MARITIME THIS WEEK: Recap of News, Events

Abiodun OBA


MONDAY May 11, 2020

The nigeriamaritime360.com focused attention on “Nigeria Maritime Industry and lessons of COVID-19”

Nigeria Maritime Industry and lessons of #COVID-19

The good thing about the rampaging Coronavirus disease, as deadly as it is, is that it has exposed the inadequacies in our system.

The pandemic has laid bare the shortcomings that have long been embedded in our most of our public institutions.

Take the health sector for instance, the rampaging disease has shown the deep-seated rot in our health system where our public hospitals, despite the humongous amount appropriated each year, are not better than consulting clinics.

Our health care system is already overwhelmed by sheer enormity of the pandemic.

Our emergency response system was also subjected to harsh reality of inadequacies, having suffered for long through irrational fire brigade approach method.

The Nigeria Maritime industry, the second biggest revenue earner for the country, is no exception.

The pandemic has exposed the failings in the documentation and cargo delivery method.

The pandemic gave away the policy inconsistencies and inadequacies in the shipping industry.

The pandemic laid bare the insincerity of purpose of government and industry administrators to develop the sector.

Just as Temisan Omatseye, the erstwhile Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has rightly observed that COVID-19 has shown the underbelly of the maritime industry.

Smugglers Defy Lock down In Ogun, maim Customs officer

Suspected smugglers have attacked operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service Ogun 1 Command leaving an officer badly injured.

In a press statement made available to nigeriamaritime360 on Sunday, the command’s spokesman, Abdullahi Maiwada said the attack did not deter the officers from their anti-smuggling functions.

Maiwada said the remorseless smugglers violently attacked the officers while on official duty.

TUESDAY MAY 13, 2020

NANS calls for removal of Ogun Customs boss

The National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS) has called for the removal of the Ogun State Controller of Customs, Mr Michael Agbara in order to put an end to constant killing of students.

NANS in collaboration with the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) in a statement signed by the National Vice President, NANS, Mr Ojo Raymond and the National President, #NAOSS, Mr Gbemileke Ogunrombi on Monday, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Comptroller General, NSC, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) for the immediate removal of Agbara or face the full wrath of the entire students in Nigeria.

The unions in the statement, further threatened to defy the lockdown order of both the Federal and Ogun State governments due to Covid-19 pandemic to organise students across the country in a protest to occupy the NSC Command in the State until he’s removed.

 

Ajaokuta Presidential Project and Implementation Team” (APPIT) to bring Steel Project back to life- FG

The Ajaokuta Presidential Project and Implementation Team” #APPIT, is meant to kick start the process of bringing the Steel Project back to life for the growth and economic development of Nigeria.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Team, Boss Mustapha, stated this while inaugurating the team, on Monday, in Abuja.

“Today’s inauguration of the “Ajaokuta Presidential Project and Implementation Team” #APPIT, is therefore meant to kick start the process of re-directing the activities of the Steel Plant with the aim of bringing the Steel Project back to life for the growth and economic development of our dear nation.”

NRC Begins Movement of Containers to Decongest Lagos Seaport 

The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), said it has begun evacuation of cargoes out of the Lagos seaports to Ebute-Metta and Ijoko, Ogun state.

The evacuation of the container according to the Corporation is to decongest the Lagos seaports and reduce movement of trucks on the highway.

Jerry Oche, Lagos Regional District Manager (RDM) of the NRC said a total of 19 numbers of 40 feet containers or 38 numbers of the 20 feet containers are being moved on the existing narrow gauge line from the Apapa port to Ebute-Metta Junction (EBJ).

He further disclosed that from EBJ, the containers are moved to another containing holding bay at Ijoko station from where the owners of the said containers will move them to the destination points as well as dropping empty or fully loaded containers for exports.

 

WEDNESDAY MAY 13, 2020

Shippers’ Council, #NCDC collaborate on sensitization against #COVID-19 in maritime.

Nigerian Shippers’ Council has said it is collaborating with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, #NCDC, to contain the spread of #COVID-19, particularly in the Maritime community in Nigeria.

Rekiya Zubairu, Head, Public Relations of the Council stated this in a release on Wednesday.

The Council added that the sensitization which begins today, 13th May, 2020, will see the Council hand over hundreds of face masks and hand sanitizers to the leaders of seven trucking associations.

 

Exclusive: NPA on edge as Wike disrupts port operations in Port Harcourt – Dockworkers shun duties, Vessels stranded on anchorage

There is a heightened tension in Port Harcourt as the power play between the APC-led Federal government and the PDP-led administration in Rivers State has continued to take heavy toll on port operations in the state.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has continued to defy the order of the Federal government on exemption of essential workers and bear down on its assets in the state in what observers described as an expression of his frustration over the alleged failure of Abuja to give the state #COVID-19 largesse to fight the pandemic.

The latest attack of Gov. Wike is the Port Harcourt ports whose operations have been disrupted by the state government.

Despite the Federal Government pronouncement that port operations all over the country should continue unhindered despite the lockdown, Gov. Wike was said to have clamped down on 20 dockworkers that were alleged to violate the state Government restriction on movement over Covid-19 pandemic.

 

THURSDAY MAY 14, 2020

#Covid-19: Shipowners slam N5.4m daily surcharge on importers over closure of Ports in Rivers

Foreign shipowners have slammed a whooping $15,000 (N5.4million at a prevailing rate of $360/$) surcharge on Nigerian importers over inability to discharge cargoes at the Rivers and Onne port complex over disruption of ports operation by the governor, Nyesome Wike.

Recall that governor Wike had imposed a 24-hour lockdown on Port Harcourt and Obi Akpor local government areas over the COVID-19 pandemic and has refused to place port workers under essential duty contrary to the guidelines of the presidential

task force of COVID-19 which classified port operations as essential services.

The federal government had said despite lockdown, ports should remain open to trade so as to facilitate importation and delivery of essential goods, such as foods and medical supplies.

FG Approves N684m For NPA To Purchase 19 Operational  Vehicles

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the sum of N683 million for the purchase of 19 operational vehicles for the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA).

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of a virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammad Buhari.

He said it was the first time in four years that the NPA would buy vehicles.

 

Court reprimands, slams N5m fine on Customs over illegal collection of duty on personal effects

An Abuja Federal High Court yesterday reprimanded the Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service for illegally collecting the sum of N156, 955.20 from one Kehinde Ogunwumiju as duties on personal effects he brought to the country.

Ogunwumiju had approached the Federal High Court, through his lawyer in an originating summon,  seeking a declaration that in view of the provisions of Section 8 of the Customs, Excise Tariff, etc. (Consolidation) Act and the 2nd Schedule to the Customs, Excise Tariff, etc. (Consolidation) Act, it was unlawful for officers of the Nigerian Customs Service to have demanded and collected import duty and other related charges from the him(plaintiff) in respect of his personal effect (A Louis Vuitton Lap Top Bag) found in his baggage following a search by the officers of the Nigerian Customs Service upon his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on the 24th June, 2019.

FRIDAY MAY 15, 2020

NPA seeks  intervention of PTF on Covid-19 to  end Wike’s  lockdown on Rivers ports.

The hard stance of Gov. Nyeson Wike of Rivers State which has crippled the operations of Rivers ports since the commencement of  #COVID-19 lockdown in the state has continued to give goose pimples to the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

It would be recalled that Gov. Wike, in his resolve to stop the spread of Coronavirus in his state, has imposed stringent measures, including restriction of movement, which does not exclude essential workers at the two ports in Port Harcourt and Onne.

Despite the Federal government pronouncement that port workers should be exempted from the lock down as they are on essential services to keep the ports working, Wike has continued to clamp down on port workers in Rivers State, thus disrupting ports activities at Port Harcourt and Onne Port.

The management of the NPA has therefore expressed grave concerns about the economic loss the intransigence of Wike may likely cause.

Our correspondent however gathered that the NPA has appealed to the Chairman of Presidential Task Force on #COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, to intervene in the matter.

Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC) to advance herbal products development –  NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says the Nigerian Herbal Medicine Product Committee (HMPC) was set up as part of efforts to advance herbal products development for the treatment of #COVID-19.

The Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who said this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday reiterated that NAFDAC is an agency with the mandate to regulate the conduct of clinical trials in the country.

Adeyeye said that the platform had brought together manufacturers, academics, researchers and relevant stakeholders by bridging the gap created between traditional medicine practitioners and drug manufacturers.

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