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BOAN Urges FG to Commit 20% of Railway fund to Water Transport

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BOAN Urges FG to Commit 20% of Railway fund to Water Transport

The Federal Government has been advised to commit 20 percent of its railway budget to the development of inland water transportation, particularly barge operations, in the country.

Making the call in Lagos, the President of, the Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN), Dr. Bunmi Olumekun, said that such financial commitment will help the government to tap the huge barge resources that are worth over $3 billion dollar for the country.

Also read: BOAN to move Cargo Out of Lekki Port, to Prevent Gridlock

He stated this at the Roundtable Conference of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in Apapa, Lagos on Thursday.

“Barge operation is $3 billion investments added to the GDP.

We have not tapped what we are supposed to get from the industry. Barging requires a lot of capital; we cannot do it alone.

The government needs to come to our aid.

We will appreciate it if the government can dedicate 20% of the railway funding to water transportation,” he said. Olumekun noted that the proposed Regional Maritime Bank is an advantage for them and it is a welcome development as operators can easily get loans at one-digit interest.

The BOAN President said that port terminal operators and some foreigners mostly Asians are taking over their job and called on the federal government and the National Assembly to legislate and domestic barge operation strictly for Nigerians.

“Asians have bought over all the land along Agbara to Badagry waterways in Lagos for terminal purposes with interest-free loans.

We don’t want to be left behind. Bonded terminals were used and dumped by the government.

Nobody is patronizing them.

“We need legislation to regulate barge operation to make barging a local content strictly for Nigerians.

All our barges are locally made in Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt and a lot of companies are coming into barge construction.

The industry must be protected to save over five thousand jobs in the industry.

“National Assembly must also legislate that a certain percentage of cargo should be moved by water,” he said.
He called on the state government to invest in water transportation.

The BOAN President commended the efforts of the Nigerian Ports Authority on the regulation of barge business, disclosing that barge operators in the last three years moved three million TEUs in and out of ports in Lagos.
He described the Lekki Port as a messiah as it would create a lot of business opportunities for his members.
Also speaking at the conference, Prince Daniel Eze, the Public Relations Officer of BOAN,  said that some terminal operators have begun to open up barge operation departments.

“We want a legislative act that forbids foreigners and terminal operators from doing barging.”

 

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NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of ‘National Interest’

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NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of 'National Interest'

The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh has stressed the crucial importance of the Media to nation-building, and tasked media practitioners to put the nation’s interest foremost.


NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of 'National Interest'
R-L: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR presenting a souvenir to the Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh during a courtesy visit to the Channels TV headquarters in Lagos recently.

The NIMASA Director-General indicated this, during his working visit to the Chief Executive Officer of ChannelsTV Mr. John Momoh, highlighting the critical role of the media.

“The Media is crucial to Nation Building!”, Jamoh told his host, calling attention to why  Media owners must make conscious and deliberate efforts to imbibe national interest in information management, for the development of Nigeria with particular reference to the maritime sector.

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Nigeria- Niger Republic Rail Project Critical To Africa- Sambo

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Nigeria- Niger Republic Rail Project Critical To Africa- Sambo

Nigeria and the Niger Republic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the rail project, with the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo stressing that the project will boost trade and other socio-economic activities within the continent, particularly between both countries.

The Minister stated this in Abuja at the MoU signing, noting the specific importance of the Nigeria rail line. Sambo signed for Nigeria while the  Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou signed for his country. 

The Minister noted that the rail line, which will start from Kano State in Nigeria and end at Maradi in Niger Republic,  will facilitate the realization of the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade  Agreement which Nigeria and Niger Republic are signatories.

“I am aware that people have blood relationships across borders so the project will expand the historical and cultural relationship between the people of Nigeria and those of the Niger Republic. The project is also very important in enhancing inter-nation and continental trade”, Mr. Sambo added.

On the implementation of the project, the Minister said a Technical Committee would be set up within seven days in accordance with Article 3 of the MoU, adding that nomination of members and inauguration of the Technical Committee would be concluded by the first week of February 2023.

According to him, after their inauguration, the Technical Committee will take charge of the facilitation and implementation of the project. 

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou corroborated that the rail project will promote inter-nation as well as continental trade, strengthen cultural ties between the two countries and create jobs.  

In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said work has been ongoing on the  Kano-Maradi rail line for the past two years, adding that the signing of the MoU would expedite the completion of the project. 

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Lekki Deep Seaport to boost non-oil revenue — NEPC; FG foils 66 attempts to hack FEC virtual meetings 

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Lekki Deep Seaport to boost non-oil revenue — NEPC; FG foils 66 attempts to hack FEC virtual meetings 

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), says the recently commissioned Lekki Deep Sea Port is expected to boost Nigeria’s non-oil export.

The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak said that the development came on the heels of tremendous performance recorded in the non-oil export sector in 2022.

A statement issued on Thursday by Ndubueze Okeke, Head, Corporate Communications NEPC, quoted Yakusak as saying that the seaport would further ease the perennial congestion at the Apapa Ports.

“This development comes on the heels of the tremendous performance recorded in the non-oil export sector in 2022 in which the sector recorded a significant result of 4.820 billion dollars in 2022 representing an increase of 39.91 percent over 2021.

“The Lekki Deep Sea Port will not only provide jobs, directly and indirectly along the value chain but will further ease the perennial congestion at the Apapa Ports and thereby enhance the export drive of the country.

“It will also guarantee seamless trade facilitation.

“Having been designated a Customs port, all is now set for commercial vessels to berth and clear cargo at the port which is reported to be the country’s first Deep Sea Port and first fully automated as well,’’ Yakusak said.

He explained that the Lekki deep sea port domiciled within the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ), would further create an enabling environment for business and commercial activities to thrive.

According to Yakusak, this is particularly for the export of Nigerian products as it will play a strategic role in promoting international trade and sustainable economic growth for the country.

“The commissioning of the Lekki Deep Seaport is strategic and very key to the development and promotion of export trade.

“Indeed, it will ease the supply chain constraints and enhance logistics given the vital role of logistics in facilitating the transportation of goods to the international market.

“It is also a major source of foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

Yakusak said that about 214 different products ranging from manufactured, semi-processed, solid minerals to raw agricultural products were exported in 2022.

He said that 19 exit points were used with Apapa Port recording the highest tonnage of exports.

Yakusak commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the political will to execute the project in collaboration with other stakeholders.

He said that the project was expected to add about 361 billion dollars to the economy.

The project is a joint venture between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Lagos State Government.

Others are the Tolarams Group (owners of the Lagos Free Zone) and China Harbour Engineering Company. 

In another development, the Federal Government said it foiled  66 attempts by hackers from Europe to compromise the virtual meetings of the Federal Executive Councils (FEC).

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami gave the revelation in Abuja at the 19th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).

The scorecard series was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of Buhari’s administration.

Presenting the scorecards of his ministry, Pantami said since the unveiling of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions in October 2020, not less than, 108 virtual FEC meetings had been held.

He said from the 108 virtual FEC meetings held, 66 attacks to compromise the meetings were made from Europe but all failed.

The minister said all the cases were reported to the appropriate authorities for the record and actions.

He recalled that the National Policy on Virtual Engagements was launched to formalise government online meetings such as FEC and Council of State meetings.

The minister said that with the policy developed with the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, government’s virtual meetings could be held effectively and legally.

He said the implementation of the virtual meetings had saved the country over N47 billion which could have been used if they were held physically.

The minister also disclosed that in line with Buhari’s vision to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty, not less than 2.2 million jobs had been created in the digital sector in the past three years.

He said the feat was achieved in the sector by the implementation of the Executive Orders signed by the President to priotise indigenous content as well as indigenous professional in the execution of national projects.

Pantami said in the execution of jobs, planning and design of projects as well as appointments of key officials in the digital sector of the country priorities were given to indigenous professionals.

 He said his ministry also priotised the execution of programmes and projects that could generate direct and indirect jobs.

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