MARITIME THIS WEEK : Recap of News, Events

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MARITIME THIS WEEK : Recap of News, Events

MONDAY MARCH 16, 2020

Abiodun OBA

Editorial: POF Misadventure, Vote of No Confidence On CRFFN

On March 4th,2020, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) was rudely shocked when angry freight forwarders spurned the collection of the controversial Practitioners Operating Fee (POF).

The collection of the fee, which was in the mould of the Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) of the Council, was to commence on that day but met a brick wall as freight forwarders, who were to pay N1000 on a 20-footer container and N2000 on a 40-footer container, stood their ground against what they regarded as another regime of charges.

The POF has been a controversial issue as far back as 2015 when it was first mooted.

The affiliated associations of freight forwarders had engaged the CRFFN over the matter as a result of disagreement on how best to share the proceeds.

 

Maerskline Berths First Direct Service Ship in Onne

Nigeria’s leading container terminal, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), has received Maersk’s first direct service containership from Far East to the Onne Port in Rivers State.

The gearless ship named KYPARISSIA with a capacity of 4,800 TEUs and brought to Onne Port by Maersk under its FEW3 service, is the first Maersk vessel to visit Onne Port without first calling at any port in Lagos.

The Commercial Manager of WACT, Noah Sheriff, said, “The long awaited FEW3 service, which is a direct service from Far East into East Nigeria has started, and we are here to witness the first call.

“With our Mobile Harbour Cranes operations, we are positioned to handle such gearless vessels calling our facility. The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) initiative to bring larger vessels into other ports is aligned with our Phase 2 terminal upgrade project, which will see our number of Mobile Harbour Cranes and other container handling equipment increased by third quarter of this year.

 

TUESDAY MARCH 17, 2020

Despite Drop in Piracy Globally, Kidnapping Still Soars in Gulf of Guinea 

Despite overall piracy incidents declining in 2019, there was an alarming increase in crew kidnappings across the Gulf of Guinea, according to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report.

In 2019, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre received 162 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide, in comparison to 201 reported incidents in 2018.

The incidents included four hijacked vessels, 11 vessels fired upon, 17 attempted attacks, and 130 vessels boarded, according to the latest IMB figures. While the overall decline in piracy incidents is an encouraging development, vessels remain at risk in several regions, especially the Gulf of Guinea.

The number of crew kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea increased by more than 50% from 78 in 2018 to 121 in 2019. This equates to over 90% of global kidnappings reported at sea with 64 crew members kidnapped across six separate incidents in the last quarter of 2019 alone.

 

Maritime Workers’ union to declare state of emergency on shipping companies.

Having exhausted all avenues to engage shipping companies operating in Nigeria to review the subsisting industry condition of service, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) said it is constrained to declare state of emergency on them.

In a statement made available to our correspondent and signed by the Deputy Secretary-General, Organising, Abudu Eroje, the union said it had exhausted all legal and social means to get members of the Shippers Association of Nigeria (SAN) to a round table discussion.

Eroje added in the release, that the union had hoped to find a redress to the inhuman, deplorable and slavish conditions members are subjected to in their various work places.

 

WEDNESDAY MARCH 18, 2020

PEBEC:  Shippers’ Council wins Prestigious World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking Award

Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, SAN GCON.Vice President Federal Republic of Nigeria given PEBEC award to Miss Adaora Nwonu Representative of Nigerian Shippers’ Council

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has won the prestigious World Bank 2019 Doing Business Ranking Award in recognition of its efforts in driving Presidential Enabling Environment Council (PEBEC) overall reform initiatives in the port environment.

Miss Adaora Nwonu displaying her special recognition award as the reform champion of the Council on the World Bank 2020 Doing Business Index.

The award, received by the Council, was in recognition of its contributions to the implementation of reforms within the Trading Across Border Indicator of the World Bank Doing Business which saw to Nigeria moving up to 15 places on the World Bank Doing Business Ranking 2020.

The NSC’s reform champion at PEBEC, Miss Adaora Nwonu also received a special recognition award as the reform champion of the Council on the World Bank 2020 Doing Business Index.

The Annual PEBEC Award which took place at the state House conference hall, Abuja, was hosted by PEBEC under the Chairmanship of the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON.

 

SON urges Nigerian importers, traders to shun fake, sub-standard goods

In its continued efforts to eradicate fake and sub-standard products from Nigerian markets, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has taken its advocacy for zero tolerance on substandard goods to electronic importers and traders at Alaba international market, Lagos.

Speaking yesterday during a sensitization programme at the International Market Association (Electronics) Alaba, the Director-General of SON, Dr. Osita Aboloma urged importers to avoid non-compliant trade while seeking for the cooperation of the association against the influx of sub-standard products.

THURSDAY MARCH 19, 2020

Senate praises 2nd Niger Bridge contractors

Contractor, Julius Berger Plc, handling construction works of the 2nd Niger Bridge has been commended on the quality of work being done.

THE Senate eight-member Committee on works gave the commendation when it inspected both the Asaba and Onitsha ends of the bridge.

The committee members also inspected the seven kilometres access road from the bridge at the Atani road to the Onitsha –Owerri interchange where the project would terminate.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Adamu Aileru observed that at the rate the project was progressing, the bridge would be completed on the scheduled date of 2022.

Buhari approves reduction of Petroleum pump price to N125

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reduction in pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) from N145 per litre to about N125.

Presidency sources hinted that the approval followed presentation by minister of state petroleum resources Mr Timipre Sylva to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday.

The sources claimed that the Minister briefed the council on the need to reduce the pump price following the global fall in oil price.

It was reliably gathered that outbreak of COVID-19, has made the international crude oil price to crash from $60 to $30, causing fear of a possible economic crisis.

 

FRIDAY MARCH 20, 2020

We’ll Not Fail You, Jamoh Tells Stakeholders As CVFF, Insecurity Top Agenda

The newly appointed director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has stakeholders in the nation’s maritime industry that he and members of his management team will not fail them.

Dr Jamoh, a former executive director, Finance and Administration of the agency however, appreciated the stakeholders for the confidence reposed in him.

Speaking at stakeholders’ reception comprising ship-owners, past Director Generals of the agency, seaport terminal operators, shipping companies, truck owners among others held on Wednesday, Jamoh said the task ahead is to reposition and realign the agency to meet the current yearnings of the stakeholders and operators in the industry.

According to him, the task ahead is not an easy one calling on stakeholders to collaborate and support his administration.

 

Hapag Lloyd Liner makes maiden call at Ports & Cargo Terminal

SIFAX Group and concessionaire of Terminal C, Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos, said it had added a new client to its growing clientele list.

The conglomerate stated that the latest addition is Hapag Lloyd AG Limited, a German international shipping and container transportation company which is the world’s fifth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity.

 

COVID-19: Enemy against humanity; Africa warned to “wake up” and prepare for the worst

The World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has  urged countries to “come together as one against a common enemy: an enemy against humanity.”

He also warned Africa to “wake up” and prepare for the worst.

Highlighting how the battle is only just beginning in the rest of the world, Russia reported its first death and sub-Saharan Africa also saw its first fatalities, while even the Pacific nation of Fiji said it had its first case.

The disease continued to hit high-profile people with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and two US members of Congress among those testing positive.

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