Maritime This Week: Recap of News, Events

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Maritime This Week: Recap of News, Events


Abiodun OBA

Customs’ N1.6bn Recruitment Scandal: Ali’s Integrity on Trial

Last week, Senator  Ade Fadahunsi, a retired Assistant Comptroller -General of the Nigeria Customs Service and the incumbent Senator representing  Osun East Senatorial District, threw a bombshell when he pointedly accused Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs of paying a whopping sum of N1.6bn to a consultant for the recruitment of 3,200 Nigerians into the service.

This elicited a spontaneous outrage among Nigerians, especially stakeholders in the maritime industry.

The anger of the industry players was so high that some have immediately started to call for the sack of Ali and his prosecution by the anti-graft agencies.

We are no less shocked by this allegation.

NNPC pipeline explodes in Lagos

A pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation exploded Sunday evening in the Oke-Odo area of Abule-Egba, Lagos State.

The explosion was suspected to be due to the activities of vandals who allegedly ruptured the pipeline in a bid to steal fuel.

The estimated value of the properties burnt in the fire incident has not yet been ascertained.

However, the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Oluwafemi Oke Osanyintolu, said, “There is a fire incident at Oke-Odo. We are already coordinating.”



Amaechi Postpones completion of Lagos-Ibadan rail Project 

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi, has revealed that the April completion deadline for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project may no longer be feasible.

It would be recalled that the Minister had stated last year that the Lagos-Ibadan rail project will be completed in April 2020 and inaugurated in May by the President.

But, speaking via his official Twitter handle, the Minister explained that due to the quantum of work yet to be done, the April completion deadline might no longer hold.


NNPC solicits people’s support to combat pipeline vandalism

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, has solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians, especially those residing close to the pipelines, in the corporation’s effort towards combating pipeline vandalism.

Kyari who lamented the rate of pipeline vandalism in the country, described the problem as a major security concern.

The NNPC boss made the call on Monday when he visited the site of the Sunday pipeline explosion in Ekoro, Abule Egba, Lagos.

He said the corporation is working with security agencies to reduce incidents of pipeline vandalism in the country to the barest minimum as vandals destroy pipelines daily, exposing neighbouring communities to risk and disaster.



Amaechi wins Minister of the decade award

The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chubuike Rotimi Amaechi on Monday in Lagos has bagged THISDAY Editor’s Choice, Minister of the Decade award amongst 43 Ministers serving under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration alongside Former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who was the People’s Choice as the Minister of the decade.

It would be recalled that the THISDAY award was to commemorate its 25th anniversary with various nominations which are Company of The Decade, Brand of The Decade,  Bank of The Decade, Banker of The Decade, Person of The Decade, CEO of The Decade, Entrepreneur of The Decade, Woman of the Decade, Philanthropist of The Decade, Institution of The Decade, Governor of The Decade and Minister of The Decade.


Thieves Attack Barge Twice in One Day

A towed barge underway in the eastbound lane of the Singapore Strait was robbed twice on January 18.

In both incidents, the thieves stole scrap metal but did not confront the crew.

At about 1129 hrs, tug boat Kim Hock Tug 9 towing barge LKH 2882 was en route from Singapore to Vietnam when seven perpetrators were sighted on the barge. The perpetrators escaped in two or three sampans upon seeing another tug Kim Hock Virgo approaching them.

Later that day at about 1551 hrs, a repeated unauthorized boarding occurred on the same barge. Seven perpetrators were sighted on the barge. Two Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) craft were dispatched to intercept.

The perpetrators fled in their sampans upon seeing the PCG craft.




Apapa Traffic: NSC Rues Absence of Nigerian Ports from Maritime Transport Review

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has bemoaned the absence of Nigerian ports from the review of maritime transport due to the impediments in the nation’s seaports.

Speaking at the stakeholders meeting to find a lasting solution to the Apapa gridlock convened by the NSC, the Director, Consumer Services of the Council, Cajetan Agu said Nigeria ports generate 70% of trade in Africa but not efficient enough

He said, “It is a shame that we are here discussing traffic on the port access roads. Globally if you don’t compete you will perish, we are here discussing while we have other ports in West Africa that are in competition with Nigerian ports. Go and look at the review of the maritime transport in 2019 no Port in Nigeria was mentioned; the only port mentioned was Lome port and Nigerian ports generate almost 70% of the cargo inputs of West-Africa.”


Lekki Port Construction Reaches 50% Completion

The management of Lekki Port of the Lagos Free Trade Zone said it has achieved 50 percent completion of the breakwater, which is one of the largest and critical part of the port construction.

Technical Director, Lekki Port, Steven Heukelom, who disclosed this during a media tour of the facility at the Lekki- Ibeju axis of Lagos yesterday said work has reached advanced stage of the breakwater construction with about one-kilometre work done out of the full length of 1.9 metres projected plan.

Heukelom said upon completion, the port would have three containers berth of 680 – metre long and 16.5-metre water depth, one liquid and one dry bulk terminals. He added that it will also have capacity to berth larger vessels of 18, 000 TEUs.





Following the decision of the federal government to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) in the first quarter of 2020, the contribution which was begun in 2003 has hit $200million (N72billion).

This was even as the minister of transportation has revealed that part of the guidelines put in place for the disbursement of the CVFF is that lending institutions will be accountable for fund disbursed.

Recall that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had last year revealed that President Mohammadu Buhari has approved the disbursement of the CVFF funds in the first quarter of 2020.

Visa-on-Arrival policy to advance FG’s (ERGP), integration and a unified Africa – NIS

The Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), is to be advanced by the recently introduced Visa-on-Arrival policy.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Comptroller-General, Mr. Muhammad Babandede who said this in Abuja on Thursday in a signed document stressed that it would also ensure integrated and a unified Africa.

“The benefit of the Visa-on-Arrival policy is the fact that the entry of many African investors will advance the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), integration and a unified Africa”.

“The policy hopes to advance the course of tourism development, which will cause a corresponding rise in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)”.


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