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ANLCA, Police To Prevent Detention Of Customs’ Released Cargo

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  • As Reps urge FG to replace 23,000 ghost workers with unemployed youths

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA)  and the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the Maritime Police Command (AIG) Irimiya F. Yerima are set to collaborate towards removing man-made bottlenecks in cargo facilitation,  particularly, the unwarranted detention of goods, already released by the Customs, via petitions to police.

The decision which aimed at boosting the nation’s economy came on board,  following a courtesy call by ANLCA,  led by its National President,  Prince Olayiwola Shittu to the AIG Maritime, on Tuesday, 1st of March 2016, in his office at Kam Salem House Headquarters, Moloney St, Obalende-Lagos.

Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase

Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase

The delegation, also sought the cooperation of the AIG-Maritime to check the overwhelming presence of miscreants in the ports, stressing that the miscreants were actually giving ANLCA members a bad image.

“This is because most of these unlicensed individuals which constitute a restless crowd inside the ports, collect jobs from unsuspecting consignees, and disappear with money paid to them, without a trace”,  the delegation indicated,  drawing attention to several copies of letters written by the police to shipping companies, stopping delivery of cargoes.

“Nobody should be seen in the ports, if they do not have anything doing there”, they urged further,  tasking the Police to evolve a strategy to curtail the disturbing trend.

Highlighting that ANLCA is so organized to the extent that all its members can be identified on ANLCA website: www.anlca.com.ng, carrying details of customs licensed Agencies, Shittu explained that the body is a member of World Customs Brokers Organization, and thus, are bound to live up to international standards and best practices.

Consequently,  the two parties have jointly agreed that to enable the Office of AIG Yerima do a more perfect job,  ANLCA  should regularly supply Yerima with quality information, to enable the police act more proactively.

The delegation however agreed that the AIG Maritime should also undertake more enlightenment campaign of it’s office, duties and extent of their responsibilities in the maritime sector of the economy in a bit to further draw the attention of the public towards directing their complaints, appropriately.

It was agreed that collaboration between the police and the association is required to boost trade facilitation, cost-effective cargo clearance and checkmating the incessant extortion and intimidation of customs agents by the Nigeria Police, who are expected to share intelligence with the Nigeria Customs, to forestall releasing of suspected cargoes, instead of separately sending “Stop Release” letters to shipping companies, after such cargoes have been duly released by the Nigeria Customs and other relevant government Agencies in the ports.

The interactive session was finally rounded off,  by the National President’s  induction of AIG Yerima and CP. Sam Damilola, as honorary members of ANLCA and were so decorated with the ANLCA broach; with the elated AIG thanking ANLCA for the visit and urging that the interface be sustained, while promising to visit ANLCA headquarters with a fuller team of his officers in the not-too-distant future.

In the meantime, the  House of Representatives yesterday told  the Federal Government to replace the 23,000 ghost workers discovered recently with unemployed youths.

The House, presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, in its resolution on a motion on matter of urgent  public importance, sponsored by Dickson Tarkighir (Benue -APC), told the government to do everything possible to come to the aid of the teeming unemployed youths.

Tarkighir had in the motion, explained that since the government had demonstrated the financial capacity to withstand the pressure of catering for 23,000 and the none existing staff, there was need to engage 23,000 unemployed youths.

He said: “I am not in doubt of the many curriculum vitae my colleagues have continue to collect from schooled but jobless constituents. “This House has the identity of one commitment which is to ease the plight of Nigerians and of our youths especially. “We will therefore, be living the essence of our stewardship if we once again show them that we care about their welfare and progress.

“There is no task more honoring than that, when ghost workers were discovered, we spoke out vehemently asking that Nigerian youth, eager and willing to work are made to replace ghost workers.” He further explained that with the unemployed youths from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, it would be enough to take over from the 23,000 ghost workers.

“This is about 14 persons per Local Government (LG). From Kano state that has 44 LG, its about 27 applicants off the unemployed cadre.  From each of the 23 LG of Benue state, it about  36 applicants off the street. “Do the maths per state, Federal constituency and you will have a grasp of what effect the decision of this House on this day shall have on the nation,’’ he said. Tarkighir reminded that President Muhammad Buhari’s government had promised to create three million jobs.

Meanwhile, the House has resolved to investigate the number of Nigerians currently holding more than one public office and receiving  benefits from such offices in the Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs. The resolution was sequel to the motion sponsored by Abdulahi Faruk, APC, Kebbi, and was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote.

Faruk had in the motion, expressed concern that too much money was being spent to maintain public officials, to the extent that about 70 per cent yearly budget was allocated for recurrent expenditure. He added that this was to the detriment of other developmental projects.

He said: “There is a need to put an end to the illegal and unjust enrichment of such individuals with public funds to the detriment of millions of other Nigerians, especially at this period of fall in oil price.

“That stopping the practice of public officials holding multiple appointments and earning emoluments therefrom would help in reducing the recurrent expenditure of the government and curb this act of corruption.”

In the resolution, the House urged the Committee on Public Services Matters to conduct investigation to determine the number of Nigerians currently holding more than one public office.

Additional report from Vanguard

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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