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Nigeria@62: Maritime Industry Needs Clear Cut Policies – Experts



Nigeria@62: Maritime Industry Needs Clear Cut Policies – Experts

Maritime industry experts, which includes ANLCA Acting President, Kayode Farinto have stressed the need for a clear-cut policy focus, to impact positively on the economy, as Nigeria marks the country’s 62nd independence anniversary.

The experts said this in separate interviews on Friday in Lagos.

Dr Kayode Farinto, Acting President, National Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), was miffed that some previous policies were inconsistent and had not impacted positively on the maritime industry.

“The industry has not really gained much and we have not moved forward even with the port concession that we had.

“The port concession has added value to the port, but the government needs to change its approach.

The government has not fulfilled its responsibilities in the initial port concession,” he said.

He explained that in reviewing the port concession, stakeholders should be carried along.

Farinto said as a way forward, the government should look into the generalisation of the cargo throughput that terminal operators pay.

“There should be a ministry of maritime affairs separate from the ministry of transportation; so that in line with Sustainable Development Goals of World Bank, number 14, they would be able to fully harness the potential of the maritime sector.

“Most of the access roads to the ports are very bad, by now we need to have a port development plan to cover 2030 or 2040 because the ports we have now have been overstretched,” he said.

Also, a shipper, Mr Jonathan Nicole, noted that there was need for the country to be self-sufficient so that it would reduce importation.

“At 62 we are managing to survive in the maritime sector and the inflow of goods has not been good for importers at all.


“At the moment the cost of doing business is high because of exchange rate instability. When naira is not stable one cannot even plan, so government should put policies in place to help importers,” he said.

Nicole, also a member of the Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS), said importers incurred losses due to unfavourable policies at the port and if it continued like this for the next five years, the maritime sector would collapse.

“In the maritime sector, the only thing we are expecting is for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to work, and the issue of security should be looked into to ensure trade moves smoothly.

“Government should look at tariffs at the port and the operations of Customs to ensure seamless operations at the port,” he said.

He urged that after next year’s election, the incoming government should go back to the drawing board to fashion out how a new port order will be introduced.


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Traffic Flow: COMTUA, PSTT reconcile for Enhanced Efficiency



Traffic Flow: COMTUA, PSTT reconcile for Enhanced Efficiency

The Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA) has reconciled its differences with the Presidential Special Task Team (PSTT), in a bid to ensure enhanced traffic flow.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has also stressed the need for bi-annual inspection of all boats operating in Lagos waters, in addition to, water guards being present in all jetties to ensure ferry Operators do not overload their boats.

 Announcing the reconciliation at its Annual Congress in Lagos, the COMTUA President, Prince Adeyinka Aroyewun said that COMTUA  purposely left  PSTT because the task force was derailing from its core functions while its performance was being exaggerated.

Aroyewun stated that these allegations made COMTUA pull out of PSTT.

The COMTUA President declared that the associations and the PSTT have now reconciled for effective collaboration in ensuring zero traffic at the port corridor.

 “We left the committee initially because the committee seems to be derailing. But over time, with our criticism and lots of efforts of the Nigerian Shippers Council, I think we are now on track. COMTUA sees the reason to collaborate with them especially when it comes to the area of traffic in the ports access roads. I want to believe that if we collaborate we will achieve more results than what we are seeing”,  Aroyewun stated.

He had earlier in his opening speech noted that the union’s engagements with the government and other stakeholders had led to the disbandment and suspension of several task forces and creation of functional and supportive bodies to assist their businesses. He promised to deliver on the union’s promise to bring everyone on board and attend to the needs of members.

 The National Coordinator of PSTT, Mr. Moses Fadipe, who represented the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) at the event, pointed out that the Committee has decided to welcome COMTUA back, for better relationship and engagement in achieving the goals and objectives of the team.

He emphasised that the Rules of Engagement of the team remain unchanged.

Fadipe, however, urged the union to strictly abide by the Rules of Engagement to avoid future disagreements.

“The COMTUA President said some time ago they left the Task Team because they felt they are not doing enough but now they said they are back.

“A father cannot have 20 children and wish that one will be out of the Palace. We have welcomed them back fully as the National Coordinator. I would convey the message to the Presidential Task Team. But be that as it may, our Rules of Engagement remain the same. It has never changed”,  Fadipe stressed.

 The Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu stressed the importance of technology in the development of the haulage, logistics and transportation sector at large.

Represented by the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, the governor hinted that a bi-annual inspection of all boats is being carried out, and water guards are in all jetties to ensure people are not overloading their boats. He added that there is the introduction of fuel docks in Lagos, Eastern and Western axis to reduce the risk on the water.

The Special Adviser to the Governor, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa represented by Engr. Ojo Owuro commended the efforts and contributions of COMTUA to the development of transportation in Lagos.

 He announced that the Ministry has issued an approval recognising COMTUA as a single body.

He enjoined members of the Union to shun disunity but work together as a team.

COMTUA later presented awards to  Vice President of the Federation, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu,  Managing Director of NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko and Executive Secretary of NSC, Hon. Emmanuel Jime.

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NIMS Is To Entrench Continental Maritime Industry Efficiency- Akabogu 



NIMS Is To Entrench Continental Maritime Industry Efficiency- Akabogu 
Dr. Emeka Akabogu

…Says it also laid strong foundation, for enhanced territoriality by individual countries, in pursuit of maritime activities***

One of the primary targets of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) is to promote higher Maritime industry efficiency, within and beyond the African continent.

The NIMS Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Emeka Akabogu highlighted this last week in Lagos, noting that Nigeria not only achieved this vision, it also laid a very strong foundation, for enhanced territoriality by individual countries, in the pursuit of maritime activities.

Dovetailing on the issue of ‘silo operations’ by individual countries, the revered Maritime lawyer explained that, it would be great if over the years, sequel to NIMS motivation, continental operators begin to have ‘MoUs and engaging frameworks’, that can facilitate the smoother conduct of business between individual countries; which could later broaden throughout the continent.

FG to Commission Kajola Rolling Stock Plant, Empower Nigerians Build Wagons — Sambo
*Muazu Jaji Sambo Minister of Transportation

Barr. Akabogu expressed the delight that today, stakeholders were actually talking about badging operations, faring operations, amongst other key industry issues, both within Nigeria and across the West African coasts. 

“So, if we are able to have a framework that makes it seamless, that easily takes off from Lagos and terminates in Dakar, going across several coastal points, without any problem, then that would be an achievement”, Akabogu stated.

He described the NIMS 2022 as a noteworthy foundation, upon which many other industry successes would be anchored to.

NIMS is Private, Public Platform, for Win-Win Collaboration - Ogbeifun 
Engr. Greg Ogbeifun Board Chairman, Benin River Port

He however evaporated the fear that Government could hijack the NIMS’ original dreams, stressing that the government is a noteworthy partner within the industry.

 “NIMS as it is constituted and envisioned, is supposed to be undertaken by all stakeholders; and when we refer to the stakeholders, we are referring to the Government and private sector”, the CEO observed, adding that, within the private sector, there are key operators, in different sub-sectors that make up the cliche of the maritime industry.”

“Government has been involved and the government’s involvement has been a bit more evidenced this year because it equally deployed its machinery of the press and when that happens, there may be that perception that it is the government’s initiative. It isn’t and it would not become a government initiative.

“We are thankful for the collaboration of the Ministry of Transportation, particularly with regards to ensuring that the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) came this year; and as you can see, a lot of activities were around him.” 

“So, that is the extent to which the Government has been involved this year to make things a bit lighter.

“But, going forward, it remains a fully private sector-driven initiative, with the collaboration of the government to ensure hyping.”                   

Speaking on the immediate focus of the promoters, he announced that one of the things we want to do this year since the 2022 event is essentially the second, is to begin impact tracking.

NIMASA: Jamoh flies Nigeria's Blue Economy Initiative in S'Korea
Dr. Bashir Jamoh

“We want to now begin to tract and impact. One of the Institutional devices that we are going to use in achieving that, will be to clearly activate an Action Plan which is founded on the outcomes of this (2022) year event; and last year’s event; and have the plans to drive through that action plan with probably, monthly or bi-monthly engagements with the relevant stakeholders.” 

“By the time the Communique comes out and we issue a statement, hopefully in a couple of weeks, you would see that we will be focusing on probably not more than two direct items from the event and we will involve everybody”, Emeka Akabogu stated further, noting that even if everything is not fully achieved; stakeholders would have prudently began a milestone journey.”

Asked to speak on what gave him his greatest excitement about the event, the NIMS CEO said it was the widespread acceptance.

“Well, I noticed that the industry came out fully. For me, that is the most important In terms of substance, that is the most important.” 

“The turnout in the industry was overwhelming and it cuts across, and that for me is a foundation on which to build the nation; to have the Maritime Industry, end to end, truly represented; but more importantly, also have the maritime industry do business with one another; that’s the focus.” 

“The attendant of personalities Is not unimportant, because that equally adds colour; but in substance, we want the industry to grow; we want to create value because we to see businesses which are able to engage with one another, and that is what we want.” 

“We want employment, we want value creation, and that’s how it will happen!”

When the Maritime First inquired if the IMO Secretary-General was invited to curry favour or to showcase what we have in order to make the White List, he praised IMO’s presence as laudable.”

“The Global Maritime Industry Regulator is relevant and it speaks positively of a nation. Especially, If he is able to come to a country, and experience firsthand, what the industry is all about.” 

“That was all that the invitation was all about; Come to Nigeria, experience what the maritime industry is all about, including our challenges, including giving us insight into how to do some things, better!”

“It is not about the White List, Of course, I can’t speak for the regulators such as NIMASA and the Federal Ministry of Transport, I can’t speak of their motivation, but I do know that originally, their motivation was simply to ensure that the attention of Global Maritime Community is on Nigeria, which we’ve been able to achieve.” 

“If there is a fallout of a likelihood of attaining the White List, of course, that would be a positive fallout. But it was not the primary intention behind inviting the IMO Secretary-General.

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IBRAHIM NASIRU: Exit of Quintessential Image-Maker!



IBRAHIM NASIRU: Exit of Quintessential Image-Maker!

He quietly sneaked into the employ of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), like several others, in 1987 in the officer cadre of the authority.

 He left a huge gaping hole, as he exited the system, 35 years after, as a quintessential Image maker, this November! 

A very fast learner, who had served his tutelage under master strategists like the former Managing Director, Mal. Abdulsalam Mohammed and former General Manager, Chief Michael Kayode Ajayi; he actually came into his last portfolio and responsibility, at a time when the NPA leadership was deeply mired in controversy: former Managing Director Hadiza Bala Usman had been suspended and was facing a probe.

*L-R: Nasiru, with the NPA Chairman, Board of Directors, Akin Ricketts.

The cacophonous din was on whether her Second in-Command, Mohammed Bello-Koko should be allowed to hold on to the fort, or thrown overboard, with her.

The Journalists, particularly, the maritime media practitioners were having a wonderful time!

 Documents flew around, whether genuine or not. The vibrant ones were in fact, digging deeper, like the legendary Oliver Twist, seeking for more!

L-R: Nasiru, with the Jagaban of Borgu: the APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Then, suddenly, the NPA management drafted Ibrahim Nasiru in!

Nasiru has three things going for him:

1. He builds bridges, believing that one day, they would be useful. 

2. Nasiru has the uncanny ability to divert required attention to another person or issue, while he pans himself, into total insignificance. 

3. Nasiru enjoys the characteristic grace of being tactfully truthful! It makes him believable, even when you know he is not telling you, all the truth!

Fortunately, his immediate predecessors allegedly alienated the media from Hadiza, which justified the backlash, fury and ferocity of the media onslaught!

The pan was getting hotter. The grapevine, right or wrong, said the NPA management was also feeling more uncomfortable. Then, suddenly, Ibrahim Nasiru took over. The effect was like taking a hot frying pan into a giant fridge! 

with HE Simon Lalong Executive Governor, Plateau state and DG APC Presidential campaign organisation

The deft move was both predictable and effective! Needless to say, from that point, the media furry, except for those who had filed in their stories, and couldn’t retrieve them, simply disappeared!

First, he activated the bridges; lashed them with more assurances and pledges; and being naturally believable, the blazing swords were immediately shielded! Sadly, he only fulfilled just about fifty percent (50%) of the entire pledges as he bowed out!

L-R: The Namibian Ambassador to Nigeria, with Ibrahim Nasiru.

Yet, you can not peruse Nasiru, without seeing one distinguishing feature: Discipline. 

Anyone who truly latches on to discipline, exudes confidence and is genuinely believable would ultimately be in motion, for a longer time, irrespective of the word: ‘retired’. 

Like a dove, Nasiru easily blends perfectly, with the powers that be.

But then, that’s a story for another day! An indubitable fact however is that the outgoing General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the Nigerian Ports Authority is also considered trustable by the ‘Jagabans’, within and outside the shores of Nigeria.

Amiable, versatile, transparent and jovial, Nasiru freely tells you his personal philosophy of life: Honesty, Diligence and Commitment.

He has served in various port locations across the country, particularly the Lagos Ports Complex, Tin Can Island Ports Complex, and the former Container Terminal Port, Apapa, which makes up the current AP Moller Apapa Terminals.

He witnessed the port undergoing several reforms; and his unit transformed from PR Unit, Corporate Affairs Unit, Public Affairs Department, to the present Corporate and Strategic Communications Unit. He also witnessed how the department which was once statutorily headed by an Assistant General Manager (AGM Corporate Affairs), progressed to its present enviable status.

He began his Public Relations Career as an Assistant Manager, Public Relations between 1996-1997 at the Headquarters, Marina; and between 1997-2000, he headed the Public Affairs unit of the Continental Shipyard Limited, being the pioneer image maker, which was a Joint Venture between the NPA and Des of Switzerland.

He got promoted and was redeployed to the headquarters as a full Manager, Public Relations, a position he held between 2000-2002 after which he was deployed to head the Public Relations unit of Tin Can Island Port between 2002-2004.

From there he was again, posted Container Terminal, Apapa between 2004-2006, to head the Public Relations Unit.

L-R) Alberto António Benge President Angolan Ports, Sec General PMAWCA Jean Marie Koffi, Chief Ibrahim Nasiru and Vice president IAPH African Region, Micheal Luguje

He became a Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs at the headquarters between 2006 and 2007 and was subsequently promoted to Principal Manager, Corporate Affairs at the headquarters also at the headquarters in 2007, a position he held until 2011. 

He was however promoted an Assistant General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications in 2017, a position he held up to 2021 when he was promoted to the General Manager position, an equivalent of a Director cadre as head of the Corporate and Strategic Communications department, where he now bows out.

 Nasiru is a member of several professional organisations both locally and abroad.

He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations NIPR, Institute of Shipping Technology, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Africa Public Relations Association (APRA), among several others.

He pioneered the formation of the Committee of PR Managers, Federal Ministry of Transportation, and became its first Secretary. The committee harnesses the Public Relations activities of all parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Transportation for effective collaboration with the media.

 Nasiru has served in several committees locally and internationally, which included the Ministerial Committee on the sinking of MV Zanzibar. 

He has also represented Nigeria at several outings, particularly the International Maritime Organisation IMO; most recent of which is the just concluded IMO meeting on the London Protocol.

An Image Maker per Excellence, Ibrahim Nasiru belongs to several management and business bodies; and these include the International Management Academy; the American Management Training Academy (AMTA), and Galilee International Management Institute (IMTA), among several others.

An alumnus of the Institute for Democracy in Africa at St. Thomas University, Miami, Florida USA, he is IT-savvy.

He is a member of Kuru Old Boys’ Association (KOSO), Crown Agents, University of Plymouth and Kansas State University.

He holds several local and international awards, amongst which includes the Distinguished Visitor Award to the Miami Dade County, Florida, United States.

We celebrate his exit from the Authority; for we strongly believe that the exit is truly an enabler, to saunter out, rub-shoulders, Swim with the big-time business barracudas and political sharks, and juggernauts!

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