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BUHARI: FG on point to combat maritime insecurity

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BUHARI: FG on point to combat maritime insecurity

…As Amaechi restates need for enhanced collaboration, to boost maritime security in Gulf of Guinea***

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday indicated that the Federal Government was seriously working on a Maritime Transport Plan and Strategy to provide a robust framework for achieving Nigerian maritime objectives.

Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, indicated this at the Global Maritime Security Conference on Monday in Abuja, just as the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi restated the need for collaboration and partnership to achieve enhanced maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

The theme of the conference ”Managing and Securing Our Waters” was organised by the Federal ministry of Transport, in conjunction with the Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy.

The Perm sec. FMOT, Sabiu Zakar, Dr. Dakuku Peterside Ambassador Zubairu Dada, Nigeria Minister of State for Foreign Affair, Representative of Minister of Defense, Hajia Nuratu Jimoh Batagarwa, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; at the Global Maritime Security Conference ongoing in Abuja

 

Buhari said that the Maritime Transport Plan and Strategy would foster public-private sector collaboration and inter-regional cooperation on maritime security across the continent.

“This conference is an essential step in a continuing shift in strategic thinking about global maritime security.

“It will no doubt provide an opportunity for stakeholders to develop strategies to improve maritime safety and security globally with an emphasis on the Gulf of Guinea Region.”

He said that Nigeria had put in place a Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act, which was signed into law on June 24.

Also read:  ABUJA GMSC: Security takes front burner as 38 Navies and 27 Coast Guards storm Nigeria

He said that Act seeks to give further credence to the relevant international treaties of the United Nations and International Maritime Organisation ratified by Nigeria and the continental and regional treaties subscribed to on maritime safety and security.

“It is detailed and will provide the much needed legal and institutional framework for Nigeria to ensure safe and secure shipping in Nigeria waters.

“In addition to the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act, my administration has also put in place an Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Solution with Command and Control infrastructure.

“The deliverables from the project have bolstered Nigeria’s maritime security architecture and increased monitoring and compliance enforcement within the Nigerian waters, and the Exclusive Economic Zone.

“The Nigerian Navy has also stepped up collaborative efforts with other maritime security agencies aimed at achieving a safe secure maritime domain,” he said.

Buhari said the theme of the conference was not new, noting that the “increase in threats to safe, secure shipping globally have however, heightened the focus on it, given the impact on global trade and the economic prosperity of our nations.”

He noted that the world’s waters accounted for over 80 per cent of transportation requirements in the global trading supply chain network across established international routes and trade lanes.

“Sadly, the Gulf of Guinea today is at the epi-center of maritime security discussions globally, given the incidents recorded in the region. Available statistics, however, indicate that efforts to eradicate the menace of the governments in the region are bearing dividends,” he said.

R–L: Dr. Dakuku Peterside, DG, NIMASA; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; Ambassador Zubairu Dada, Nigeria Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Nigeria Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Ruqqayah Saraki; Representative of Minister of Defense, Hajia Nuratu Jimoh Batagarwa; and other naval representatives

 

Buhari said the convening of the conference in Nigeria was an indication that, “We will not relent in efforts to rid our waters of the piracy scourge. To succeed in our objectives, a collective effort from all stakeholders represented here today is essential.

“I reiterate the need for a joint effort because security in the Gulf is vital and central to global trade in view of the fact that many critical trade routes connecting the continent to the rest of the world, run through the Gulf.

“Also, the Gulf of Guinea encompasses diverse geographical and rich cultural heritage with many of its States endowed with vast oil and gas deposits in addressing global demands,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has restated the need for enhanced collaboration and partnership amongst key stakeholders to ensure maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Minister stated this at the Global Maritime Security Conference in Abuja on Monday.

Amaechi, represented by the Minister of state for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, said striving to maintain safe, secure shipping in our seas and oceans was non-negotiable.

This, he said, was because the prosperity as nation-states today was linked to maritime security considering that over 90 per cent of world international trade was done by sea.

According to him, there is a significant global concern on the rising spate of maritime insecurity and the perception that the Gulf of Guinea Region accounts for most of these cases.

“It is for this reason that Nigeria has decided to take the lead on behalf of the Gulf of Guinea states in convening this conference to examine the strategies and coordinated responses in place to address maritime insecurity.

“The absence of legal frameworks within member states seems to be a significant challenge in the regional effort to stem the tide.

“Nigeria, in this regard thankfully has put in place detailed legislation in the form of a Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act to tackle and repress piracy and other maritime crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain,” Amaechi said.

The Minister expressed optimism that the conference would foster better cooperation in addressing the challenges of maritime security in the region for the benefit of member states and the world at large.

Also speaking, Mr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), restated that maritime insecurity remained one of the significant challenges affecting international trade.

He said it also affected the quest for sustainable use of the country’s ocean resources by member states for economic growth, improved livelihoods and job creation.

According to Peterside, Nigeria is keen to drive this initiative because it is a significant destination in the international and domestic shipping map accounting for over 65 per cent of cargo generated from the region.

While reiterating the expectations of the conference, he expressed optimism that it would provide the platform and catalyst for enhanced and robust regional and international collaborations.

He further said the collaboration when in place would deter and repress these challenges in the region.

 

 

 

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Emulate the LTT, NPA Enjoins Industry Stakeholders

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As the Marine firm donates Rader, Communication gadgets, expressing commitment to make things better

The Nigerian Ports Authority at the weekend enjoined stakeholders to selflessly support the Authority’s bid to move efficiency to the next level, even as it thanked the LTT and Coastal Marine Services for its commitment to assisting in strengthening port operations.

The Executive Director of Marine and Operations, Mr. Olalekan Badmus stated this, while witnessing the official installation of the LTT donated equipment, meant to fill up certain operational gaps, thereby improving harbour efficiency.

*L-R: The Apapa Port Manager, Mr. Charles Okaga, the NPA Executive Director, Marine & Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus and the LTT Group Managing Director, Mr. Hilik Yichiel Kalusky during the equipment inspection at the Port’s Tower, Bull Nose, Apapa, Lagos, at the weekend.

The Items included a full VHF, AIS, screens to obtain on-the-spot assessment of the channel; walkie-talkie, and backup inverters with the capacity to work on solar and battery. Their provision is expected to significantly bridge the power gaps, communication, and visual gaps.

“This is a welcome development and my message is to enjoin other stakeholders to emulate the LTT and contribute in whatever ways that will ensure that things get better.

*Executive Director, Marine and Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus, during the equipment inspection

“What the LTT has done is commendable and we know it would have an appreciable impact in boosting our efficiency.

“The LTT has demonstrated it’s goodwill; and like the Yoruba saying goes: We will praise you for this one, to motivate you to do more!”, the Executive Director, Olalekan Badmus further stated.

Earlier in his address, the cheerful-donor, and LTT Managing Director, Kalusky Hilik had highlighted that the major reason for the action was to make things work.

“We are here to make things work. Our vision is to make things work better”, Hilik Kalusky stated, stressing that his major concern had been to ensure an all-round port’s full, functional regime.

He said this is because, whether it is raining, sunny, or harmattan, ships are always coming in; and he is determined that the LTT must deliver the best results possible to Nigeria.

“That is why we decided on the small move to improve on the Rader and Communication aspects.

He expressed his optimism that the port would witness more development in rapid succession and stressed that the LTT wants to be at the forefront of this initiative.

Expatiating on the presentation, an informed staff, Frank Nwaeze said the importance of the equipment was to effectively mitigate the observed gaps, hindering operational efficiency.

He praised the robust relationship between the NPA and the LTT which he noted had consistently increased job efficiency and effectiveness.

“However, in the course of our interactions, we noticed some gaps; and the Managing Director thought it wise, to see how the LTT could fill this gap.

He said the first noticeable gap was the power gap, the erratic power supply, recalling the power outage that occurred twice, 30 minutes earlier, before the ceremony kicked off..

He identified the second gap as in the area of communication gadgets, hence the need to ensure the provision of inverters and the solar system.

*A group picture, after the equipment inspection

“So that at every point in time, the equipment is powered, so as to ensure a better ease of operation.”

Still, on the communication gap, he said it was for this reason that the Managing Director thought it wise to put a base station in the port operations office, to boost harbour and pilotage activities, adding that this would significantly facilitate easy access in the monitoring of the tugs, pilot cutters and make general operations, seamless.

He said the installation has now achieved that, in both the Port Control and Port Operations Office.

Finally, he identified the observed need for the provision of credible electronic eyes, hence the need for the installation of AIS and the radar system. This has now ensured that at every point in time, the authority is fully aware of what obtains in every aspect of its fore or background as well as be able to interact with their vessels.

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NIMASA Expresses Concern Over Seafarers’ Mental Health, Lauds Adeyanju on Industrial Harmony

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…MWUN leader says Jamoh instrumental to Maritime Industry peace 

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, on Tuesday restated the commitment of the Agency to the mental health of Seafarers. 

Dr. Jamoh who specially commended the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN,  during MWUN President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju’s working visit, said the Union was uniquely fostering industrial harmony in the Nigerian maritime sector.

Industry stakeholders have generally identified the Union leader and Prince of Ibadan with pronounced peace and ongoing industrial harmony. Before Adeyanju’s tenure, the Nigerian maritime industry had routinely witnessed a regime of door-banging, threat-mongering unionists.

*L-R: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR (left) with the President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

 

“We have witnessed more dialogue in resolving issues under your tenure and improved employer-employee relationship within the maritime sector”, Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated, stressing:

ALSO READ: US Coast Guard To Work With NIMASA On ‘Condition of Entry’ Removal

“We need to sustain the industrial harmony in this sector, to attain in-country confidence amongst stakeholders and ultimately attract FDI to the country. 

“We at NIMASA will encourage projects like the Seafarers Recreational Centre because it will enhance seafarers’ mental, emotional, and social well-being, amongst other benefits”.

On his part, Comrade Adeyanju highlighted that the Collective Bargaining Agreement facilitated by NIMASA is largely responsible for the ease with which employee-employer dialogue now takes place in the maritime sector.

*L-R: Head, Public Relations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Osagie Edward;  Deputy President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Francis Bunu; Director General NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; President General MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju; Deputy President General MWUN, Comrade Tonye Harry and MWUN Liaison Officer, Lucky Olombeni during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

“Dr. Jamoh has been very instrumental in ensuring industrial harmony within the maritime sector. H

“He seeks dialogue anytime we issue an ultimatum. His pro-activeness has contributed significantly to the outstanding performance of the current NIMASA Administration, we are very proud of him. 

“Unionism is now scientific, with the use of data analysis to arrive at our position on any issue, and we prefer dialogue to confrontation and it has worked for us over the years. The Collective Bargaining Agreement implemented by NIMASA has made things very easy and transparent.” He said

Speaking further, Comrade Adeyanju who is also the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, disclosed that the Union has secured approval for international collaboration to establish a recreational Center for Seafarers in Nigeria, signaling positive strides in supporting the well-being of maritime workers.

ALSO READ: AKUTA: Shippers’ Council Executive Secretary Visits Jamoh, Lauds NIMASA’s Achievements

’’We have been working with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, UK, to which MWUN is affiliated. They have offered us a grant to partly fund the construction of a Seafarers Recreational Centre. 

“We are glad to announce that NIMASA is favorably disposed to this project. When completed, the Seafarers Recreational Centre will not only serve as a rallying point for in-country seafarers, but also offer a welcoming environment for those onboard during port calls, allowing them to experience and savor the warmth of Nigerians”, the MWUN President General further said.

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FOU Kaduna Records N2bn Seizures, Laments Smugglers Still Target Expired Items

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Dalha Wada Chedi, the Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna says his command recorded not fewer than seizures of 27 items, with a duty paid value of N1, 975,657,865.96 between January and February 16, 2024.

Chedi stated this while providing an insight into the activities of the unit, at the Kangiwa House, Kaduna, expressing disappointment that some of the seizures were expired items which could have compromised innocent people’s wellbeing.

“The operatives of the Unit have for the period under review remained resolute in the fight against smuggling thereby making several seizures of 27 different items ranging from used foreign shoes, foreign parboiled rice, Second-hand clothing, expired milk and juice powder, among others”, said Comptroller Dalha Chedi, with a Wednesday in January being very remarkable.

“On Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted One truck conveying 179 Bags of Tiger Nuts (50Kg each) based on intelligence along Maigatari/ Malamfatori/ Birniwa axis of Jigawa State.

“On the 3rd February 2024, the operatives of the Unit arrested three trucks along Gumel-Kano road in Jigawa State. 

“The arrest was made following information shared by the intelligence network of the NCS-Headquarters, Abuja on the suspicion that they were conveying prohibited items. A hundred percent (100%) physical examination was conducted at the premises of Kano/Jigawa Command and the three trucks were found to contain 5,076 Cartons of Foreign soap, 703 bales of Foreign second-hand clothing, 925 cartons of macaroni, 320 bales of foreign textiles and 12 Jumbo sacks of foreign used shoes.

“Two suspects were arrested and detained at the Kano/Jigawa Command in connection with the seizures and they have been granted administrative bail pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

“Also on 11 February 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the Unit acting on credible intelligence along Tsafe-Funtua Road in Zamfara State intercepted One truck on the suspicion of improper importation.  

“Further examination revealed that the truck was conveying 75 cartons of expired foreign jolly juice powder and 8 sacks of foreign expired milk powder that were found to have expired since 2019 and thus unfit for human consumption. 

“The expired milk was concealed with sacks of dried hides & skin. These are expired, unused, and contaminated items which if not intercepted by our operatives would cause havoc to society in general.

“Other items seized within this period are: 237 Bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (50 Kg each), 1837 cartons of foreign spaghetti, macaroni and couscous, 1707 jerry-cans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) 25litres each, 3459 cartons/sachets of Amoxicillin, Artesunate, 500 Mg, 35 cartons of flame lighters, 2089 cartons of foreign dates, 142 cartons of YES Cigarettes, 810 pieces of foreign used tyres, many vehicles deposited at various Customs formations in the Zone, among others.

“The Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the Seizures made within the period under review is N1, 975,657,865.96) only”, he stated further, adding that since the foreign dates and the Tiger-Nuts were edible and perishable goods, they would be auctioned in line with the provisions of Paragraph 15 (b) of the Schedule of the Nigeria Customs Service Act No. 35, 2023.   

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