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MARITIME SECURITY UNIT: Sambo Harps on Need to Dismantle Piracy, Commends Graduands



MARITIME SECURITY UNIT: Sambo Harps on Need to Dismantle Piracy, Commends Graduands

…Says days ahead will witness peace on waters, guaranteed maritime development, and economic prosperity***

The Minister Of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has observed the need for a comprehensive approach to dismantling piracy, noting that most pirates and sea robbery attacks are planned on land, executed on waters and the proceeds again, taken to the land. 

The Minister stated this, during the graduation which was held at Nigeria Military Base, Elele, Rivers State, commending the graduands of the Third Batch Maritime Security Unit Technicians and Mechanics of the MSU and UAVs Armoured Personnel Carriers.

Sambo said the graduands deserve commendations as their roles would be critical to dismantling the activities of criminals.

“I warmly welcome you all to yet another graduation ceremony of the Deep Blue Project personnel. Today we certify and celebrate another group of personnel whose responsibilities are critical to the overall success of this Project. 

“An intelligence mapping of the activities of pirates and sea criminals revealed that most pirates and sea robbery attacks are planned on land, executed on Land and the proceeds are also taken to the land. 

“Therefore, the activities of the Maritime Security Unit, especially their logistics which is made possible by the armored personnel carriers’ technicians are very critical and indispensable in the entire Deep Blue Architecture due to their role in dismantling the operational structures of these criminals,” he said. 

The Minister revealed that a total number of 126 Batch 3 personnel comprising of 94 Maritime Security Units, 22 UAVs, 10 Armoured Mechanics and Technicians were graduating.

He said the three batches so far have produced a total of 337 graduates including 24 foreign-trained pilots.

Sambo said intelligence would require some degree of intervention to comprehensively forestall or address the situation, regardless of how good and accurate it is.

He said the intelligence provided by the various platforms of the Deep Blue is acted upon by the maritime Security Unit but the armoured vehicle technicians facilitate the prompt movement of troops to confront the criminals. 

“The armoured personnel carrier is very strategic and crucial for the entire Deep Blue Operation, especially its role in extracting and preserving evidence for the prosecution of criminals. 

“In the last few months, you have been subjected to various training modules and tactical maneuver operations. You have offered yourselves wholly to this course even in the most discomforting moments and circumstances to ensure that this Project succeeds. 

“The Federal Government, particularly NIMASA does not take your sacrifices lightly.   

“Let me inform you that all parties to this Project are sincerely working hard to give this project a good start, including your good selves. 

“This Project as you are aware is the first of its kind and we are doing so many things for the first time as a civilian agency of government working with military agencies.  

“I wish to commend you for your endurance during the rigorous training activities and for the gallantry, you have displayed from inception leading to your graduation and certification today in your respective areas of specialization,” he said. 

Sambo further appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his unflinching support and the Nigerian Army for hosting the personnel in their facilities throughout the training period. 

He also commended the Deep Blue Project Contractors, the HLSi Ltd for fulfilling their own obligations in the training of the personnel as provided in the contract. 

Sambo said the graduating personnel would be subsequently deployed to various operational locations.

“I charge you to maintain a very high spirit in the discharge of your duties. On our part, we shall not drop our poise in ensuring all your welfare issues are expeditiously addressed,” he said. 

The Minister said the Deep Blue Project was initiated to achieve several objectives such as; Prevention of illegal activities in the Nigerian EEZ, Enforcement of maritime regulations, Enhancing the safety of lives at sea and Prevention of illegal activities in the Niger Delta area, (the backwaters) at sea and inland waterway.

Sambo charged the graduands to be professional and steadfast in all their engagements adding that their operations are predominantly in the Niger Delta region known for huge oil and gas activities

“Your operations are predominantly in the Niger Delta region known for huge oil and gas activities with attendant propensity for crisis. 

“You must therefore be very professional and steadfast in all your engagement in the region, firmly holding on to the rules of engagement. 

“We all shall continue to work as a team in ensuring that the strategic objectives of the Federal Government for establishing the Deep Blue Project is achieved for the good of all Nigerians,” he said. 

Sambo expressed confidence that the days ahead will be known for peace on the waters with guaranteed maritime development, wealth creation and economic prosperity of the nation.

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FISHING: Maritime expert, Edodo-Emore tasks FG on advantages in ocean resources



FISHING: Maritime expert, Edodo-Emore tasks FG on advantages in ocean resources

A Maritime industry expert, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to secure and harness the advantages of the nation’s ocean resources.

Edodo-Emore, Chairman, Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd., made her observation in Lagos, stressing that illegal, undocumented and unregulated fishing that occurs in the country‘s waterways needed to be checked, in addition to securing the ocean resources.

“The competition facing the Nigerian fishermen in the fishing industry in Nigeria is enormous. One is that industrial fishing organisations from different continents come to take advantage of our oceans.

“It requires us to be alert, our security apparatus needs to be alive and alert to make sure that our oceans and its resources are protected.

“It is important for government to know that there is need to educate and train its people, to be able to take advantage of the ocean resources.

“And so, we need for the Ministry of Agriculture, the minister in charge of fishing, to work with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and security forces to protect our oceans,” she said.

She noted that it was important to ensure the use of technology to address some of the challenges confronting the fishing industry such as catching fish, storage and preservation.

She also said that effective storage of fishes makes it readily available for sale at any point in time.

“Technology will ensure our fishes move out of the country but unfortunately, many of our fishermen are artisanal and we need to move from artisanal to industrial fishing.

“In doing this, requires training, involvement of government, push and support from them. It also requires collaboration with other countries.

“The fishermen are already in associations. What needs to be done is to bring technology to that association and support them,” she said.

She noted that these issues affecting fishing and fisheries as well as the country’s ocean resources would be addressed at the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting (MBRBM), scheduled for April 13 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island.

According to her, the aim of the MBRBM is to bring users and suppliers of Nigerian maritime and aquacultural services together to share ideas and explore opportunities in Nigeria’s Blue Economy.

She listed some notable personalities for the roundtable including Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA, Abisola Olusanya, Commissioner for Agriculture, Lagos State, Benedette Okonkwo, President, Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) and many others.

The benefits of the meeting are: visibility, growth, networking, impartation and exchange of knowledge and solutions.

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SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice



SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it has mapped out plans to get rid of quacks involved in management system practice in the country.

Its Director-General, Malam Farouk Salim, made this known on Thursday at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement for the National Register for Conformity Assessment Practitioners (NRCAP) in Lagos.

Salim said the move would put an end to unscrupulous individuals who shortchanged companies and individuals.

According to him, the quacks lacked the required competency to operate in the management system space.

Salim said that conformity assessment practice was central to the sustenance of commercial success and continuity in all sectors.

He said that management system practitioners were vital toward ensuring that practices carried out by the industries “are in alignment with the international best practice in terms of the expectations of existing conformity assessment standards”.

“It is in view of the importance of the authenticity and traceability of products and services to meet the requirements of relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards and other approved specifications.

“SON seeks to pursue the implementation of Part II, Section 4(d) and Part III, Section 5 of the SON Act No.14 of 2015.

“Via the operation of the NRCAP scheme, in order to establish a directory of verified and registered Conformity Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria for all laboratories, management system consultants, Training Service Providers, Certification bodies, inspection bodies, inspectors, auditors and assessors.”

He said that lack of regulation of activities of the practitioners over the years had negatively impacted the industry and country significantly.

Salim listed other impacts including: “poor protection of genuine practitioners, unhealthy competition, poor visibility and recognition of genuine and competent practitioners capable of attracting patronage.

“Others are poor value for money for unsuspecting customers patronising quacks who deliver poor services.”

He also said that lack of official register of competent practitioners to aid national planning and coordination of economic activities that border on standardisation and quality assurance was also a challenge to the growth of the economy.

“This engagement is guided by the strategic collaboration/partnership that SON shares with various organisations over time, especially with the SON Management Systems Certification and Training Services Departments with which you interface through your customers, of which you are expected to bring to bear, your wealth of experience to this national call,” he said.

The SON director-general said that the registration processes, including approved guidelines, expectations of benchmarking Conformity Assessment standards and interests while developing the documents, were taken into consideration to ensure that impartiality of the process was assured.

He said that adequate training was given to the practitioners to boost their service delivery.

Earlier, Bode Oke, the First President, Society for Management System Practitioners of Nigeria, said the group would join hands with SON to stem quackery in the system to ensure that consumers get value for money they spent.

Oke said: “We are here to gain more knowledge and to join SON in the registration of all management system practitioners.

“We are going to partner with SON to ensure that the exercise is successful because we have a lot of companies practicing management systems that are not trained and competent.

“We are working together with SON to ensure that we remove all those incompetent people from the system.

“So that whenever a client approaches practitioners for registration, the client will know that he will not be shortchanged and get value for the money spent,” he said.

Oke said that the roles of system practitioners were vital in business growth and development.

He stressed that the system practitioners were responsible for taking companies through quality management systems certification, environmental management system certification, occupational health and safety certification and food management system certification.

“The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has established standards for all management systems.

“And, therefore, anyone that would lead companies to obtain this certification must be competent.

“This is why SON is regulating all the auditors, consultants and even, the certification bodies because we have some certification bodies coming from outside the country that are not competent, so competency is the key word here,” he said.

In her remarks, Patricia Solarin, a Consultant in the Quality Management System Practice, said that standardisation was germane for industrial development.

Solarin said: “There are so many briefcase-carrying consultants that are going around duping clients and most of these consultants did not even pass their audit test and examination.

“Without standardisation or regulations, it will be difficult to stop the quacks. A lot of companies are being shortchanged, because people taking them through certification do not really know much.

“So, SON is trying to register auditors and consultants, which is a welcome development to ensure that people get value for their hard money spent.”

She commended the leadership style of Salim for taking a bold step to tackle the challenges, urging the government to support SON to achieve greater feats.

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NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses



NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to addressing monetary and fiscal policy challenges stifling businesses.

The NECA Director-General,  Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde,  made the call in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, listing such challenges as foreign exchange dichotomy, fuel subsidies, multiple taxations, among others.

He made the call, just as he commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and government for embracing dialogue to avert the nationwide strike by the workers’ union earlier scheduled to start on March 29.

“The quick response by the government to ease the cash liquidity and the corresponding immediate positive effect on the economy demonstrated that it has the capacity to address policies once it is determined to do so.

“Therefore, we call for similar determination and consultative engagements with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to proffer solutions to business challenges in order to facilitate competitiveness and productivity, “ he said.

He commended the efforts of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of Labour and Employment for personally getting involved.

He also lauded them for monitoring the disbursement to ensure compliance with the bank’s directive to end the cash crunch, of which the economic nerve centre and other areas had started witnessing improvement.

“The CBN has shown goodwill and true support for the ailing economy by immediately disbursing cash to the commercial banks.

“Also, by directing the banks to open beyond their normal working hours to ease the cash crunch in the nation: an action which could have been averted in the first place, “ he said.

Oyerinde, however, warned that the ripple effects of the cash swap policy would linger as it would take considerable time for businesses, especially the informal sector, to recover.

He said that many of them had closed due to low purchasing power of consumers.

The NECA chief said that business activities had stagnated in the last 10 weeks of the implementation of redesigning of the currency policy nationwide.

He said this had led to reduced productive output, high inventory and jobs cut, and impediments to personal and business transactions.

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