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MACN: Adoption Of Data-driven Compliance Will Enhance Efficiency, Accountability- Dr. Ajani



The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Dr. Magdalene Ajani,  says the adoption of data-driven compliance will enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the port sector.

Dr. Magdalene Ajani stated this in her keynote address at the Fourth Compliance Roundtable themed “A Maritime Sector Fit For Purpose: Evidence of Data-Driven Compliance” which was organised by the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and the Convention on Business Integrity (CBi) in Lagos on Thursday.

Ajani, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Maritime Services, Mr Babatunde Sule, maintained that there was no better time than now to delve into using data-driven compliance to achieve a maritime sector fit for purpose.   She added that through relevant government agencies, Nigeria has garnered momentum to achieve a maritime sector fit for purpose by continuously supporting, sustaining and institutionalizing government-led reform policies that will improve compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the maritime domain.

The Permanent Secretary urged all government agencies as well as other stakeholders in the industry to contribute and share knowledge on how to actively tackle corruption risks and ensure compliance-related knowledge and processes are achieved within the port-related activities.

“As a result of the implementation of resolutions derived from the series of Roundtable Discussions, incidences of corrupt related demands in areas of vessel clearance have been reduced to the barest minimum, while Port Users are able to demand, track, and ensure greater compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). 

“In fact, our gains are such that other Countries are seeking to borrow a leaf from our port operations. It is worthy of note that, there is no better time than now to delve into using data-driven compliance to achieve a maritime sector fit for purpose.

Nigeria ranks 154, on Corruption Perception Index

“The task ahead is huge but I believe that collectively and with the right support and political will of institutional leaders and key decision makers of Government Agencies that play key roles in the Maritime Sector, we can achieve and even surpass a data-driven Maritime Sector fit for purpose” Ajani noted. Also speaking, Associate Director of Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), Mr. Vivek Menon, noted that each port agency should produce their compliance scorecards which will expose what variances exist between operational realities and standardised procedures and why such gaps occur.

Challenging all stakeholders to adopt more widespread compliance technology to create an evidence base for solving SOP discrepancies, Vivek said

“The work is not done yet. We can enhance the ease of doing business in Nigeria and enable the nation to unlock its full potential within the Maritime trade Landscape and seize opportunities in the global maritime industry.”

Also speaking, the Provost Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ICPC Academy), Prof Olatunde Babawale said in addressing the challenges faced at the ports, a data-driven approach that emphasizes data gathering, analysis and response will allow ports authorities and stakeholders to collect comprehensive and accurate information about port operations, processes and performance hence enforcing compliance and improving transparency/accountability at Nigerian ports. 

Prof Babawale who was represented by Mr Bello Richard charged all ports sector organisations to start working towards using data to improve the efficiency of daily operations and decision-making.

According to him, using these effectively will ensure the ports become more efficient, secure, and more beneficial to the Nigerian economy. 

“Data allows organizations to establish baselines, benchmarks, and goals to keep moving forward. It enables them to track and review the health of the various processes and essential systems they have put in place.

“Undoubtedly, data gathering and subsequent analysis and response play a crucial role in the achievement of SOP compliance, transparency, and accountability at Nigerian ports. 

“Overall data gathering analysis and response are essential tools for improving standards operating procedure compliance, transparency and accountability at Nigerian ports. Ports sector organisations should be working towards using data to improve the efficiency of daily operations and decision-making. By using these effectively, it is possible to make the ports more efficient, secure, and more beneficial to the Nigerian economy” Babawale further noted. 

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Healing Initiative: Customs CG Hosts Maiden Retired Management Team Reunion



…Pledges Welfare Boost***

The Comptroller-General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR has flagged of a structured healing process, as he initiated a maiden retired Management Team members of the Nigeria Customs Service, stressing that they have so much to offer in terms of experience, and shared legacy of diligence and commitment. 

Addressing a momentous gathering at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Saturday, 25 November 2023, the Customs Comptroller General said he recognised and appreciates their importance, contributions, and dedication; and would ensure their relevance is honoured.

Adeniyi disclosed ongoing discussions with the Minister of Finance to champion a bill establishing a dedicated Pension Scheme, adding that the Service has received the best from them and intends to honour.

“Today marks a momentous occasion as we come together for the first-ever reunion of Customs’ seasoned leaders”, Comptroller General, Adewale Adeniyi stated, in a heartfelt address, adding:

“This strategic initiative reflects foresight in securing the financial future of leaders within the Nigeria Customs Service”.

He reassured the retirees of comprehensive measures to elevate their welfare with a plan to integrate them into the Nigeria Customs Service’s healthcare programs. 

Specifically, he also emphasized his genuine commitment to sustaining bonds beyond active service; emphasizing the wealth of knowledge within the room and the need to strengthen the roots connecting the past, present, and future of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Highlighting the retirees’ significant contributions, Adeniyi stressed crafting customized programs for seamless collaboration, ensuring the service continues to benefit from their expertise; and described the gathering as a definitive avenue for connecting with successful leaders who have played pivotal roles in shaping the organization.

Optimistic about the impact of the reunion, the CGC expressed confidence that their coming together would contribute to greater efficiency, enhanced regulatory compliance, and entrench stable economic development goals for the country. 

 “I am confident that with your continued support and guidance, we will overcome challenges and achieve greater heights”, he further said.

Those present at the occasion included the immediate past Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Ahmed Ali (retired), Dr. Abubakar Musa, Bernard Nwadialo, and a former sole administrator, Major-General SOG Ango (retired).

Also in attendance were many retired Deputy Comptroller-Generals of Customs and Assistant Comptroller-Generals of Customs.

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33rd IMO General Assembly: Jamoh To Market Blue Economy



…While Oyetola announces vision to international audience***

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh has indicated that he would meticulously market the Blue Economy, once he arrived in London, as part of Nigeria’s delegation to the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly.
He also said the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, who is leading Nigeria’s delegation will announce Nigeria’s Blue Economy direction to the global audience while participating at the IMO 2023 General Assembly.

*Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, (right) and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

The Maritime First First was told, that Over the next few days, the global maritime community will be better informed about the efforts of President Bola Tinubu’s Administration to harness Nigeria’s maritime potentials in line with Global Best Practices.

*R-L: Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, Abdul Dirisu; Director, Maritime Safety & Security, Babatunde Bombata; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and Deputy  Director, London office, William Bwala during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

“NIMASA, as IMO’s focal Agency in Nigeria, remains resolute in administering Safety and Security in our maritime domain”, Jamoh explained.

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Maritime Expert Unveils Book For Pupils On Career Path



Olaitan Williams says book is to motivate pupils to explore the Blue Economy sector’s huge potential***

A book, “Some Career Opportunities in the Marine and Blue Economy Workplace” was on Monday unveiled by a maritime expert, Mrs Violet Olaitan Williams, in a deliberate move to motivate pupils to explore the huge job potential in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.

The book was unveiled during the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation’s (OAF) fifth Educators and Maritime Stakeholders Lecture and Award; and 4th nationwide virtual Maritime Quiz Competition in Lagos.

Williams said she initially had a book that had a compendium, a compilation of lecture series for the past six years, but discovered that an 18-year-old girl did not know the colour of water not to talk of careers therein.

“To this extent, what we are trying to do in essence is to make sure that an elementary school boy or girl will fashion out their career in the marine and blue economy in the early stages.

“So, I had to simplify it and try to get the ABC of it so that with the new ministry of marine and blue economy, it will be easier even at the top to understand because the ministry is new,” she said.

Williams, a former board member of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, noted that most people who got into the maritime industry, as we all heard them today, got in accidentally.

“But we want a sustainable industry so that it will not be an accidental entry, it will be a purposeful entry with sustainability.

“We only have the platform now, the framework, but the impetus to continue is sustainable and must start from the cradle, and that is what informed me,” she said.

On plans to inculcate this into the school framework, Williams noted that in 2022, she wrote to the Ministry of Education and fortunately got a reply from their agency that deals with curriculum and that was where we are now.

“But with the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, they should take it up because we were advocating for a blue economy industry and now that we have it, they should take it up.

“We have done our beat, they should now invite us to ask where we have stopped because we have stopped when it comes to curriculum,” she said.

Earlier, while reviewing the book, Mrs Carolyn Ufere, the Independent Maritime Practitioner and former General Manager, the Nigerian Ports Authority, described Williams a lone fighter trying to push the industry forward.

Ufere noted that Williams’s focus on educating the girl-child and getting the best out of them motivated her to write the book.

“The book contains several elements that will compel the younger ones into the field, the title is clear and the forward highlights the significance of the ocean as a source of work for mankind.

“The book presents the maritime sector as an arena where issues are addressed and she charges the young ones to sell the blue economy to the world, selling its gains,” she said.

Ufere noted that information was power, adding that the book contained tools that would be used to empower the young girl and likewise the boys.

“I recommend the book to every institution, organisation where great minds are nurtured as it will be a book that will turn around our nation,” she said.

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