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NPA: Hadiza Usman’s Case stalled; Court hears Case 24 hours earlier



NPA: Hadiza Usman's Case stalled; Court hears Case 24 hours earlier

NPA: Hadiza Usman's Case stalled; Court hears Case 24 hours earlier

… As Osinbajo cautions youths against joining bad gangs of fraudsters***

There was a mild drama at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Thursday morning, November 4, as parties to the suit challenging the premature reappointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority were informed that the matter was heard a clear 24 hours before the scheduled date of November 4.

Maritime media correspondents had besieged the premises wanting a glimpse of the suspended Managing Director, with some of them armed with questions meant to field by opportunity so offered.

It would be recalled that Elder Asu Beks and two others had on March 25, 2021, filed a suit challenging the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari to prematurely reappoint Hadiza Usman, six clear months before the expiration of her statutory five years tenure.

The plaintiffs, among other reliefs, had also prayed the court to declare the composition of the current Board of Nigerian Ports Authority, a nullity, stressing that it did not meet the statutory requirements, prescribed by the NPA Act.

Publisher, Shipping World, Elder Asu Beks with the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, (right) at the second edition of Nigeria’s Maritime Industry Living Legends Awards held in Lagos.

At the first hearing of the suit on July 5, 2021, and filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by Chief Mike Ozekhome, the attention of the Presiding  Judge, Justice Tijani Garba Ringim, had been drawn to the fact that the defendants, including President Mohammadu Buhari, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Hadiza Bala Usman and Emmanuel Abisoye, NPA Board Chairman, had no counsels representing them, which prompted the case to be adjourned to November 4.

However, the plaintiffs arrived at the court to learn another had occurred.

“I just cannot understand what is going on.

We (plaintiffs and Counsel) were in court on July 5. The Judge went through his diary and picked November 4 as the date for the next hearing which is today.

“But to my surprise, I was informed by Registrar that the matter came up for mention the previous day and even admitted a motion from Barr E. A Ogboji, Counsel to Hadiza Usman and Emmanuel Abisoye, withdrawing their representation”, fumed Barr Ejieke Onuoha, representing Chief Mike Ozekhome Chambers, Counsel to the plaintiffs.

“We will we get to the root cause of what may have transpired”, he further highlighted.

Hadiza was, however, later suspended and directed to face a probe, over alleged inappropriate handling of over an N160billion.

In the meantime, Vice President Yemi  Osinbajo has cautioned Nigerian youths to refrain from joining bad gangs of fraudsters, otherwise known as “yahoo boys”.

Osinbajo gave the warning on Thursday in Ibadan, while delivering the first convocation lecture of Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, Oyo State.

He urged them to embrace integrity and good character in order to excel in their chosen careers.

The vice president also charged youths to make effort to access various programmes set up by the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to support young entrepreneurs and other Nigerians.

Osinbajo said that there were numerous Federal Government supports programmes they could access and to make it in life.

“Do not be distracted by the “yahoo,  yahoo boys”  that are coming up one day with fancy cars, because their days are always numbered.

“They will go to jail one day; so, what is the point of making money when you cannot sleep well at night?

“So, it is important for us to bear in mind that Nigerian education is an important credential because you will understand the terrain and understand the law of the land,” he said.

Chief Kola Daisi, Founder of the university, was, however, installed as the first Chancellor of the university at the ceremony.

Prof. Adeniyi Osuntogun, the Pro-Chancellor and Council Chairman of the university, performed the installation of Daisi as the first Chancellor of the university.

In his remarks, Daisi said: “I believe that an educated society is essential to a successful democracy.

“In this era of technology, it is very certain that probably, as much as 70 per cent of jobs in our future economy, will require university education.

“My words of inspiration to the graduands of today is to dream high, aim high and work hard in life in order to accomplish such aims.

“To commemorate this occasion and especially, to attain the competitiveness and distinction I envisaged, a special Endowment Fund has been established for Kola Daisi University.

“With every humility, I hereby wish to subscribe the sum of one billion naira as my initial subscription to the University’s Endowment Fund,” Daisi said.

Commenting, the Vice-Chancellor of the university,  Prof. Adeniyi Olatunbosun, urged the graduands to always equip themselves with knowledge development through additional skills to remain relevant in the changing world.

The newsmen report that 52 graduands from various programmes such as Computer Science,  Industrial Chemistry, Microbiology,  Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, English and Literary Studies, History and Diplomatic Studies, Mass Communication and Political Science, were awarded the first degree with 12 first-class grade.

Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State was represented by his deputy,  Rauf  Olaniyan at the convocation.

Commenting, Prof. Julius Okojie, the former Executive Secretary of, National Universities Commission  (NUC), pleaded with the Federal Government to assist in the funding of private universities.

Among prominent personalities at the ceremony were the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba  Lamidi Adeyemi III; the Minister of Solid Minerals, Olamilekan Adegbite, among others.





Reps Demand Restructuring Of Terminal Operators, NPA Licensed Agents



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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SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation



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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Smugglers Altering Vehicles’ Chassis Numbers–Customs



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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