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NIMASA DG lists incentives to boost Nigeria’s maritime sector



Q3: Nigeria witnesses 27 incident of armed robbery at port anchorage – NIMASA

Maritime Security: Nigeria Records Lowest Level of Piracy since 1994- Jamoh

The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, says the Federal Government is working on reviving the national shipping fleet with carriage rights of up to 50 per cent of all state-owned cargoes.

Jamoh made this known during his presentation on “Maritime Safety Administration and the Growth of the Nigerian Economy in the 21st Century’’ at a seminar organized by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSRs), on Thursday in Abuja.

He was represented by Mr Olu Aladenusi, Director Maritime Safety, NIMASA.

According to him, NIMASA has been modernising and reforming the Nigerian Ship Registry to support national tonnage growth and fleet development.

He said besides flag protection, the government has provided several incentives for Nigerian flagged vessels.

“Since the second quarter of 2019, Nigeria topped the chart on Port and Flag State, Control responsibilities in West and Central Africa Sub-Region.

“Significant reduction in time required to start a business in Nigeria, significant reduction in the cost of start-up business procedure, facilitation of maritime traffic through the ratification of the FAL and convention with concrete steps to its domestication,’’ he said.

Also read: NIMASA donates relief materials to Ondo State

Jamoh said recent developments being pursued by the agency included an MoU with Maritime Academy India to provide sea time for cadets trained by the Agency, Nigerian Seafarer’s Development Programme (NSDP) and the training of seafarers.

The Director-General added that they were also into collaborations to further develop human capacity and manpower locally.

“To date, NIMASA has trained over 2000 Nigerians under the NSDP scheme in various Maritime Training Institutes.

“NIMASA led the first Nigerian Maritime Industry Forecast which highlighted key developments in the Nigerian economy as well as in the maritime industry.

“And offered an outlook on key parameters driving businesses in the industry in 2018 – 2019 period and has continued to champion this economic outlook to date,’’ he added.

Jamoh said the agency had improved investor relations through a matchmaking of Nigerian shipping operators with their international counterparts for ease of business negotiations and deals.

The Director-General also said they had established a national fleet and national carrier, as Nigeria has a comparative advantage in cargo generation.

He noted that about 70 per cent of all seaborne trade in West and Central Africa were husbanded in Nigeria.

Jamoh noted that there has been enhanced maritime awareness and surveillance capability to deal with issues of insecurity on Nigerian waters.

He further said that the government was working to regulate all obnoxious and multiple charges and taxes stifling the business environment.

The Director-General said the agency had significantly reviewed downwards, its benchmark freight rates, to accommodate the yearnings of the maritime business community in Nigeria.

He further stated that the agency had shown leniency in classifying the entire vessel route into five broad routes in determining its charges, which is to the advantage of shippers.

Jamoh said Nigeria has drastically cut the number of agencies at its ports from 28 to nine, adding that this has reduced significantly, the delays arising from interface with multiple agencies at the ports.

“Government has drastically cut the number of agencies at its ports and this has reduced significantly, the delays arising from interface with multiple agencies at the ports.

“There is now joint boarding of vessels by all key agencies for regulatory compliance, checks.

“The Nigerian Customs Single Window Platform is also making information sharing easy for relevant agencies of government as required under the FAL Convention.

“Government has also made starting a business faster by reducing the time needed to register a company at the Corporate Affairs Commission and allowing electronic stamping of registration documents,’’ he said.

Jamoh said the government had adopted private sector participation in resolving infrastructure deficit in the maritime sector through privatization programmes and Public-Private Partnerships.

He said other major interventions were the provision of legal framework for dealing with piracy and other maritime crimes, as well as comprehensive maritime security architecture and the Deep Blue Project recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He explained that the Deep Blue project was an Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Solution with command and control infrastructure to increase monitoring and compliance enforcement within Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

He said it became imperative due to illegal activities that had increased and intensified in the Gulf of Guinea in recent times.

The assets of the Deep Blue included: marine assets, special mission vessels, interceptors air assets, special mission aircraft, unmanned air vessels, helicopters.

He said land assets had armoured vehicles, Intervention team; the `C4I Asset’- Command and Control, Computer; Communication and Information Centre, with a bird’s eye view of land, sea and airspace.

The DG announced that Nigeria was the first in West and Central Africa to satisfy the international requirement on Piracy Law.

He explained that these bold steps were widely commended and perceived to have forced a drop in the incidents of maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea since the second quarter of 2019.

Jamoh listed other areas NIMASA had Cooperation with for improved security to include: Naval Forces within the Gulf of Guinea, cooperation with the Nigerian Navy and other Security Agencies.

The Director-General said they were also into partnership with International Police Organization (Interpol) and had joint enforcement operations with the US Coast Guard.

He added that they were currently creating a legal framework to fight maritime crime.

Earlier, the Director-General, BPRSs, Mr Dasuki Arabi said the topic selected for discussion was timely and relevant in view of the crucial role the maritime sector plays in the overall development of the Nigerian economy.

According to him, piracy has been a major problem to Nigeria’s maritime and ports economy and has brought about a negative impact and deterred would-be investors in Nigeria’s shipping sector.

“There is a need for improved efficiency in maritime operations in Nigeria to improve global competitiveness.

“Agencies like Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency is saddled with the responsibility of improving predictability and transparency in maritime and ports operations.

“This will enable confidence and growth in the sector, which in turn is going to bring and increase revenue and economic development in Nigeria,’’ he said.

He noted that public services across the world have always been constrained by the reform imperative of modernisation necessary to achieve institutional vitality and readiness to confront present and future administrative challenges.

Arabi said that the Bureau was established primarily for the initiation, coordination, monitoring and ensuring full implementation of government reform policies and programmes.

He said they had monitored and collaborated with NIMASA in achieving its set objectives in the areas of service efficiency and effectiveness for positive results.

The Director-General expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the opportunity to serve as the institutional platform for sustainable reform implementation and coordination in the country.

Arabi also thanked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who serves as Chairman of the Steering Committee on Reforms together with the Co-Chair, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation for their continued support to the Bureau.


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MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria



MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria

…Jamoh reiterates  commitment to Ease of Doing Business 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have agreed to work closely with relevant stakeholders as the Agency inches closer to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria. 

Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.

The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated. 

He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.

According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters. Our focus is to ensure safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.

NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation. We do not just implement laws; we consult. Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another Agency start. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.

Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.

NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS. NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.

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Osinbajo mourns Diya, as Gov. Abiodun takes over burial arrangements



Osinbajo mourns Diya, as Gov. Abiodun takes over burial arrangements

 Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described the late retired Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya, as a patriot who showed deep love and commitment to Nigeria during and after his service to the military and the nation.

The vice president in a statement he personally signed on Monday in Abuja,  expressed grief over the death of the former Chief of General Staff.

 “I received with sadness, the news of the passing of Diya, the former Chief of General Staff and number two official in the administration of the Federal Military Government of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.

“Diya was not only a distinguished Nigerian patriot, and an illustrious son of Odogbolu in Ogun, he was also a statesman who showed deep love and commitment to our country even after his illustrious service to the nation.

“Gen. Diya, GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, MNI, was a forthright, brilliant officer and a devoted family man,” he added.

Osinbajo said that Diya’s death was a loss to the people of Ogun and Nigeria.

He prayed to God to comfort the family, friends, associates and the people of Ogun State.

“May his memory always be blessed,” he said.

Diya died on Sunday at the age of 79. 

In a related development, the Governor of Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun, on Monday said that the state would take over the burial of Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya, to give him a befitting farewell.

Osinbajo mourns Diya, as Gov. Abiodun takes over burial arrangements
Gov. Abiodun during his condolence visit to the family of late Diya.

Abiodun said this during his condolence visit to the family at the late Diya’s residence at 31 Adekunle Fajuyi St., GRA, Ikeja, Lagos State.

 Lt.-Gen. Diya died on Sunday, March 26, at the age of 79.

The governor said that Diya was a former governor of Ogun State in 1984 and was an illustrious son of the state, with whom they were specially very pleased.

“His contribution to the state will be remembered for many years to come.

“The least we can do to honour him and support the family is to take over and give him a befitting farewell and that is what we are going to do.

“A committee will be set up that will comprise members of our cabinet and members of the family, to ensure that we give our departed son a befitting burial,” he said.

Abiodun said that one of the lessons that could be learnt from the life and times of Diya was to absolutely put your trust and faith in God.

“I learnt that when God is with you, and when your trust and faith is in God, man can sentence you but God will uphold you.

“A sentence was pronounced on Diya’s life but God upheld him and he lived for many more years after that sentence.

“So, for me, that is one of the takeaways that I will remember from the life and times of Lt.-Gen. Diya, who we are going to immensely miss,” he said.

The governor said that Diya was a soldier, a lawyer and a gentleman, who rose to the peak of his career by becoming the Chief of Staff at the Supreme Headquarters.

“He also became the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Div, he was the Commandant of the Nigerian War College, after which he became the defacto vice president of Nigeria.

“His philanthropic intelligence and community involvement are such that we can not write the history of Ogun State without remembering him particularly or where he comes from, which is Odogbolu LGA.

“All of us in Ogun State will forever be grateful for the impactful life that he has lived,” Abiodun said.

He offered his deep condolences to Diya’s family on behalf of the entire people and government of Ogun State.

“Our prayer to the almighty God is to forgive his sins and grant recourse of his soul.

“We pray that the Almighty God will give his wife, Mrs Josephine Diya, the children and entire members of the family the heart to bear the loss,” Abiodun said.

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CUSTOMS: Nnadi Mourns DCG Sanusi, Describes him as Compassionate, Humble, Detribalized Officer



CUSTOMS: Nnadi Mourns DCG Sanusi, Describes him as Compassionate, Humble, Detribalized Officer

The Area Controller of Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Compt. Dera Nnadi has expressed a deep sense of loss and grief over the death of DCG  Umar Sanusi (rtd).

The retired Customs officer died in the early hours of Sunday 26th, March 2023,  at a private hospital in Abuja and was buried according to Islamic rites the same day after Muslim prayer in the Abuja Central Mosque.

In an emotion-laden tribute to the late Customs chief, Compt. Nnadi grieved the death of Sanusi whom he said he admired and revered as a Customs officer.

Recounting his various encounters with the deceased, Nnadi disclosed that the late Sanusi came across to him as a fine, diligent, compassionate, thorough, and core professional officer who was humane, humble, and highly detribalized, the attributes which Comptroller Nnadi said had a deep impression on him.

“It is with a heavy heart that I received the news of the death of DCG Rtd Umar Sanusi.  A gentleman officer and an erudite Nigerian.

“My first encounter with the senior officer was in 2003 or so at the  CGC conference in Calabar Cross River State, where, as an Assistant Comptroller of Customs, he presented a report as the  APM Apapa Command.

“It was not common then to present papers and reports in PowerPoint, but he did. This was not the only remarkable thing he did at the conference.

“The then AC Sanusi was detailed in his report, which was a departure from what others presented.

“He was factual and honest and admitted it where things were wrong in NCS operations at Apapa Command and highlighted them in writing during his presentation.

“This was shocking to the entire audience as it was rare then for officers to admit that their acts while discharging their duties, were not optimal.

“Some attempt by the moderator to stop him was rebuffed by a lone voice.

“One man and indeed the Boss was that voice. The then  CGC now Gbon Gwom Jos Da Elder Jacob Gyang Buba overruled everybody and urged him to continue and to even say more if he has facts.

“He gave him more time than the allotted 30 minutes. There was a pin-drop silence.

“AC Sanusi earned a place in the Service after that encounter. He also earned my admiration as a young Deputy Superintendent of Customs.

“Our path was to cross again when I was posted to Apapa prior to the commencement of the second phase of the NCS and  NPA port reforms, which coincided in 2006.

”AC Sanusi was the APM and  I was the PRO of the Command.

“The NCS reforms included migration from basic  ASYCUDA to ASYCUDA 2.0, the use of the precursor to PAAR called Risk Assessment Report RAR, the introduction of e- Payment regime and the introduction of Non-Intrusive Cargo examination- Scanners all with Apapa Port as the pilot Command.

“On the other hand and going on simultaneously was the port concession which saw NPA handing over to private sector owners of the port facilities.

“The challenges then were enormous, but we survived all through DCG Sanusi’s diligence with the then Comptroller Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo.

“It was a milestone for me and indeed for the senior officers then as through AC Sanusi. I learnt a lot from him.

“Yet another remarkable encounter with DCG Sanusi was at the NCS Headquarters when he was appointed ACG Headquarters.

“I had gone to greet him and pay homage when he did the “unthinkable” at least in my little understanding of life then.

“After taking my compliments, he offered me a seat and of course, I refused to seat in his presence as an Assistant Comptroller out of courtesy.

“He said ‘Nnadi, I have observed that we are not close anymore and I think this is an opportunity for me to address it’. I was shocked and said it wasn’t so.

“What he said next shocked me. He said ” I know I offended you but I  want to use this opportunity to apologise and request that you work closely with me. As ACG HQ, I will need you around me since you are in SR&P”.

“I  responded that I did not know that he offended me being his junior who respect and admire him. He said I should never mind.

“He offered me a gift, stepped out, shook my hands and gave me a hug.

“I left his office confused, overwhelmed with emotions and thereafter held in greater esteem and awe. His loss is a personal one to me.

“Farewell DCG Umar Sanusi. NCS and indeed Nigeria lost a gem,” Nnadi sobbed.

The deceased, Sanusi, who retired in 2019 as DCG, Human Resources Department, died after a brief illness in the early hours of Sunday, 26th March 2023.

Sanusi was earlier appointed Assistant Comptroller General Customs (ACG), Headquarters by Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), in 2015 before he was promoted to DCG in 2018.

Announcing his death, the Public Relations Officer, PTML command of the Service, SC Yakubu Muhammed said:

“With heavy heart, I notify us of the demise of DCG AU Sanusi (Rtd).

“He passed on about an hour ago at a private hospital in Abuja. The Janaza prayers hold after the Zuhr prayers (1 pm) at the National Mosque, Abuja In Shaa Allah,”

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