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11,100 Nigerians return home from Libya- EU

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…As UN cautions: Migrants’ return to Libya by Italian boat could breach international law***

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday said no fewer than 11,100 Nigerians, who were among irregular migrants in Libya, had so far returned to the country.

Mr Richard Young, the EU Deputy Head of Delegation in Nigeria, made the disclosure at a Public Lecture and Book Launch to commemorate the 2018 World Day Against Human Trafficking organised by NAPTIP in Abuja.

The United Nations had in 2013 adopted a resolution that every July 30 should be set aside as the World Day Against Human Trafficking.

This is to raise awareness on the situation of victims and for the promotion and protection of their rights.

Young explained that 9,000 Nigerians were brought back to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), while the Federal Government also brought 2,100 in the recent evacuation exercise.

According to him, 57,000 of them are still stranded in various camps in Libya, according to the figures made available by IOM after its survey conducted in various camps.

The EU deputy head of delegation said that the union was working with relevant stakeholders and agencies to ensure that the stranded Nigerians return home.

Young said EU was in partnership with NAPTIP to ensure that human trafficking was defeated.

He called for a joint task force with the International Law Enforcement Agencies for effective war against human trafficking.

In her remarks, the NAPTIP’s Director-General, Ms Julie Okan-Donli, said that the issue of human trafficking should be a concern for every nation as it affected all aspect of human life.

Okah-Donli explained that human trafficking endangered public health, fuels violence and organised crimes.

“We shall be talking about injustice, man’s inhumanity to man, the outrage of human trafficking which must be called by its true name, modern slavery.

“This event is, therefore, a clarion call on us all to deploy all possible strategies to rescue and empower victims of human trafficking.

“This will be done by ensuring that they see and rise beyond the boundaries of uncertainties,” the NAPTIP chief said.

In the meantime, a rescue operation in which an Italian towboat rescued 180 migrants and returned them to Libya this week may have been in breach of international law, the UN said on Tuesday.

According to Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, an Italian towboat rescued 108 migrants from international waters on Monday and took them to Libya, their country of departure.

This would constitute a breach of international law, under which migrants rescued in international waters cannot be returned to a place where their lives are put in danger.

Both the UN and European Union have acknowledged that Libya is not safe.

Italy’s coast guard said the rescue had taken place in Libyan waters, not international waters, and was coordinated by the Libyan coast guard while the Libyan coast guard was not immediately available for a comment.

Proactiva spokeswoman Laura Lanuza said its members learned the rescue occurred in international waters because their boat was nearby and they could listen to radio communications between the Italian ship and the Libyan authorities.

A spokesman for the UN migration agency said it could not establish the location of the rescue. He said the agency was still investigating the case but confirmed the return of the migrants to Libya.

The UN refugee agency said the operation “could represent a violation of international law,” it said on Twitter.

Migrants’ charities are at loggerheads with the new Italian government and its right wing home affairs minister Matteo Salvini who wants to reduce the number of migrants arriving on Italy’s shores.

 

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Zoe Maritime Roundtable Targets Improved Passenger Safety, Using Chinese Experience

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…Edodo-Emore refocuses Stakeholders’ attention on Security and new technologies in inland waterways

Significant progress will be achieved in the area boat -passenger safety amongst other gains, as Nigeria gets an infrequent opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience in improving general service delivery in-country.

The Chinese Consul-General in Nigeria, Madam Yan Yuqing, one of the key speakers at a Zoe Maritime Summit is expected, in addition to dissecting the topic of improving services delivery, to also offer, useful ideas and lessons on safe inland waterways operations in Nigeria.

Osun Assembly passes N138.2bn 2023 Budget 

Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

The Summit promoter,  and CEO of Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd, Barr (Mrs) Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore told Maritime First that the discussion is designed to inland waterways operators the knowledge to better manage the sector, particularly, towards improving boat passenger safety.

 Consequently, a major highlight of the Summit is a presentation on the Chinese experience in the management of inland waterways.

The Barrister highlighted that with the theme: “Security and New Technologies in Inland Waterways Transportation”, the Zoe Resources Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting h places at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos should be a must-to-attend Summit. 

*Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore

Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore noted that prominent maritime personalities and revered industry players have confirmed readiness to grace the occasion.

Among these are the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,. Adegboyega Oyetola is scheduled to unveil the Ministry’s focus and plans for Inland Waterways and Coastal Services, an intervention that has agitated the minds of inland waterway operators since his appointment last year.

Others are Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA); Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Company Ltd (NBTC), and Rhoda Olofu, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Marine Police Command.

*Mobereola

Industry technocrats, heads of security agencies and regulatory authorities expected to feature in panel discussions on the theme include the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola and the Managing Director/CEO, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Alhaji Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji.

Bello-Koko Lauds MWUN for Ensuring NPA Staff's Salary Increase

NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko

Also billed to participate in the breakfast summit are port users, heads of maritime desks of banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Others are ship owners, boat owners, boat captains, log byistic companies, barge operators and any other entity whose operations are inland waterway-based.

Freight forwarders, importers and oil and gas companies will also grace the occasion.

Foreign entities from maritime nations will also feature and make interventions especially as concerns experiences in their respective nations to enable Nigerians benefit from global inland waterways visibility, network, growth and exchange of knowledge.

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Maritime

CUSTOMS Q1: PTML Hits N66.9bn Revenue, Targets 2-Hour Clearing-Time for Vehicles

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…Warns that any uncovered infraction will lead to severe sanctions!

The Port Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) Command of Nigeria Customs Service has recorded N66,920,181,586.30 as total revenue for first quarter of 2024.

 The collected revenue is N22,198,965,809.55 higher than N44,721,215,776.75 collected between January and March 2023 representing a 49.6 percent increase. 

A press statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the command, CSC Muhammad Yakubu, stated that Comptroller Saidu Abba Yusuf, Customs Area Controller of the command, described the increase in revenue collection as a laudable feat, adding that the command is more committed towards trade facilitation and as well as supporting government drive for ease of doing business. 

Comptroller Yusuf who thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR for initiating strategies to achieve faster cargo clearance, reiterated that PTML Command under his watch aims to surpass its record of three-hour cargo clearance for compliant traders. 

According to Yusuf, the launching of time release study (TRS) which is ongoing and other deliberate efforts by the Comptroller General have contributed in the expansion of terminal space and promoting ease of doing business in PTML. 

PTML Customs Command Achieves 19% Increase in Annual Revenue

The CAC also disclosed that the PTML command has the potential to achieve two-hour cargo clearance and surpass it’s existing three-hour record if port users’ compliance level is improved.

Comptroller Yusuf who described PTML as one of the safest and most secure environments for RoRo(Roll On Roll Off) and general cargoes also advised importers and their agents to take advantage of the incentives available for compliant traders such as fast track, advance ruling and possible migration to the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status. 

He reminded port users in PTML of the robust and time-conscious dispute resolution mechanism, which has contributed immensely to the revenue collection, trade facilitation and anti-smuggling functions of the command. 

While commending the various government and private sector stakeholders for their cooperation and support towards the realisation of the government goal of revenue collection and prevention of unlawful activities, Comptroller Yusuf expressed optimism that the command will surpass its annual target for the year. 

He described the importation of vehicles meant for Nigerian roads into neighbouring countries with the intent to smuggle them through unapproved roads into Nigeria as unpatriotic and an act of economic sabotage as the command has the capacity for seamless and efficient processing of such automobile cargoes. 

For the second quarter and first half of the year, the CAC enjoined officers of the command to maximally deploy available technology and rededicate themselves to the job to achieve more. You u

He reminded the port users that there is increased anti-smuggling vigilance to uncover concealment such as under declaration and smuggling of prohibited items. 

The CAC further added that any discovered infraction will lead to full evoking of the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA), where there are spelt-out penalties.

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EST-Floattech Delivers Octopus Battery Systems To Coastal Workboats For E-LUV, SPSS

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– Coastal Workboats, a renowned name in the maritime industry for its commitment to sustainability, will collaborate with EST-Floattech, a leading provider of energy storage solutions for the maritime sector. EST-Floattech will be providing the battery system for the purpose-built Electric-Landing Utility Vessel (E-LUV) to be built at Coastal Workboats’ new yard Stornoway and the Shore-based Power Supply System (SPSS).

The collaboration with Coastal Workboats Scotland marks a significant step towards lowering emissions in the UK’s maritime industry with EST-Floattechs technology. This collaboration is realized due to Coastal Workboats receiving a £6 million (€7 million) grant to demonstrate the UK’s first commercial electric workboat and charging station. This grant, provided by the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), underscores the industry’s recognition of the pressing need for cleaner, greener maritime operations and will boost the usage of electric workboats in a commercial environment.

The vessel that will be built, the E-LUV, is set to be the UK’s first commercial electric workboat. This innovative vessel, a Ro-Ro and dry cargo transportation ferry, will be equipped with 2400 kWh of EST-Floattech’s Octopus High Energy battery system. The system will be placed as two independent battery systems on board, power a range of equipment, and be used for fully electric sailing. Starting for demonstration purposes in the Shetland Isles in a short trial, the E-LUV will be operating between West Burrafirth and Papa Stour. The route takes about 45 minutes, twice per day and five days per week while showcasing the capabilities of energy storage solutions in maritime applications.

Secondly, EST-Floattech will supply 1.200 kWh of the Octopus High Energy battery system, to be placed in a 20-foot container that will support the charging of Coastal Workboats’ E-LUV vessel. It is also possible to place the containerized energy storage solution on board as a range extender. We will be collaborating with MJR Power & Automation for the system integration and the entire system will be placed inside the container by Renew Marine Ltd.

Enhanced safety, less maintenance

The E-LUV will adhere to Bureau Veritas classification standards, ensuring top-notch safety and quality. The battery system will not only be safer, but it will also need less maintenance. This Ro-Ro and dry cargo transportation ferry is set to become a new standard for emission-free voyages. This contract is a significant achievement for Coastal Workboats, a small, family-run yard, and also for EST-Floattech.

Coastal Workboats’ Chief Engineering Manager Luke Parnell said: “Our attraction to the Octopus Series quite simply comes down to safety. EST-Floattech have produced a class-approved product that brings to market a level of safety unseen previously. In particular, the passive nature of the heat dissipation system represents a marked step forward in safety, particularly for an application in the marine environment. Given our primary concern is safety above all, the Octopus was the perfect choice for us.”

Jelle Meindertsma, Sales Manager at EST-Floattech, states, “We are proud to be contributing to lowering emissions in the maritime industry in the UK, working hand in hand with Coastal Workboats to bring sustainable, high-performance energy solutions to the forefront. Our collaboration on the E-LUV is a testament to our shared commitment towards a more environmentally responsible maritime future.”

This collaboration between Coastal Workboats and EST-Floattech marks a significant stride towards achieving the UK’s environmental targets and demonstrates the power of innovation in the maritime sector.

Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition

This project, the fully electric inter-island workboat demonstration project (including the E-LUV), is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 3 (CMDC3), which was announced in September 2022, funded by UK Government and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC3, the Department allocated £60m to 19 flagship projects supported by 92 UK organisations to deliver real world demonstration R&D projects in clean maritime solutions. Projects will take place in multiple locations around the UK from as far north as the Shetland Isles and as far south as Cornwall.

UK SHORE

The CMDC3 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in the UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

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