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Minister To Engage Customs On 6,000 Abandoned Cargoes At Ports



The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has highlighted the government’s plans to engage the management of the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) to resolve issues of about 6,000 abandoned cargoes at the port.

Oyetola said this at his maiden visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in Lagos on Wednesday.

According to Oyetola, these cargoes occupy space and the country is losing revenue in that regard.

“On abandoned cargoes, I went on a tour in Apapa Port and they took us to where they have overtime cargoes and these cargoes have been there since 2011.

*Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

“So, I now want to believe that it is likely to happen in other ports. This is, particularly, because Tincan and Apapa ports have about 6,000 abandoned cargoes.

“There must be a time frame by which cargo can stay, otherwise declared abandoned. To have kept a cargo since 2011, it’s unrealistic and unacceptable.

“Again, I think people have not seen much need for clearing of cargoes if it has accumulated demurrage for one reason or the other. It is because it’s uneconomical for him or her to clear.

“The person will abandon it there but as a port regulator, you may encourage early clearance of such cargo,” he said.

The minister added that Nigeria Customs should be encouraged to use scanners more than the physical examination takes longer to be completed.

He advised stakeholders at the ports to desist from corruption, saying, President Bola Tinubu’s administration has zero tolerance for such.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary, NSC, highlighted issues requiring attention to include the amendment of the NSC Act to institute effective port economic regulation.

Others are the actualisation of a one percent freight stabilisation fee on import and export to the council, as enshrined in the NSC Subsidiary Legislation.

It also involves the implementation of the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN), the establishment of a national fleet, and others,” he said.

The NSC boss also expressed delight that the minister had already shown immense commitment to transforming the economic fortunes of the nation via the maritime sector.

“The ministry of marine and blue economy is very strategic. It was not created out of any whim. This ministry was created because of its recognition by Mr. President.

“It has on the very strategic importance of the marine and blue economy, to the starting and further creating movement of fundamental principles to the Nigerian economy.

“This agency of yours that you supervise is the laboratory where policy-making is, and the industry that drives the marine space will be actually cultivated.

“I have seen your body language and immediately you assumed office, there is this passion that you have displayed to make certain that as you supervise this very strategic nerve centre of the nation’s economy, there would be no vacuum,” he said.

Jime noted that he was convinced that the minister had come with a determination to change the narrative of the industry.

Accordingly to him, Oyetola will make sure he meets people’s expectations.

“This one agency in this industry will keep you in the route in helping in achieving that objective of yours which is to turn around the fortunes of the maritime domain.

“The objective of everyone in this room, I can assure you is to make certain that in less than no time, Nigeria becomes a maritime hub in the East and West of Africa and I believe that is what you want,” he said.

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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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