MARITIME THIS WEEK: Recap of News, Events

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MARITIME THIS WEEK: Recap of News, Events


Abiodun OBA


MONDAY May 25, 2020

The focused attention on National Single Window Project, Time for Implementation Is Now”

Some months ago, on this platform expressed worry about the absence of a single window for the smooth operations at our ports with the attendant benefits.

Sadly enough, to date, nothing concrete has been done to the effect!

We are now more particularly concerned especially with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the whole world. Nigeria would have concentrated her resources on other aspects of curtailing the pandemic in the area of social distancing had our concern been looked into in the area of the National Single Window Project.

We said at the time that Nigerian ports, over the years, had earned an unenviable sobriquet of being the costliest within the sub-region in terms of transaction of business.

MWUN Gives Relief to Stranded Foreign Seafarers 

Stranded seafarers aboard MT ORYX TRADER have received palliative worth over one million naira after sending a distress call to International Transport Federation at the weekend.

The vessel which is under arrest and litigation and anchored outside berth is a foreign owned vessel dominated by foreign crew.

In a swift response, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) made provision of food items, toiletries, drinks worth over one million naira for the stranded sailors within twenty-four hours.

The vessel it was gathered, has been under detention for three months on Nigerian waters but the crew have been without food for the past one week.

TUESDAY MAY 26, 2020

Clearing Agents Reject 80% Demurrage Waivers From NAHCO, SACHOL

The President of African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Otunba Frank Ogunojemite has rejected the 80 percent waiver proposed by aviation handling companies to clearing agents operating at the airports.

In a letter to the Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan, Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika and a copy made available to newsmen, the association said charging demurrage by the handling companies was an act of disobedience to the federal government who ordered a nationwide lockdown on curbing the spread of  Coronavirus.

According to him, the two handling companies,  Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) and Nigeria Aviation Handling Company  (NAHCO) are used to disobeying constituted authorities.

He said, since the lock down was a federal government  directive, clearing agents at airports should not be punished for obeying government directives.

ANLCA Urges FG To Ban More Commodities From Accessing Forex

Clearing agents under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called on the federal government to place more commodities from assessing the Foreign Exchange (Forex) for importation.

This was disclosed by the President of the group, Tony Iju Nwabunike in a press statement in Lagos.

According to him, Nigeria must cut down on unnecessary importation and emphasized more on export by developing its non oil export.

He argued that Nigeria just cut unnecessary imports draining Nigeria foreign change.

“Urgent steps must be taken to refine crude oil locally and stop the importation of refined petroleum products. A good amount of what should have been earnings for the country from the sales of crude oil has gone into payment for subsidies on imported products.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

#Covid-19: Railway Corporation To Start Operation

Abiola Seun

Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC)  is working out new guidelines of operations to help to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19 ).

The Director of Operations of NRC, Mr Niyi Alli,  made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Monday.

“We are working out modalities on how to operate because train is the largest means of transportation in commuting people from one state to another.

Alli, however, said that train operations nationwide would not restart  until  lifting of the ban on interstate travel.

“Although the corporation has lost much finances,  the safety of our customers remain paramount,” he said.

Recall that  there has been  ban on interstate travels  since May 4, in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

“We  cannot commence Mass Transit Train Service until interstate travel ban is lifted.

Group Calls For Relocation Of Drydock To Niger-Delta

The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has charged the Federal Government to relocate the abandoned multi-million dollar Mega Dry Dock currently idling away in Lagos waters to the Niger Delta Region.

PANDEF, in alliance with United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS)  made the demand on the relocation of the dry dock at a special webinar meeting, organised on Monday in Lagos, to mark the 93rd birthday of the PANDEF Leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

Recall that the meeting was aimed at x-raying the Niger Delta economy after the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to the Niger Delta leaders, the dock, which is described as the largest in Africa, will be the ideal enterprise for President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate in the post-COVID -19 Nigerian economy.

They said that the dry dock, specifically designed for the region, had been lying unused in the Lagos waters.

The  Dry Dock, worth about 30m dollars in was imported by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in July, 2018. The ship repair facility has been floating unproductively  around Lagos waters, attracting a whopping eight thousand dollars daily in maintenance and docking fees.

A statement issued by Mr Tony Uranta, the UNDEDSS Executive Secretary and General Secretary of PANDEF, said that the benefits of the dock to the region would be immeasurable, considering the Maritime University in Delta.

“Relocating the Dry Dock project to the Niger Delta will be the biggest investment in the Niger Delta, post-COVID-19, and will open up the economy of the region,” he said.


Hydroxychloroquine effective for many COVID-19 patients in Nigeria 

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has confirmed that  there is data to prove that chloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19 patients, particularly at the “mild stage” of the virus.

Speaking during a television programme, Adeyeye, said Nigeria would  continue its clinical trials which may take three to four months.

“There is data to prove that hydroxychloroquine worked for many COVID-19 patients. Therefore, we would continue our own clinical trials in Nigeria. Hydroxychloroquine has been proved to work at a mild stage. So the potency depends on the severity of the disease in the patient’s body,” she said.

#Covid-19: NIMASA Designates Dockworkers, Seafarers Essential Workers

The Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA] has designated Seafarers and Dockworkers as essential workers who should be exempted from travel restrictions.

This directive was in line with the newly endorsed protocols by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) designed to lift barriers to crew changes, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The exemptions are contained in a new guideline developed and published by the Agency to support essential services in Nigeria’s shipping sector.

The guideline according to a statement made available to newsmen by the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Philip Kyanet states that the jobs of dockworkers at the country’s seaports, terminals, and jetties are essential to the national economy and, therefore, dockworkers should be granted passage between their places of abode and the seaports/terminals and jetties to perform their duties.

FRIDAY May 29, 2020

Unreturned Empty Containers: Clearing Agents Blame Government Laxity, Trade Imbalance 

Freight Forwarders in the nation’s maritime industry has blamed government laxity and trade imbalance for the numbers of empty containers littering at the Lagos Port Corridor.

The numbers of empties that floods the Lagos Port according to report contributes about 50% to the worsening traffic situation at the ports.

Speaking with our correspondent the National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Increase Uche said the numbers of empties littering  the Lagos seaport has continued to increase due to government negligence stating that the government has shown little or no interest in getting it resolved, adding that the imbalance in trade flow has wrecked more havoc thereby making Nigeria dumping ground for empty containers

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