Connect with us


IMO Council: Nigeria’s Chances Hampered By poor EoDB, Inter-Agency Rift



IMO Council: Nigeria’s Chances Hampered By poor EoDB, Inter-Agency Rift
IMO Council: Nigeria’s Chances Hampered By poor EoDB, Inter-Agency Rift

Assistant Director, Special Duties Unit at Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Ms. Adaora Nwonu

Government agencies at seaports and the entire maritime sector have been encouraged to collaborate in a bid to drive efficiency and improve Nigeria’s maritime outlook as the nation prepares for the 2021 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Governing Council elections.

Experts have observed that the perception of the nation in the global maritime space is dented by the lack of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and absence of synergy among government agencies which has worsened the problems at the nation’s ports and entire maritime domain and limits the nation’s chances at the upcoming IMO Council polls.

Maritime experts, including directors at government agencies, stressed this during an online summit with the theme; “Objective Appraisal of Nigeria’s Eligibility for IMO Council Membership”, organized by Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria.

Long vessel dwell-time, seaside congestion, challenges for berthing, corruption, manual processes, poor EoDB, among other factors culminate in the decision-making process for nations that are expected to vote Nigeria at IMO; and until government agencies resolve to work in unison towards addressing these issues, success at IMO Council elections may continue to elude the nation.

Speaking at the summit, an Assistant Director, Special Duties Unit at Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Ms. Adaora Nwonu observed that since 2007, Nigeria has consistently contested the IMO Council elections and lost.

Her words: “Could we decide to do a post-mortem analysis or wait until 2023 to contest again? Perhaps, some of the initiatives Nigeria has put in place like the Maritime Security assets would have been deployed in a sustainable manner such that the international community can see the benefits and Nigeria would have some statistics to share on what it has done to support its candidature.”

“Government came up with ease of doing business to change things, but government agencies have been accused of defaulting the executive orders. Cargo coordination and examination, sharing of manifests in an automated manner is still a challenge and the shipping companies complain that they still have to do hard copies, invest in giant photocopy machines to be able to meet up with the hard copies they have to send to government agencies. Why should government agencies be demanding hard copy manifests at this time of innovation? The same vessels call at other countries and don’t send hard copy manifests.”

She also harped on the need for regulatory agencies to eschew the unhealthy rivalry for space when issues of national interests are at stake, adding that the experiences of shipping companies, ship captains and other foreign parties when conducting maritime business in Nigeria influences their perception of the country and would reflect in the IMO Council elections.

Barr. Emeka Akabogu, Legal Luminary

On his part, a Senior Partner, Akabogu & Associates, Barr. Emeka Akabogu stated that the experience and perception of crews of vessels that berth at the nation’s port with regards maritime traffic and trade facilitation places the nation in a disadvantaged position.

The veteran maritime lawyer cited an example of the MT San Padre Pio vessel that was recently released by the Nigerian Navy after spending three years in detention for bunkering despite the interventions from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, describing the treatment of the vessel as unpalatable even as he noted that several vessels have suffered similar fate in the country.

WISTA Nigeria President, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke

Also speaking at the virtual conference, Nigeria’s Registrar of Ships and Deputy Director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mrs. Nneka Obianyor observed that one of Nigeria’s biggest challenge has been the menace of piracy, adding that the nation has made giant strides to address this with the launch of the Deep Blue Project and the emergence of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act.

Earlier, the President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke stressed that Nigeria needs to look inward and further develop capacity and infrastructures as part of efforts to project the country as a serious minded, focused global maritime player in the region.

Also read: WISTA appoints Dein of Agborland, Patron, as Salami expands Tourism frontiers in Asaba

“The regulatory agencies need to enhance the sector reforms in conformity with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Nigeria as a nation must seriously consider the acquisition of a national career with her flag which will provide sea-time experience for her teeming cadets and seafarers. The IMO Member States are keenly watching to see the commitment of Nigeria towards achieving all these,” Ezeoke said.

IMO Council: Nigeria’s Chances Hampered By poor EoDB, Inter-Agency Rift

Mrs. Chizoba Anyika

Giving the vote of thanks, the Secretary of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Chizoba Anyika encouraged attendees at the conference to utilize the feedback and submissions appropriately with a view to enhancing the nation’s maritime sector and placing the country in an advantageous position at the next IMO Council elections.

Anyika specially thanked the speakers at the online conference, even as she commended the WISTA Diamonds, executives and all participants for their time and notable contributions at the event.


Latest News

MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People’s Love for Selfless Service



MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People's Love for Selfless Service

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has congratulated His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on his re-election as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.

 President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju felicitated with the governor, noting that Sanwo-Olu’s victory is well deserved, following his focused selfless service.

According to the President General, the victory is a clear testimony of the love showered on the governor as the Chief Executive of the state by the people of Lagos State.

Prince Adeyanju promised the commitment of the union to making the seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

In his words: “The Lagos State election which was keenly contested for, left Governor Sanwo-Olu winning the election on a very wide margin; this which gave him an edge over other contestants was a clear testimony of love showered on him as the Chief Executive of the state by the people.

“We in the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria wish to felicitate with the amiable Lagos State Governor on his well-deserved victory during the poll in the state. The President-General of the Union, Comrade Adeyanju has promised the Governor of the Union’s commitment towards making the nation’s seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

“On behalf of my executives, I wish to express our profound readiness to work and synergies with the Governor in all areas of the Maritime Industry towards achieving the best of economic values for the state and the nation at large. On this note, we say congratulation, Governor Sanwo-Olu!”

Continue Reading


Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters



Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters

 Gov. of Ademola Adeleke of Osun has congratulated his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, on his re-election in the March 18 governorship poll.

He gave the congratulatory message in a statement on Monday in Osogbo.

He described the outcome of the election as a strong vote of confidence in the performance of Makinde in the last four years.

He added that “I congratulate my brother, Governor Seyi Makinde on his re-election at the polls.

“Residents of Oyo State have reaffirmed their faith and confidence in his performance.

“They have confirmed the rapid development of Oyo State under the able leadership of my brother, Seyi Makinde.

“On behalf of the people and government of Osun State, I extend warm felicitation to Gov. Makinde.

“I look forward to years of partnership and collaboration between our two states on inter-state infrastructure development, among others.”

Adeleke also described Oyo and Osun states as siamese twins, calling for closer partnership in economic and social affairs.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Sunday declared Makinde the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Oyo State.

Makinde had 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 256,685 votes.

In a related development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Oyo State, Sen. Teslim Folarin, has congratulated Gov. Seyi Makinde on his victory in the March 18 governorship election in the state.

Folarin’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement personally signed by him and made available to newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.

 Makinde, of People Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after polling 568,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Folarin who scored 256,685.

Folarin, while congratulating Makinde, expressed appreciation to the electorate in the state for their support to APC candidates in the just-concluded general elections.

He also expressed gratitude to God for preserving the lives of the people throughout the electioneering process and to his friends and political allies for their overwhelming support.

He commended members of the 2023 Oyo State APC Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council for their issue-based campaigns, loyalty, dedication and commitment to the struggle.

“My gratitude also goes to the coalition parties, candidates of other political parties, volunteers, the press and individuals that contributed to the ‘Itesiwaju Ipinle Oyo 2023’ project,” he said.

The APC governorship candidate, however, appealed to party members and support groups to remain calm, as the results of the election were being studied.

“It is God that gives and takes power. May Oyo State and our people continue to prosper,” he said.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations



Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations

Four maritime women associations which jointly organized a summit where they canvassed for gender parity in the maritime sector and encouraged more women’s contributions to technological advancement in the digital space have agreed to form a single association to advance their cause.

The four associations are: Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, African Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigerian chapter, Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), Nigerian chapter and Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria (FESAN).

The summit, which was part of activities to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD), was anchored on the IWD 2023 theme; ‘Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’.

Speaking at the event, the WISTA-Nigeria President, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke noted that as separate groups their impact have been fragmented while they have also been unable to get requisite support from the federal government in attending crucial regional and international conferences.

Her words: “One of the high points for the collaboration was the inability to get financial support especially in attending international conferences. It is at global meetings that we can network with other women and major global operators. When one intends to contest for regional or international positions, one would need to know women in maritime in other countries to get their buy-in. The federal government hasn’t been giving us the support to attend international conferences.”

“We explained this to the Permanent Secretary of the Transport Ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Magdalene Ajani at a recent meeting and it was at that point she informed us that there has been no budgetary provision for women at the Ministry for some years. She encouraged us to start sourcing funds. We, however, have examples of other African countries where the women were backed fully for these activities.”

Stressing that government support mustn’t always be financial support, Ezeoke stated that there could be a sort of moral support by recognizing women groups among stakeholders such that shipping companies, terminal operators, NLNG, and oil firms are inclined to take up the financial support to enable women achieve the advocacy dreams.

In her own submission, the President of WIMOWCA Nigeria, Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore opined that the removal of women budgetary provisions from the Transport Ministry underscored the Importance of getting more women into key leadership positions where such decisions are taken.

Edodo-Emore, who is also Chairman, Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, expressed delight at the utilizing of technology to address the challenges of artisanal fishers who get better fees for their products and are better equipped to preserve them on account of several innovations.

“With this partnership, women are better placed to access funding for women’s education and training. We are all excited and we believe that we are set to begin reaping the benefits of this partnership. As regards fishing, it’s important that we bring technology into the fishing industry.

“The process of catching the fishes, preservation, storage, among other processes have evolved with technology. We need to sensitize and equip the industry, especially artisanal fishers,” she said.

Speaking, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, President of WIMA Nigeria, said that success has no gender even as she encouraged women to seek to be the best at what they do such that it becomes difficult to be marginalized.

“When you strive to bring out your value and worth by your doggedness, innovation, skills and humility; at this point, if you’re being marginalized there is something to shout and fight about. Nevertheless, a lot of organizations have an unwritten law or position that prevented women from rising to Directors or head of the agency. At such organizations, we have observed that gradually women have been emerging as Directors, heads of units and sometimes head of the agency. It is a gradual process and it will keep getting better,” Macfoy said.

She was optimistic that with the Women in Maritime Network operating, by the end of the year, women will make strides like the force of gravity as more women will also be given a voice and attention.

A cadet under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), Ms Peace Moulders, said that innovation and technology would play a critical role in addressing the world challenges from climate change to healthcare and others.

Moulders, however, stressed that it is not enough to simply wait for the technology to emerge, advising women to actively embrace and promote them to drive positive change.

“A call for action for individuals and organisations is to foster a culture of innovation by encouraging risk-taking, investing in research and development, promoting ethical considerations and advocating for policy changes. Government and organisation should remove barriers to innovation because by embracing them there would be a better future for the girls, and communities,” she said.

Other participants at the event are the Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike; Head of Nigerian Ship Registry at NIMASA, Mrs. Nneka Obianyor; Treasurer, WISTA Nigeria and Deputy Director, Revenue at NIMASA, Dr. (Mrs) Odunayo Ani; among others.

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick