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Navy destroys 175 illegal refining sites, arrests 27 vessels; Abbas assumes duty as FOC

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Naval Dockyard Limited Trains 38 Personnel In Shipbuilding

The Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy on Friday said that the command had deactivated 175 illegal refining sites and arrested 27 vessels within 11 months.

The outgone Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Sanusi Ibrahim, stated this in Calabar while handing over the leadership of the command to his successor, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu.

Ibrahim said that the vessels were arrested for engaging in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and other maritime illegalities.

He said that the achievements recorded were made possible through the command’s sustained patrol of its area of responsibility as well as undertaking several clearances and swamp buggy operations in the backwaters.

“These operations resulted in a considerable reduction of piracy in Nigeria’s maritime domain, as well as led to the arrest of 27 vessels engaged in illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and other maritime illegalities.

“Other achievements include: the deactivation of about 175 illegal refining sites, the evacuation of about 35,384,718 metric tonnes of illegally refined diesel and the destruction of several pirates as well as kidnappers’ hideouts.

“The command also conducted and took part in some independent, joint and combined exercises such as: Operation Bekan Mmon 2, Ex Kafa Iko, Ex Beni Kekere among others, in line with the strategic directives of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Auwal Gambo.

“Of particular interest is the recent arrest of MT Preyor 1 on Jan. 5, 2022 while transporting no less than  2,458,350 litres of crude oil in her cargo tanks and additional 10,000 litres of diesel in her service tanks without the requisite approval,” he said.

Ibrahim said that there was also an ongoing “Operation River Dominance” initiated by the Nigeria Navy Ship Pathfinder in conjunction with the government of Rivers.

He said that the operation helped to intensify patrols in the riverine areas in addition to establishing waterborne guard posts along the chokepoints.

He added that the command also recorded huge successes which include: the arrest of 13 suspects, 14-large wooden boats laden with illegally refined diesel and three barges, each carrying about a million litres of suspected stolen crude oil.

“This is in addition to the command’s anti-smuggling efforts which led to the seizure of no less than 3,147 bags of 50kg parboiled foreign rice and bags of fertilizer.

“It is noteworthy to state that the command also recorded significant achievements in infrastructural developments across all the bases and establishments under its area of responsibility.’’

He also said that the command executed various projects within its headquarters.

He listed them to include:  the remodeled office of the FOC, the remodeled gate, newly constructed visitors’ reception and observation post.

He implored officers and men of the command to support the incoming FOC to enable him to surpass his achievements during his time.

The newsmen report that Adm. Ibrahim had been deployed to the Naval Headquarters Abuja, as the Naval Secretary.

The new FOC, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, in his response after receiving the flag of leadership commended the outgone FOC for all the achievements recorded during his tenure.

He urged the officers and men of the command to give him the necessary support and encouragement with a view to moving the command forward.

In the meantime, Rear Adm. Idi Abbas, on Friday assumed duty as the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command (CNC), Yenagoa, with a pledge to build on his predecessor’s achievement in fighting criminality and illegalities.

Abbas, until now the Chief Staff Officer, took over from Rear Adm. Obinwanne Egbuchulam, who was moved to Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

He urged officers and ratings of the command to ensure that there was no threat in their areas of responsibility.

“I have been part of the team so it is going to be a seamless transition for me.

Whatever happened in the past, I am part and parcel of it, and it’s just for me to build on it.

“We have been working seriously to rid the Niger Delta of criminal elements on the creeks and to fight against illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, amongst others.

Picture showing the new FOC and the outgoing FOC, during the handing over of mantle of leadership, in CNC.

“We will do our utmost best. We cannot afford to rest on our oars to take the command to a greater height.

“I want to enjoin every one of us that all hands must be on deck. We must have in mind the core values of the Navy, integrity, professionalism and teamwork,” he said.

The new FOC urged those involved in illegal activities to desist from them, turn a new leaf and go into a legitimate business.

Egbuchulam, in his valedictory remarks, commended the officers and ratings for the accomplishments recorded during his tour of duty.

According to him, looking back at what has been collectively achieved, everyone will continue to work together in the future to enhance the effort of the command.

He said that the 10 months and 17 days he served in the post were memorable as most of the issues bothering the command were tackled.

He added that crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism were some of the challenges that the command was able to tackle during his tenure, such that Nigeria did not experience a drop in oil production.

 

Maritime

Reps Demand Restructuring Of Terminal Operators, NPA Licensed Agents

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Reps Demand Restructuring Of Terminal Operators, NPA Licensed Agents

 ..Says “Our goal is to effect changes that will restructure and position it to compete in the global space

The House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbour has demanded the restructuring of Terminal Operators and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Licensed Agents in the country.

Rep. Nnolin Nnaji, Chairman of the committee, disclosed this at the interactive session with terminal operators and NPA licensed agents in Abuja on Thursday.

“Our goal is to effect changes that will restructure the unique and high-tech sector and position it to strategically compete in the global space.

“This sector is very dynamic and we must constantly review the standards, facilities and operational guidelines to keep pace with its obtainable global best practices,” he said.

The lawmaker reiterated the committee’s readiness to ensure that the sector remained one of the best through appropriate legislation and oversight.

“This is to bequeath to Nigerians, ports and harbours that are properly regulated and better managed for greater efficiency.

“It is important to harmoniously promote the objective of professionalising the modus operandi of this sector to improve our country’s Gross Domestic Product and revenue generation.

“We intend to collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the industry to ensure that appropriate avenues are created for economic development,” he said.

He said the committee was poised to make the ports a hub for better non-oil revenue generation, adding that the house would continue to support total rehabilitation and upgrading of ports, harbours and allied services.

In her contribution, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Council for the Registration of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria, Urunta Chinyere, advised terminal operators to adopt electronic mode of payment.

“This is to reduce human interface in their operations,” the officer said.

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Maritime

SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation

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SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation

…Sonny Eja is President, Ekere is 1st Vice President; Iroghama Ogbeifun is Chairman, Technical Committee

When Air Peace made its innocent maiden flight from Nigeria to London on March 30, 2024, the symbolical flight achieved two things: first, it broke the unholy equilibrium fare price amongst available airlines.

Secondly, the gesture sent some powerful signals to the entrenched operators, that a determined indigenous operator has finally berthed; and momentarily, the extortionate fare crashed…! Now, if we should replicate this very gesture in the maritime, with a provision of a ‘national’, but privately run vessels/ carriers, how far or fast would carriage charges crash?

The Air Peace has silently made a deafening statement: no amount of plea would crash prices, except the nation can assertively provide a functional alternative.

SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation
SOAN President, Sonny Eja.

The distance between Lagos and London by flight is about 6 hours and 40 minutes. The distance between London and New York by flight duration is 7h 30m. So, how come the cost of flight from Lagos to London is always twice as much, compared to the cost of flight from London to New York…? 

The answer is simple: Nigeria is an orphan, and there is no effective competition to mitigate arbitrariness. In the maritime sector, however, the country’s fate is worse: shippers are paying twice for cargo freight. Same for handling charges. There was even a time they were paying for as ridiculous a charge as the ‘Weekend’ levy, in the event that you are unlucky to come for clearing by weekends!

 The growing inflation, the poor masses albatross is both artificial and conspiratorial!

First, government’s understanding of the industry is warped and its support, insignificant. The Government functionaries who should assist both the shippers and stakeholders were often either insincere, ignorant or easily cave in under politicians’ pressure. 

No one is as hopeful as the hunter’s wife: she knows her husband did not keep any beast in the forest, yet, she joyfully sings lullaby for the baby on the mat, as she washes the soup pot and grinds the pepper, as she awaits the husband’s return! And the hunter never disappoints.

It is in the same spirit, that shippers would tomorrow, celebrate the inauguration of the incoming President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria SOAN, Sonny Eja.

Those who know him at close range described him as a highly focused, truly inspired and totally committed investor, who never disappoints. He is sold to the cause of the shipping industry development. 

Unarguably, he is acknowledged as a resourceful long runner, who often is not only self-motivating, but equally enjoys the special ability to motivate others  Some said it is for this reason that he is so treasured, by the SOAN maiden Arrowhead and Nigeria’s foremost shipping magnate, Engr. Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun.

The President, fortunately, will be fully assisted by tested and trusted ship owners, with enviable skills and technical know-how.. promoters 

These include Dr Louis Ekere as SOAN’s 1st Vice President; Mr. Gbolahan Shaba, the 2nd Vice President; Mr.Babalola Adefariti – Financial Secretary/ Treasurer; Mr. Bem Garba –  Chairman, Training & Capacity building Committee; the shipping industry Amazon, Ms.  Iroghama Ogbeifun as Chairman Technical Committee; Ms. Bassey Adie -Chairman, Ethics & Privileges Committee; and finally, Mr. Emmanuel Okene, who is the Chairman, Finance and membership Committee.

The Doyen of the Maritime industry, High Chief Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi once congratulated SOAN for lifting Nigeria off the lackluster club of 10-Percenters. 

Now, the whole nation would probably look up to SOAN, to midwife a ‘national carrier’ and permanently crash the menace of intractable inflation!

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Maritime

Smugglers Altering Vehicles’ Chassis Numbers–Customs

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Smugglers Altering Vehicles’ Chassis Numbers–Customs

Mr Chedi Wada, the outgoing Comptroller of the Federal Operations Units (FOU) Zone “B”, Kaduna says smugglers are now altering vehicles’ chassis numbers in the bid to perpetuate their nefarious activities.

Wada spoke to newsmen on Wednesday in Kaduna after handing over the leadership of the unit to his successor, Mr  Ahmadu Shuaibu.

He, therefore, underscored the importance of public awareness and compliance with government policies.

Wada reflected on the myriad of achievements and challenges encountered during his tenure.

He commended the resilience of his team in tackling the hurdles posed by nationwide border closures.

According to him, with unwavering support from the Comptroller-General  (CGC), Mr Bashir Adewale, saying that they have successfully curbed smuggling activities within the zone.

He said,  “FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna is now well-equipped and effectively managed, marking significant strides during my six-month stewardship.”

Wada acknowledged the pivotal role of the media in showcasing the unit’s efforts while urging the officers to prioritize knowledge acquisition and diligent execution of duties.

He said, “Total commitment and dedication have been the cornerstone of my successes.”

Wada also urged  his colleagues to follow suit,  disclosing that with his redeployment to the NCS Headquarters in Abuja, he will work under the Enforcement, Investigation, and Inspectorate Unit

He also assured of his continued dedication to service, WARING smugglers that his successor is an enforcement expert who is prepared to take charge.

Wada expressed confidence in the incoming comptroller’s abilities to build upon the foundation laid, signalling tough times ahead for the smugglers.

Wada’s redeployment marked the end of his duty of combating smuggling and fostering organizational commitment within FOU Zone “B” Kaduna.

It was reported that until his redeployment, Shuaibu was the Comptroller, Ogun I Area Command, Idi-Iroko. 

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