ports from that axis.

We admonish the contractors to quicken the pace of work on the road and quickly bring an end to the daily mystery of the users.

Substandard barges pose threat on our waterways – NIWA cries out

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has condemned the use of substandard tug boats and barges for cargo evacuation by barge operators on the nation’s inland waterways.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has approved the movement of cargoes through the nation’s waterway due to the perennial traffic gridlock experienced on the access roads leading to the nation’s seaports -Apapa and Tin-Can Island port.

However, since the evacuation from Apapa port to Ikorodu and Epe begins, containers have fallen into the lagoon, thereby posing grave danger for waterways users and loss to cargo owners.


TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19

Hope rises for indigenous shipowners as BoI set to support asset financing

 

Respite has come the way of local shipowners as the Bank of Industry (BoI) has expressed readiness to finance acquisition of maritime assets.

This was disclosed last week when the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Olukayode Pitan, paid a courtesy visit on the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside at the Agency’s corporate headquarters in Lagos.

The reprieve is coming after a long and hard struggle by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for a single digit interest facility to aid operators in the country’s maritime industry,

The credit facility is meant to help in the procurement of maritime assets to put operators in a position to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.


PMB honours Customs Chief, former Airport cleaner for integrity.

President, Muhammadu Buhari has presented Integrity awards to former Customs Area Controller, Bashir Abubakar for rejecting N150million bribe from drug importers.

Aside Abubakar, Mrs Josephine Ugwu of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria was similarly celebrated for exhibiting Integrity in the performance of her official duty.

Buhari presented the awards to the recipients at the opening of two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in Public Sector held at the State House old Banquet hall, Abuja.

The event is being organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in collaboration with Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).


WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 20

Feuding ship-owners groups close ranks as Labinjo languishes in detention

The warring groups of the indigenous ship owners may have decided to set aside their differences by agreeing to come together to form a unified body.

This will culminate in the conduct of a unifying elections into the executive positions in the first quarter of next year.

This reunion is despite the continued detention of a factional president of the Nigeria Indigenous Ship owners Associations (NISA), Captain Dada Labinjo, who has been languishing in detection for about a year now.

The group added that the unity of members is paramount to the growth of maritime sector.


Border closure: N1.45 trillion goods smuggled to Nigeria from Benin Republic annually – World Bank.

 

The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has said it supports the federal government on border closure because of the whooping N1.45 trillion worth of goods smuggled into Nigeria annually.

The Acting Managing Director of NEPZA, Engr. David Terhemba Nongo stated this at a public function in Lagos yesterday.

He lamented the menace of smuggling of goods through the Benin Republic corridor into Nigeria saying it is of negative economic influence to the nation.

According to the MD who was represented at the event by Simon Tsuwan, a recent World Bank report stated that about N1.45 trillion worth of goods are smuggled into Nigeria annually through the Benin border alone.

His words, “This prompted Africa’s foremost industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to lament that there is no country that can survive with Benin Republic as a neighbour.


THURSDAY NOVEMBER 21

DPR intercepts black-marketers with petroleum product-laden jerricans

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has intercepted some black-marketers conveying jerricans loaded with petroleum products in Kaura-Namoda.

The Controller, Gusau DPR Field office, Alhaji Ango Haruna made the disclosure on in Kaura-Namoda while on surveillance of filling stations.

According to Haruna, the department also sealed one Liquified Petroleum Gas Refilling Plant in Gusau over some infractions.

The controller said, “today, we intercepted some black-marketers conveying jerricans loaded will petroleum products in Kaura-Namoda.


UK Court convicts 4 Nigerian and Liberian stowaways on Rioting Charges

A UK court has convicted four Nigerian and Liberian stowaways of the crime of affray for allegedly throwing fecal matter and threatening the crew of the Grimaldi con/ro Grande Tema last year.

They were acquitted of the more serious charge of attempted hijacking.

Last December, the defendants – Samuel Jolumi, 27, Ishola Sunday, 28, Toheeb Popoola, 27, and Joberto McGee, 20 – were discovered by the crew and placed in quarantine while the Grande Tema was under way from Lagos, Nigeria to Tilbury, UK.

On the morning of December 21, five days after their discovery and confinement, the stowaways allegedly broke free and demanded to be taken ashore in the United Kingdom.

Grande Tema’s 27 crewmembers locked themselves on the bridge to ensure their own security and alerted the authorities. They navigated their vessel in a holding pattern in the English Channel, just off Margate, and awaited assistance.

 

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