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NPA Rejigs Overtime-Cargo Evacuation Committee, For Prudent Decongestion Of Ports



SERVICE DELIVERY: NPA Bags BPSR’s Excellence Award; Scores 91.25% for Exceptional Performance 

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has sensitized the Eastern Maritime stakeholders to the need to evacuate overtime cargoes at the various seaports and terminals.

The event which took place recently in Port Harcourt the Rivers State capital, was in continuation of the joint Task Team Committee sensitization exercise going on across the country on the need to make the various seaports and terminals free of over-stay cargoes which Maritime industry watchers believe has hindered free movements of containers which have negatively affected the smooth operations at the terminals. 

Speaking during the event, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA,) Mr. Mohammed Bello -Koko, commended the Federal Government on the directive to decongest the seaports, noting that the stakeholders’ engagement was a welcomed strategy; insisting that “such is relevant and necessary giving the escalating issue of cargo congestion at the Seaports and terminals”. 

Bello-Koko who was represented at the event by the Ports Manager, Onne Ports Complex, Mr. Stanley  Magaji Yitnoe stated that Seaports were designed to be efficient transit points, facilitating swift movement of goods but regretted that due to various reasons and factors, the seaports have become burdened with un-cleared cargoes that linger indefinitely obstructing terminal operations and adversely impacting overall Ports efficiency and our national economy. 

Raising concern about the scarcity of space at the seaport terminals, Bello-Koko said the two container terminals at West African Container Terminal (WACT)  and Onne Multipurpose  Terminal (OMT) have suffered significant land loss due to long-stay containers.

He maintained that such losses have severe implications for terminal efficiency and performance even as he said that it was his desire that “this sentiment is shared by terminal operators, shipping companies and consignees alike that presidential committee execute its assignment expeditiously as he was of the opinion that the timely resolution of the issue would enhance Ports efficiency, improve performance and contribute to a more favorable business environment at the ports. 

Bello – Koko however, vowed  NPA unalloyed support and cooperation even as he assured his management commitment in areas of resources and expertise to ensure a successful implementation of the deliberations insisting that together they could address the overtime containers challenges and bring about tangible improvements at the Ports. 

He, therefore, urged the stakeholders to seize the opportunity to pave way for the enhanced Ports efficiency, economic growth, and an environment that fosters seamless business transactions. 

 The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani who was represented by Director of Maritime Services Babatunde Sule said that the thrust of the event was to find out ways of decongesting the ports and terminals to create more space for other cargoes to come in and reduce the high cargo dwelling and ships turnaround time. 

Ajani maintained that for such to take place, there should be collaborative efforts with, the Federal Ministry of Transport Nigeria Customs, Nigerian Shippers Council, and Nigerian Ports Authority which according to him stated that the stakeholders should be sensitized and their ideas bought on how to decongest the ports and terminals for the betterment of the stakeholders, and the Nigerian economy. 

Ajani said that the federal government has lost a colossal amount of money as a result of the nonavailability of spaces caused by the overtime cargo and the committee wished to reverse the trend. 

Contributing, the representative of  ANLCA Onne Seaport chapter, Deacon Chinedu Ikenga, and also the Group Managing Director Prestige Bonded Terminal said one of the reasons for overtime cargoes was Government’s policy inconsistency.

17 ships with assorted goods expected at Lagos ports – NPA

He said such policies are negatively affecting the clearance of cargoes at the ports and terminals even as he decried the exchange rate which he said has caused great setbacks to Maritime business insisting that Government should come up with a clear and consistent politics as no businessman would like to lose money to unwholesome policies.

 He noted that some importers might decide to abandon their cargoes if the money they would spend in clearing the cargo is higher than what they intend to get. 

Present, at the event include ANLCA, NAGAFF, Terminal  Operators, Shipping companies, operators of Customs bonded terminals, among others.


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Healing Initiative: Customs CG Hosts Maiden Retired Management Team Reunion



…Pledges Welfare Boost***

The Comptroller-General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR has flagged of a structured healing process, as he initiated a maiden retired Management Team members of the Nigeria Customs Service, stressing that they have so much to offer in terms of experience, and shared legacy of diligence and commitment. 

Addressing a momentous gathering at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Saturday, 25 November 2023, the Customs Comptroller General said he recognised and appreciates their importance, contributions, and dedication; and would ensure their relevance is honoured.

Adeniyi disclosed ongoing discussions with the Minister of Finance to champion a bill establishing a dedicated Pension Scheme, adding that the Service has received the best from them and intends to honour.

“Today marks a momentous occasion as we come together for the first-ever reunion of Customs’ seasoned leaders”, Comptroller General, Adewale Adeniyi stated, in a heartfelt address, adding:

“This strategic initiative reflects foresight in securing the financial future of leaders within the Nigeria Customs Service”.

He reassured the retirees of comprehensive measures to elevate their welfare with a plan to integrate them into the Nigeria Customs Service’s healthcare programs. 

Specifically, he also emphasized his genuine commitment to sustaining bonds beyond active service; emphasizing the wealth of knowledge within the room and the need to strengthen the roots connecting the past, present, and future of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Highlighting the retirees’ significant contributions, Adeniyi stressed crafting customized programs for seamless collaboration, ensuring the service continues to benefit from their expertise; and described the gathering as a definitive avenue for connecting with successful leaders who have played pivotal roles in shaping the organization.

Optimistic about the impact of the reunion, the CGC expressed confidence that their coming together would contribute to greater efficiency, enhanced regulatory compliance, and entrench stable economic development goals for the country. 

 “I am confident that with your continued support and guidance, we will overcome challenges and achieve greater heights”, he further said.

Those present at the occasion included the immediate past Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Ahmed Ali (retired), Dr. Abubakar Musa, Bernard Nwadialo, and a former sole administrator, Major-General SOG Ango (retired).

Also in attendance were many retired Deputy Comptroller-Generals of Customs and Assistant Comptroller-Generals of Customs.

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33rd IMO General Assembly: Jamoh To Market Blue Economy



…While Oyetola announces vision to international audience***

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh has indicated that he would meticulously market the Blue Economy, once he arrived in London, as part of Nigeria’s delegation to the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly.
He also said the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, who is leading Nigeria’s delegation will announce Nigeria’s Blue Economy direction to the global audience while participating at the IMO 2023 General Assembly.

*Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, (right) and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

The Maritime First First was told, that Over the next few days, the global maritime community will be better informed about the efforts of President Bola Tinubu’s Administration to harness Nigeria’s maritime potentials in line with Global Best Practices.

*R-L: Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, Abdul Dirisu; Director, Maritime Safety & Security, Babatunde Bombata; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and Deputy  Director, London office, William Bwala during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

“NIMASA, as IMO’s focal Agency in Nigeria, remains resolute in administering Safety and Security in our maritime domain”, Jamoh explained.

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Maritime Expert Unveils Book For Pupils On Career Path



Olaitan Williams says book is to motivate pupils to explore the Blue Economy sector’s huge potential***

A book, “Some Career Opportunities in the Marine and Blue Economy Workplace” was on Monday unveiled by a maritime expert, Mrs Violet Olaitan Williams, in a deliberate move to motivate pupils to explore the huge job potential in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.

The book was unveiled during the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation’s (OAF) fifth Educators and Maritime Stakeholders Lecture and Award; and 4th nationwide virtual Maritime Quiz Competition in Lagos.

Williams said she initially had a book that had a compendium, a compilation of lecture series for the past six years, but discovered that an 18-year-old girl did not know the colour of water not to talk of careers therein.

“To this extent, what we are trying to do in essence is to make sure that an elementary school boy or girl will fashion out their career in the marine and blue economy in the early stages.

“So, I had to simplify it and try to get the ABC of it so that with the new ministry of marine and blue economy, it will be easier even at the top to understand because the ministry is new,” she said.

Williams, a former board member of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, noted that most people who got into the maritime industry, as we all heard them today, got in accidentally.

“But we want a sustainable industry so that it will not be an accidental entry, it will be a purposeful entry with sustainability.

“We only have the platform now, the framework, but the impetus to continue is sustainable and must start from the cradle, and that is what informed me,” she said.

On plans to inculcate this into the school framework, Williams noted that in 2022, she wrote to the Ministry of Education and fortunately got a reply from their agency that deals with curriculum and that was where we are now.

“But with the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, they should take it up because we were advocating for a blue economy industry and now that we have it, they should take it up.

“We have done our beat, they should now invite us to ask where we have stopped because we have stopped when it comes to curriculum,” she said.

Earlier, while reviewing the book, Mrs Carolyn Ufere, the Independent Maritime Practitioner and former General Manager, the Nigerian Ports Authority, described Williams a lone fighter trying to push the industry forward.

Ufere noted that Williams’s focus on educating the girl-child and getting the best out of them motivated her to write the book.

“The book contains several elements that will compel the younger ones into the field, the title is clear and the forward highlights the significance of the ocean as a source of work for mankind.

“The book presents the maritime sector as an arena where issues are addressed and she charges the young ones to sell the blue economy to the world, selling its gains,” she said.

Ufere noted that information was power, adding that the book contained tools that would be used to empower the young girl and likewise the boys.

“I recommend the book to every institution, organisation where great minds are nurtured as it will be a book that will turn around our nation,” she said.

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