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GMSC: NIMASA’s Unique opportunity to reposition Nigeria’s Image, Economy

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jects, holds meeting with S/East stakeholders

With the nation’s image precariously at its lowest ebb, Nigeria has ample opportunity to launder its image in October, as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) pulls the international community together in Abuja, not only for the orchestrated Global Maritime Security conference (GMSC), but also to showcase the country’s good points, strength and economic advantages.

Coming against the backdrop of an unenviable status of a piracy- ridden country, a damaging ‘FBI Nigeria 80’ and the controversies of illegal wired US million Dollars, alongside a more recent reciprocal or retaliatory attacks on South African economic interest in Nigeria, the International Conference couldn’t have come at a better time.

A high-level three-day Maritime Security Conference flagging off on October 7th, the Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) 2019 will expectedly facilitate a clearer understanding of the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea region, as well as develop tailored solutions, via coordinated efforts aimed at strengthening regional and international collaborations to extinguish maritime threats in the region.

Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi

In other words, if the ends, like Niccolo Marchiavelli suggested, actually justifies the means, the Conference could become the long awaited panacea to the region’s Maritime insecurity with its attendant economic, social, political and environmental implications.

Truly, a few industry watchers have criticised the Government for adopting wrong sticks, in battling the snake-like menace of piracy and crimes at sea. Their arguments anchored on the so far, lack lustre results of the efforts. In the event that their arguments hold waters, then the globally conference may truly become a more enduring solution.

A peep into the quality of expected experts justifies such hopes!

It therefore means that at full bloom, the GMSC would allow a more precise understanding of the nature and scope of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea; and enable a more effective coordination of regional responses to maritime insecurity vis-à-vis intervention supports from external actors/partners.

Also read:  ESSAY COMPETITION: NIMASA’s ploy for youths’ sustainable engagement in Maritime Sector- Dakuku

The Maritime First was told that the participants are scheduled to brainstorm and evaluate the relevance and impacts of the various interventions earlier initiated, to tackle maritime insecurity in the region. Their goal at this point, as further learnt, is to ensure a realistic revising and adapting of each intervention initiative towards catalysing them to address the current challenges.

A participant, who pleaded to speak on condition of anonymity, noted that if past conferences leaned more on the theoretical or academic, the 2019 GMSC would decisively move, towards policy practical harmonization, actualization and, effective implementation, through enhanced regional integration and cooperation, as a principal method, for delivering a more efficient and effective security of the entire region.

Speaking in the same vein, a staffer of the Agency, who also spoke on conditions that his name be not mentioned, as he was not permitted to talk to media, said the Conference is Government’s final opportunity, to find solutions to the protracted challenges of the region.

Dakuku: Court’s endorsement of NIMASA’s fee collection from Oil Drilling Operations will create more jobs

Dr. Dakuku Peterside, NIMASA DG

 

“Government is serious at tackling the threats to maritime security. But even more than that, Government is now more focused at strategizing, and creating alternative approach to preventing cyber security attack and other forms of emerging maritime security threats”, he stated, stressing the commitment for a shift from the stratum of advocacy, for  deeper global commitment and deployment of resources towards ending maritime insecurity within the region timeously.

A Monday morning and a Star-studded affair, the Maritime First was told that with the blast of the National anthem at 10am, the NIMASA Director General, Dakuku Peterside would deliver his Welcome Speech, and this would be followed by a short Remarks by Chief of the Nigerian Naval Staff; another short Remarks by the Honourable Minister of Transportation, shortly after which a Goodwill Message by ECOWAS President would come.

Good will messages, though short, are usually informative. The Good will Message by ECCAS President may therefore not be different; and this would immediately be followed by another Goodwill Message from the AU Commission Chairperson; until finally, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary General delivers his Good will Message; after which President Muhammadu Buhari would present his Keynote address and subsequently, formally declare the global event which holds at the prestigious International Conference Centre, Abuja, officially opened!

An industry watchers, Samuel Egbewole advised that the unique event should be used to also explore as well as sell the nation’s concept of Blue economy to the International community.

Piracy illustrationHe posited that the opportunity for finding the solutions to the problems of piracy or evolving and entrenching a workable blueprint for the Blue economy could be found there, but stressed that this would only be possible, if every relevant Government Ministry’s official is compelled, not only to attend, but also remain physically attentive during the interactive stages.

“Ideas, notable ideas fly during such important conferences, especially during the interactive sessions. But, relevant officials must be present, physically present and attentive to capture it; and then, to assemble later, further brainstorm on it, and then, run with it!”, he said, stressing that the greatest setback for the country is that an hour or two after the Opening Ceremony, most important officials and decision-makers conspicuously disappeared!

“Resolutions can be made. Noteworthy ideas can be itemized, but if we’re missing while it was discussed, it’s implementation would always sound like a Greek language!”, he opined further, urging Dakuku and the Minister of Transportation to liaise with other Ministers, to ensure the presence of every attending Government official.

It was however leant that the three day event would encourage very intensive and interactive sessions, designed to expand, address and deliver a workable framework that tackles key issues around the safety and security of the nation’s waterways.

 

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas

 

It is also believed that relevant Government Ministries and Agencies, including the Nigerian Navy, Coast Guards, Regulatory bodies, Maritime  Lawyers and Professionals Insurance firms; Banks and Finance Sector; Oil and Gas sector; high level Industry Practitioners; foreign ship owners and Charteres; indigenous Ship Owners / Charteres;  and Oil Companies Chief Executives and Trade Executives would be in attendance.

Others that would also be attending include those from the Classification Societies; Industry stakeholders and professionals; Consultancy and Industry Experts; International, Continental And Regional Bodies; Shipping logistics, Ship Brokery, Ship Managers and Agents; Support services, Marine Support Services, Foreign Missions and Diplomats; Policy Makers and Researchers; as well as Institutions and Nongovernmental Organisations amongst others.

 

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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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