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BOAN: Amaechi set for efficient barge operations, to tackle gridlock, road crashes



BOAN: Amaechi set for efficient barge operations, to tackle gridlock, road crashes

BOAN: Amaechi set for efficient barge operations, to tackle gridlock, road crashes

The Federal Ministry of Transportation is poised for a more efficient barge operation, as an effective strategy to resolve the challenges of gridlock and road crashes.

Speaking at the First Annual Conference of the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) in Lagos, the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani in the ministry, said it was disheartening that the congestion in Lagos Ports has defiled frantic efforts and strategies put in place by the government to solve the problem, hence the enduring gridlock.

He was particularly concerned that the development has hampered free movement of cargoes in and out of ports, by roads, with it’s attendant stagnation of the economy.

Said the Minister: “The ministry in exercise of it’s mandate to ensure that maritime business is done in a safe and secured environment has engaged the Nigerian Ports Authority ((NPA), NIWA, NIMASA, Nigeria Shippers Council, and terminal operators to draw up a standard operation procedure for the operations of badges in our water ways.”

He also disclosed that the ministry has embarked on developing an all encompassing and inclusive National Maritime Transport Policy that will stand the test of time and forster robust maritime policy that will fast track sustainable socio economic development.

Doyen of the Nigerian Maritime Industry, Chief Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi, at the occasion


He said the policy will seek to actualize implementation of a seamless , save and secured intermodal transport system in Nigeria. It will also provide efficient barge operations in the country.


“Stakeholders should make positive contributions towards the identified challenges to ensure industrial harmony for the benefit of the nation’s economy taken into consideration the need to sanitize the maritime subsector.


The Minister said President Buhari attached importance to the maritime sector and therefore expects all stakeholders to play their respective roles in making the subsector more productive.

“I want to reassure you that the Federal Ministry of Transportation in it’s part is committed to partnering with other government agencies.


The president of the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) Edeme Kelikume, said over 50, 000 trucks are also being ferried across the Lagos waters while 25, 000 cars imported into the country are moved via barges to their various temporary destinations yearly.

He lamented that access to funds has been a major challenge to barge operators.


He pleaded with  the government to make the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) accessible to members of the association to support manpower development in the industry.

“We all know today how difficult it is to raise financing locally and here we are as local operators competing with international operators. So, we believe the cabotage fund and similar funds that are being held by various organizations is a veritable tool that will stimulate the growth of this sector into the next level of development,” he said.


The BOAN President called on terminal operators to create a dedicated berthing facility for barges especially for export cargo in line with the government’s agenda of diversifying the economy and promoting non- oil exports.

“We are also praying that the terminal operators will see barging as a necessity in their development. For every vessel that comes into the country, there is a need for you to evacuate the cargo on the vessel. It has been well documented and demonstrated in the past couple of years that the barging solution is perhaps the best to effectively evacuate cargo from the port either from vessels or terminal directly. So, the terminal operators play a very key role in lending that support by creating the right berthing facility by giving adequate access to barge operations especially as it concerns export cargo,” he said.

The Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko presents the Authority’s plaque to the Managing Director, The SUN Newspaper Publishing Limited, Onuah Ukeh during the courtesy visit to the MD at the Authority’s Corporate headquarters in Lagos.

Kelikume also urged the relevant agencies to urgently embark on wreck removal and sectional dredging, address the issue of insecurity and provision of navigational aids to ensure smooth sailing of barges at all hours of the day.

“There is an urgent need to remove most of the wrecks that have littered our waterways for decades. Boats are running into these wreckages and causing huge havoc on the waterways. We also have security issues we are battling with. There are criminal activities when the barges are on transit, at the port and the jetties.

“It is our prayer that the ministry and the various bodies that are responsible for this, will work very quickly towards bringing a lasting solution by evacuating all the wrecks and more sectional dredging of the waterways,” he said.

According to him barge operators have the capacity to double the current statistics and boost revenue earnings especially in the export sector as the nation prepares to take full advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) given the enabling environment and support of stakeholders.

Chairman of the occasion, Chief Adebayo Sarumi urged the barge operators to consider consolidation and merger to improve their financial performance and reduce risk in the business rather than relying on government for financial support.

Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello- Koko, (4th left), the Managing Director, The SUN Newspaper Publishing Limited, Onuah Ukeh (5th left), General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Olaseni Alakija (3rd right), and other Executives of the SUN Newspaper during the visit to the NPA corporate headquarters in Lagos.

“You have 88 members as barge operators and except I do not know the meaning of 88, you are taking a lot of risk. This is not to dissuade you but to say you have come into an extremely important lucrative line of service as ancillary to cargo handling and transportation but it requires you to have muscles

“Sometimes, the CVFF is not what you really need because the more you look to the government to do something, the more the government will tell you we have a competing situation in our hands. Let us look beyond the government. We all know that the revenue from the government doesn’t seem to be coming again so look elsewhere and find ways of being extremely reliable,” he said.

He also advised the association to channel their request for a dedicated berthing facility for barge operation to the government through the NPA instead of relying on the terminal operators.

According to him, “Unless a terminal operator is in your business in waterfront you are talking about is the tool of his trade so it is not likely that he will allow you.



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MWUN: Pay Aged Seafarers’ Entitlement, Adeyanju Urges Oyetola



MWUN congratulates women on International Women's Day

The President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN}, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju has urged the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola to look inward first and protect the rights of aged seafarers who have contributed immensely to the growth of this country.

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, who made the call in his chat with newsmen during the 2023 MARAN Annual Maritime Lecture organized by Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, also enjoined the Minister to see this counsel as a topmost agenda.

“It is only in Nigeria that people who contributed to the growth of the economy are not valued until after their death, people that have contributed to sea fearing in Nigeria today, some of them are languishing in poverty. 

“The Court judgment is very clear with an instruction that their pension and gratuity should be paid; but as I speak, the pension and gratuity are yet to be paid, despite meetings and letters being sent.

“Ministries of Transport and that of Labour set up Committees to look into it for verification exercise to be carried out on all sea fearers in Nigeria (including the deceased) so that they of their next of kins can be paid their benefits but when the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy came in and was trying to float NNSL, we reminded him that the retirees have not been paid their rights, 

“We are not asking him not to do anything he wishes to do, our stand is that all retirees must get their rights and if that is not done we might be forced to resort to industrial action” he declared.

Speaking on the issue of insecurity in the maritime industry, Comrade Adeyanju said: “The insecurity in the port is the order of the day and the government needs to be blamed as a result of not empowering the security agents that are supposed to manage the affairs of security in the ports.

Bello-Koko Lauds MWUN for Ensuring NPA Staff's Salary Increase
President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), an Ibadan Prince, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju

“You could imagine the Marine Police, hardly will you see them with boats for them to patrol. 

You go to Area B, and even within the port here in Apapa, there are no facilities for them to work. How do you expect the security to be managed? We should use this medium to tell the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), and all the relevant stakeholders to encourage the security agents within the port, for them to give optimal performance as it is expected of them” he concluded.

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Idiroko Customs Uncovers 975 Rounds of  Ammunition Concealed In 5 Bags Of Rice 



The Ogun 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service uncovered the antics deployed by unscrupulous criminals to smuggle in live ammunition through a bush path along Palace/Ayetoro road, Imeko, Afon local Government area of Ogun State.

The perpetrators are however, yet to apprehend.

 Five bags of foreign parboiled rice containing 975 rounds of red star live cartridges were intercepted at 0005hrs on Monday 27, November 2023.

Disclosing this on Wednesday, the Acting Customs Area Controller of the Command, Bello Shuaibu, said that  efforts are underway to track the perpetrators of the illicit importation.

*Bello Shuaibu,…yet to apprehend the perpetrators

He expressed delight on how operatives of the Command thwarted the evil plans of the enemies of the State by preventing smuggling of live ammunition into the country.

His words: “Our presence here today depicts our unwavering commitment to safeguarding and strengthening the security architecture of our beloved nation against insecurity as we will be showcasing our most recent anti smuggling exploits. We are delighted to report that we have thwarted the evil plans of the enemies of the State by preventing the smuggling of live ammunition into the country.”

He added that arms and ammunition smuggling is a high-intelligence operation, as perpetrators often attempt to evade the watchful eyes of law enforcement agents.

 He stated that the war against illegal firearms requires concerted and collaborative efforts from law-abiding citizens of this country to checkmate such a nefarious activity.

 “Smuggling of arms and ammunition is a menace that knows no borders and feeds on the vulnerability of our society,” he said.

He warned that the consequences of unchecked smuggling of arms and ammunition are severe, ranging from the empowerment of criminal organizations to escalating crises and compromising national security. 

He reiterated that for these reasons, his command will not relent nor compromise in waging war against the smuggling of unlawful arms and ammunition in building a safe and stable nation.

Shuaibu explained that the operatives of the command uncovered the secret of the unscrupulous elements when  operatives  conducted a sessional and intelligence-based operation to unravel the tactics deployed by unscrupulous elements to bring in live ammunition through the Imeko axis of the State.

“We have been on the trail of the ammunition for about a week. Fortunately, at 00:05 hours of the day, we received an intel that the five bags of foreign parboiled rice, containing live cartridges of Red Star ammunition, had been carefully hidden in a bush path along the Palace-Ayetoro road, Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State.

“Our operatives went to the spot and evacuated the five bags of rice without any encounter. The bags of rice were suspected due to the unusual threading and sewing of the sacks. This quickly aroused the suspicion of our operatives, leading to their opening for proper examination at the Border station.

“During the examination, about 975 rounds of Red Star live cartridges were found to have been ingeniously concealed in the bags. We have intensified efforts to track down the perpetrators of this nefarious act for them to be brought to justice. We recognize the potential danger of arms and ammunition trafficking, which is life-threatening. We shall not renege on our efforts in combating smuggling activities in their entirety,” the Acting Controller said. 

He appreciated the officers and men of the Command for their bravery and commended the patriotism of their informant.

 “We call on well-meaning Nigerians with useful intel to collaborate with us in enhancing the security of our dear nation. You are assured of maximum security cover. Let me use this medium to reiterate that we remain resolute in promoting national security,” he assured.

He also expressed gratitude to the Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi for his support and enhancement of the Command’s operations. Shuaibu equally extended his appreciation to sister agencies for the synergy and collaboration the command has continuously enjoyed.

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$54,330: Comptroller Nnadi Again Hands Over Snatched Funds To EFCC



…Dera Nnadi Credits feat to Officers’ patriotic selflessness, and CGC’s Impactful Spirit

The Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) Customs Area Controller, Dera Nnadi this week handed over to the Federal Government, $54,330 bribe money snatched from those wanting the Command to clear Tramadol, falsely declared as electrical appliances, valued at over N856m.

While handing over the Dollars to the Lagos Zonal Commander of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , Mr. Michael Wetkas, Comptroller Nnadi specifically emphasized the zero tolerance for corruption stance of the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, MFR.

Twice as Strong: Comptroller Dera Nnadi after handing over snatched funds to the EFCC at the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos

The Maritime First learnt that this was not the first time Comptroller Dera Nnadi was actually handing over snatched funds to the Federal coffers. He similarly performed same act, while he headed the Seme Border Customs Command.

Ironically, it was through the same EFCC chieftain, Mr. Michael Wetkas that he had returned the snatched Dollars to the Federal coffers.

*Crispy $54,330 going into Federal coffers through the EFCC

Fielding questions on how truly a Nigerian he is, returning such hard currency, only few weeks to Christmas, the Tin Can Island Port Controller praised the selfless and patriotic commitment of the officers and men of the Command, while noting the huge and impactful, motivational influence of the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi.

Comptroller Nnadi said the illegal importation of the Tramadol was in clear violation of Section 233 of Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCAA) 2023 and commended the officers who stood their grounds to work ethically and lawfully in the interest of national security.

He also called for continuous compliance on the part of port users and reminded them that the NCS with the collaboration of sister agencies like EFCC will continue to frustrate criminal activities in the port.

Nnadi specially thanked his predecessor, Comptroller Adekunle Oloyede, under whose watch, this particular seizure was achieved, describing him as a noteworthy example of what the Service is preaching. He highlighted that two suspects who were arrested in connection with the two containers, were currently being investigated by the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control for possible prosecution.

In his reaction, the EFCC Lagos Zonal Boss, Mr. Michael Wekas while taking over the cash, described the feat as a victory for the country and to all the security agencies.

He delightfully celebrated the officers of the TCIP Command which achieved the feat. He also lauded the CGC, for the letter of commendation written, in appreciation of the six Customs officers who refused to bow to pressure and inducement, from the owners of the illicit drugs.

*The Command’s Special six

He promised continued collaboration between the EFCC, NCS and other sister agencies, stressing that, the era of working without collaboration is gone.

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