MARITIME THIS WEEK: Recap of News and Events

MONDAY OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 1, 2019

Edited by Abiodun OBA        |        

This medium started the week with an editorial opinion captioned

“The Task before Muoghalu, New NIWA MD”


The medium recalled that on October 2, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the National Auditor of All Progressive Party (APC), Chief George Muoghalu as the eighth Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
It said, “The appointment thus put paid to the wild speculations that were rife over the appointment of a substantive NIWA helmsman since the elevation of its erstwhile MD, Senator Adeleke Mamora as the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“His appointment received wide acceptability especially among his kinsmen from the South East of the country who understandably were elated that Muoghalu’s appointment would be an opportunity for him to revive the moribund Onitsha River Port.
“In as much as we agree that the Onitsha inland port needs to be made functional, that is by far the least of the tasks before the new NIWA helmsman.”
The medium reminded Muoghalu to be aware that he has taken over one of the most critical yet problematic government agency.


Baro Port: NIWA MD to engage FG, Niger Government over bad road

The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), George Muoghalu said he would engage the state and federal governments for the rehabilitation of the road leading to Baro port.
Recall that president Muhammadu Buhari had in January inaugurated the Baro Port.
He said the port would enhance intermodal transportation connectivity in the country, adding that it would also reduce pressure from big trucks off the road, and create huge employment opportunities for Nigerians, while also decongesting other busy ports.
But, in a familiarisation tour of the Baro port the MD of NIWA said he will partner the private sector to ensure the viability of the Baro River Port.
He said it was the importance he gave to the project that made him make visit to the port his first choice.


Nigerian borders to remain closed – CBN Governor

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin  said Nigeria’s land borders will remain shut until the country’s neighbours agree to implement mutual anti-smuggling policies.
“Before the borders are reopened, there must be concrete engagements with countries that are involved in using their ports and countries as landing ports for bringing in goods that are smuggled into Nigeria,” Emefiele said in Abuja shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said since the borders were closed in August, Nigerian rice and poultry farmers have enjoyed increased patronage, which was before now hampered by illegal importation and smuggling of the items into the country.


TUESDAY OCTOBER 29

Terminal Operators agree to grant concession to exit 1700 abandoned cargoes at ports.

The terminal operators who have been battling with the deluge of abandoned cargoes that have taken over their terminals have reluctantly agreed to the plea of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) to grant concession to their owners in order to free the ports and stave off the looming congestion.
Worried by the worsening situation of about 1700 overtime cargo that were abandoned by their owners at the ports due to high demurrage, the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Unman has called on the terminal operators to consider the option of slashing the cost of demurrage on these cargoes to lure their owners to take them out of the ports.
At a stakeholders meeting convened by the NPA with the terminal operators, shipping companies and the Nigeria Customs Service at the Lagos Ports Complex, Hadiza expressed worries over the situation which she lamented may rub the ports of benefiting from the expected upsurge in cargo throughput that results from the border closure.


FG to backlist recalcitrant freight forwarders from seaports

The Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi reiterated the warning that freight forwarders who did not follow the established processes as stated by law would not be allowed to operate in Nigeria.

This was as he enjoined all freight forwarders in Nigeria to take advantage of the certification process put in place by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to become professionally fit and competent as well as achieve the International diploma in Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Management.

Amaechi spoke at the 2019 Sensitization Workshop on Freight Forwarding as a Career on Tuesday in Lagos, organized by CRFFN.

He said the certification internationally recognized by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), would not only educate and enlighten freight forwarders but would also improve the country’s performance index.


WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30

PMB validly elected – Supreme Court  … dismisses Atiku’s appeal


The Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari was validly elected as Nigerian President in the 23 February, presidential election.

A seven-man panel of the court, headed by Justice Tanko Ibrahim Mohammed, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, also dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of Buhari at the presidential election.

The panel in a unanimous judgement said there is no merit in the appeal.
Atiku had gone to the apex court to challenge the September 11 judgment of the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal which affirmed President Buhari’s victory at the polls.


Nigeria rice, the best in the world – Farmer
… Wants border closure sustained

Nigeria’s home grown rice has been described as the best anywhere in the world.
An Enugu-based rice farmer, Mr Ekene Uzodinma, who lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for mustering the political will to close the country’s borders to check smuggling and other cross border crimes said, “We have the best rice because of the kind of texture of land in Nigeria. The taste of our rice is different and nutritious, it is very beautiful.

Uzodinma, who is the Manager of Excellent Integrated Farms Ltd, Enugu, made the commendation in Enugu on Wednesday.

He implored the Federal Government to sustain the measure in view of its positive impact on the nation’s economy policy.


THURSDAY OCTOBER 31

CRFFN to commence collection of POF before end of 2019

The collection of the controversial Practitioners Operations Fee (POF) by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) will commence before the end of 2019, nigeriamaritime360.com can authoritatively report.

In an exclusive chat with our correspondent in Lagos on Tuesday, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Council, Henry Njoku said that the processes leading to its collection are at the final stage of completion.

Recall that the immediate past Registrar of the Council, Sir Mike Jukwe had said that the Council would commence the collection of the fee by December, 2018.
But Njoku stated that the fee, which he said has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, is at the stage of connectivity with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).


FRIDAY NOVEMBER 1
Customs intercepts fresh N1.1bn containers of expired rice, tomatoes in Rivers Port

Barely 24 hours after the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), unveiled an intercepted N2.7billion expired rice in Tin Can ports, the service also unveiled another expired rice worth N1.1billion in Port Harcourt Area 2 Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Onne Port, Rivers State port.

Speaking in Port-Harcourt, the Comptroller General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) said the Onne command also intercepted 20 containers of tomatoes worth N272million.

The CG reiterated his team’s determination to protect all citizens and residents in the country by preventing unlawful and poisonous importation from coming in, said his men will remain undeterred in fighting smugglers.

According to him, the seizures were made in line with the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 of the Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004, Sections 46 and 161.

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