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NIMS Is To Entrench Continental Maritime Industry Efficiency- Akabogu 

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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.

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*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.

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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.

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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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In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners

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In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners

…Carpets Governor Adeleke for poor governance***

All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took his message of Renewed Hope to Osun State on Thursday where he assured the people and party supporters of his commitment to create jobs for the unemployed and make credit available for business owners.

Speaking in Yoruba to a mammoth crowd of people who thronged the venue of the campaign rally at Freedom Park Osogbo, Tinubu said his administration would empower the people with the skill that will make them employable while ensuring that the youth will no longer spend years in university due to lecturers’ strike action, stating that his pledge to the people will remain a binding covenant.

“I make a social covenant with you today that the unemployed among you will get jobs. Those with no skill will be provided the relevant skill that would put food on their table. When we get to government, we will make soft loans available for market women and business owners.”

Taking a swipe at the current Peoples Democratic Party government of Governor Ademola Adeleke in Osun State for poor governance of the state, the APC presidential candidate charged the people that the APC administration will soon return to continue the good work.

“They were given a little opportunity to rule for some months and they started misbehaving, killing and creating unrest in Osun state.”

From his prepared speech which he didn’t get the time to read, Asiwaju Tinubu congratulated Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, who was declared winner by the governorship election petition tribunal.

He praised Oyetola’s tenacity, diligence, consistency and determination, which made him not give up until he got his stolen mandate back.

On his plans for Osun, Tinubu noted that the state, which is highly blessed with diverse resources, should be a destination for business and tourism across the country, promising to help achieve this if he becomes the president.

He said, “Osun is a beautiful state filled with virtuous, industrious and welcoming people. We will support Osun to become a manufacturing, industrial, agricultural and tourism paradise.

“You have fertile soil, abundant mineral resources, and a rich culture and history capable of attracting tourists from across the world.

“A vote for me is a vote to develop all parts of this state and this country. Rural areas will not be forgotten but will be developed to support more economic activities and create better lives for the people.

“At the same time, our growing urban population – you city boys – will enjoy decent jobs and a living wage.”

Tinubu urged the people of the Osun State not to be deceived by the empty promises of Peoples Democratic Party Candidate Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party Candidate Peter Obi, saying both have nothing to offer.

While he said Atiku was only interested in stealing the nation’s resources and pocketing them for himself and his cronies, Tinubu likened Obi to the unprofitable servant who buried his talents, saying while Obi was Anambra State governor, he failed to use the state’s resources to develop it, rather saving them for no purpose.

“None of the other major candidates in this election have the capacity, integrity, knowledge or determination necessary to do what must be done. Only I, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, am prepared and up to the task of leading this country, our cherished homeland, back toward its best destiny.

“Do not vote for the candidate of the poverty development party, Mr. Privatise, Atiku Abubakar. When, as the Vice President of this country, he had a chance to make a positive difference, he chose the lesser path.

“He chose to use his position to enrich himself, his family and his friends. He sold Nigeria’s most prized assets for a fraction of their value. In the name of privatisation, he stole from your future to enrich himself.

“Worse, he has learned nothing. He has gone everywhere telling the Nigerian people that he is coming back to finish the job. He has promised that this time he will not steal your prosperity.

“You should not believe him or his greedy co-conspirators. The nation does not need the return of its Privatiser-in-Chief. Reject him and his band of foul jesters. They have no serious plans for this country. They resort to cheap and vile antics because they have no substance and no solutions.

“Be equally wary of the false messiah, Mr. Stingy, Peter Obi. This man’s promises are bold and his boasts are plentiful. Yet, when he was given the responsibility to lead just one state, he was overwhelmed by it.

“He could only stash away the money he was supposed to be using to develop the state. All the people of Anambra could hope for was that whoever came next would have better ideas.

“A governor is not a banker, expected to hold fast to his customer’s deposit. Obi was expected to build good roads, schools and hospitals”, he said, emphasizing that Obi rather, saved the money.

In another development, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has that Northern Governors we’re all solidly behind the APC Campaign.

“Let me assure you 100%, the entire Northern Governors of the APC are completely, wholeheartedly supporting the Next President Bola Tinubu…” stated Nasir El-Rufai, even as Gov. Masari says: “Give Me Names of Northern APC Governors Not Supporting Tinubu?”

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MAN Warns: Cash-strapping may lead to 25% Drop in Sale of locally-made goods

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MAN Warns: Cash-strapping may lead to 25% Drop in Sale of locally-made goods

 The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday in Lagos, warned that Cash-strapping may unwittingly lead, to a 25 percent drop, in the sale of locally-made goods.

The Director General, MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stated this, emphasizing the need for the CBN to intensify efforts at ensuring a seamless transition from old naira to new naira notes, as anything to the contrary would be inimical to manufacturing.

He said if the current hardships being experienced in accessing money persisted for the next three weeks, there would be a possible drop of 25 percent in monthly sales of made-in-Nigeria goods.

He noted that as purchases from the retail end, mostly transacted in cash dry up; there would be a sharp drop in wholesale purchases leading to a glut of unsold inventories in factories.

He added that the situation which was no good for manufacturing, for the government and for the ordinary citizen would lead to compounded crippling lack of patronage for the domestic manufacturer.

Ajayi-Kadir also stressed that the development would also deny government the revenue that would have accrued from consumption taxes and result in the disruption of the daily life and need of the average Nigerian.

“To be clear, there is no doubt that the currency redesign is desirable; there are socioeconomic and political imperatives for the change.

“It is a critical element of the CBN cashless economy policy that should have far-reaching positive results for the economy.

“However, the continued scarcity of the newly redesigned naira notes is quite worrisome.

“With our growth prospects heading further south, we can ill afford a downturn in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The negative impact it portends for local producers, the agricultural and distributive segments of our economy is huge.

“It may worsen the bashing our economy has received from both external and internal shocks in recent times,’’ he stressed.

Ajayi-Kadir cautioned that adequate measures should be put in place to ensure a smooth currency transition, particularly in the unbanked areas of Nigeria.

He charged the CBN and Bureaux de Changes to be most engaging at the highest level at this time.

According to him, there is a need for strategic communication and joint operations to ensure widespread and sustained availability and circulation of the redesigned naira notes.

“It is baffling to approach a bank only to be told that there are neither the old nor the new naira notes.

“We hope that the resumption of payment across the counter in the banks and the intensification of the CBN special cash swap arrangement in remote areas will yield positive results.

“I hope that what the country is experiencing is temporary pain and that government will do well to bring the hardship to an end immediately.

“We must make haste to ensure that the price to be paid for this otherwise laudable policy does not outpace the gains,’’ he also cautioned.

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Economy

Disdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – Onyema

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Disdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – OnyemaDisdain Towards Nigerian Passport: My regret as Foreign Affairs Minister – Onyema

…Shed tears, when he saw Nigerian girls forced into prostitution in Libya***

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, says his regret as minister is the disdain with which Nigerians are being treated outside the shores of the country and upon siting their international passports.

The Minister disclosed this in Abuja at the 22nd edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023) organised to project the achievements of the government.

Onyema was responding to a comment by a journalist who expressed displeasure about how Nigerians travelling abroad were being subjected to harassment upon sitting on their green passports.

The Minister agreed with the position of the newsman and attributed the challenge to the desperation of many Nigerians who took desperate and illegal measures to travel out of the country.

“If there is one thing that I look back to with the greatest regrets in my seven and half years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is the situation of Nigerians in foreign countries,” he said.

The minister gave some of the instances he had witnessed and had to wade in to rescue trapped victims in the middle of the desert.

“I went to Libya and I actually shed tears when we went to this camp where they were holding Nigerians.

“There is that whole issue of slavery and of course, all the exploitations that go with it and they told us that there were only a hundred or two hundred Nigerians there,”

“So, we went to the yard and it was one of the most touching things I ever experienced.

“We have all these young boys, 13, 14, 15 years old and they all came out, over a hundred of them and they all stood up to attention,” he narrated.

The minister continued: “As soon as they saw us, they started reciting the Nigerian national anthem and tears came to my eyes.

 “We were told that the girls were used as prostitutes at night.

“When we saw them, the girls told us there were more Nigerians and we insisted they should bring them out.

“Lo and behold, twenty minutes after, they brought out another set which was about 200 Nigerians.

“The President gave directives, that we should charter planes in order to get them out and we did.”

Onyema attributed the despicable situation to the push factor leading a lot of young Nigerians to take desperate and ridiculous risks through the deserts and the high seas.

He said when they even finally got to their so-called dream countries, they got involved in drugs and all sort of crimes which made it difficult for Nigeria’s passport to be respected.

“Those of us in government have to blame ourselves, particularly in the immigration and even in foreign affairs,” he said.

Onyema narrated another scenario where the U.S., Ambassador to Nigeria came to show him the list of Nigerians that were issued visas through Note Verbal to go to the U.S. but they never attended the events they were scheduled for, but absconded.

He said he was also shown the list of those who were not respecting their visa deadlines and requirements, including top Nigerians.

The minister said all the illegal acts and sharp practices contributed to the manner Nigerians were being treated with disdain abroad when they cited their passports.

“In order to reverse the situation and ensure Nigerian passport is given the due respect it deserves, we all have to work hard and behave ourselves.

“We are all suffering from this because we have people with genuine missions seeking to travel abroad looking for visas and they are denied.

“It is a challenge for each and every single one of us and it is impacting negatively on our country.

“We all have the responsibility to salvage the situation,” he said.

Onyema said President Buhari had never rested on his oars on the issue because whichever country he travelled to, he stressed to Nigerians in Diaspora to be good ambassadors of their country.

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