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NSC, FG committed to reducing shipping cost -Jime



Jime counsels concessionaires of Funtua port to comply with standards
NSC, FG committed to reducing shipping cost -Jime

The newly-appointed Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Emmanuel Lyambee Jime

… As FCT set to establish truck terminal along Kubwa highway***

Mr Emmanuel Jime, the Executive Secretary of, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment through the council to reduce the cost of shipping in the country.

Jime told the newsmen that the most important component in doing business, particularly trade “is the cost factor’’.

“The Shippers’ Council is in some cases involved in advocacy and at the present time, we are lucky that the Federal Government in its wisdom set up an inter-agency platform called Nigeria Port Process Manual (NPPM).

“And the Shippers’ Council was given the leadership on that particular platform. That is the platform that is now gradually beginning to introduce some kind of sanity in the business place as far as our ports are concerned.

“Any infractions, particularly those that are bothering on corrupt tendencies; we have a responsibility of putting a stop and ensuring as much as possible, we are eliminating incidence of corrupt practices in our ports.

“Whether it is engendered by officials of government or by other private members or private citizens who are doing business in our ports.

“This, and a couple of other things, which if you look at our website, you will be able to appreciate the extent to which Shippers’ Council is involved in ensuring that the cost of doing business in Nigeria is brought to its lowest minimum as far as we possibly can,’’ he said.

According to the NSC boss, if the cost of doing business is high, there are implications in the inability for the business to be conducted in a profitable and efficient manner.

He said that the high cost of shipping, which was not peculiar to Nigeria, necessitated the Union of African Shippers Council (UASC) to organise an experts committee meeting to suggest ways of mitigating it.

“Therefore, as a key requirement for trade, the Shippers’ Councils in Africa, particularly within the West Africa and Central Africa sub-region have recognise the need to engage in cost mitigating measures.

“It is clear that Africa in the sub-region has woken up to the reality to do something fundamental to change that particular factor of doing business in a way that can positively affect the doing of business across our borders.

“We are working together with sister nations to provide solutions as to how we can we mitigate the cost of doing business.

“Now we are waiting for the reports from the committee of experts to come out so that we can speak more directly to the issues that have been canvassed.

“But as a nation, from our own country’s experience, I can say without any question of doubt in my mind that there are several factors that are making it impossible for us to conduct businesses at cost effectiveness,’’ he said.

Jime said that the cumbersome clearance process in the ports, lack of infrastructure, corruption and the like, made it difficult for investors to do business, thus posing a challenge.

He said that the council was however working with the Nigerian Customs to ensure speedy clearance process through electronic means.

“The other issue that the Shippers’ Council is handling is the Border Information Centres that we are establishing all around the border towns.

“This will link us with our neighbours whether it is at Seme, whether it is in Jimia and of course, around the Cameroon-Nigeria border.

“We are putting those border information centres because our belief is that traders need to be offered the information that they may need for them to be successful in trading across our borders.

“ At the moment, there is a lot more informal trading that are going on. In other words, we don’t have a very formal trading network that is in place to assist our traders to be able to maximise the doing of business across our border.

“ In the wisdom of the Shippers’ Council, we felt the need to establish this border information centres so that they are able to assist traders with the necessary information that they may need.’’

In the meantime, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Directorate of Road Transport Services (DRTS) says it will establish a truck terminal along the Kubwa/Dei-Dei highway.

The DRTS, which is also known as the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) explained that the terminal would help to curb accidents involving articulated and light vehicles.

Mr Wadata Bodinga, Director, FCT DRTS, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, that the construction of the truck terminal was also to prevent articulated vehicles from entering the city centre during peak periods.

NAN reports that the directorate recently announced that heavy duty trucks and articulated vehicles were restricted from entering the city from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4p.m to 10p.m daily to ease traffic flow.

Bodinga disclosed that the directorate in collaboration with the FCT Urban and Regional Planning department, was planning to ensure implementation of the terminal at Dei-Dei area of the territory.

He said that since the restriction was a policy of the FCT Administration, it was important to ensure that major expressways linking the city to suburbs had truck terminals.

“At Kugbo junction, along Nyanya expressway where we already have a truck terminal, our men are always there to ensure we stop these trucks and pull them in so that they can stay and later continue their journey when the peak period is over.

“For now, what we are trying to do at Kubwa/Dei-Dei express is to caution them by at first stopping them at the boarder point of Dei-Dei and when the time is up we allow them to move because there is no specific terminal.

“It is also risky stopping vehicles of such magnitude on the roads because by so doing we could be causing more harm than good.

“But, thankfully the Kubwa road is wide and so we don’t experience much of the chaotic heavy and light vehicles accidents as seen along Nyanya road,” he said.

According to the director, the articulated vehicles restriction becomes expedient  following the high accident fatality rate along Nyanya area.

He advised motorists to drive carefully especially when driving alongside heavy duty trucks.


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NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of ‘National Interest’



NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of 'National Interest'

The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh has stressed the crucial importance of the Media to nation-building, and tasked media practitioners to put the nation’s interest foremost.

NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of 'National Interest'
R-L: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR presenting a souvenir to the Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh during a courtesy visit to the Channels TV headquarters in Lagos recently.

The NIMASA Director-General indicated this, during his working visit to the Chief Executive Officer of ChannelsTV Mr. John Momoh, highlighting the critical role of the media.

“The Media is crucial to Nation Building!”, Jamoh told his host, calling attention to why  Media owners must make conscious and deliberate efforts to imbibe national interest in information management, for the development of Nigeria with particular reference to the maritime sector.

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Nigeria- Niger Republic Rail Project Critical To Africa- Sambo



Nigeria- Niger Republic Rail Project Critical To Africa- Sambo

Nigeria and the Niger Republic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the rail project, with the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo stressing that the project will boost trade and other socio-economic activities within the continent, particularly between both countries.

The Minister stated this in Abuja at the MoU signing, noting the specific importance of the Nigeria rail line. Sambo signed for Nigeria while the  Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou signed for his country. 

The Minister noted that the rail line, which will start from Kano State in Nigeria and end at Maradi in Niger Republic,  will facilitate the realization of the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade  Agreement which Nigeria and Niger Republic are signatories.

“I am aware that people have blood relationships across borders so the project will expand the historical and cultural relationship between the people of Nigeria and those of the Niger Republic. The project is also very important in enhancing inter-nation and continental trade”, Mr. Sambo added.

On the implementation of the project, the Minister said a Technical Committee would be set up within seven days in accordance with Article 3 of the MoU, adding that nomination of members and inauguration of the Technical Committee would be concluded by the first week of February 2023.

According to him, after their inauguration, the Technical Committee will take charge of the facilitation and implementation of the project. 

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou corroborated that the rail project will promote inter-nation as well as continental trade, strengthen cultural ties between the two countries and create jobs.  

In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said work has been ongoing on the  Kano-Maradi rail line for the past two years, adding that the signing of the MoU would expedite the completion of the project. 

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Lekki Deep Seaport to boost non-oil revenue — NEPC; FG foils 66 attempts to hack FEC virtual meetings 



Lekki Deep Seaport to boost non-oil revenue — NEPC; FG foils 66 attempts to hack FEC virtual meetings 

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), says the recently commissioned Lekki Deep Sea Port is expected to boost Nigeria’s non-oil export.

The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak said that the development came on the heels of tremendous performance recorded in the non-oil export sector in 2022.

A statement issued on Thursday by Ndubueze Okeke, Head, Corporate Communications NEPC, quoted Yakusak as saying that the seaport would further ease the perennial congestion at the Apapa Ports.

“This development comes on the heels of the tremendous performance recorded in the non-oil export sector in 2022 in which the sector recorded a significant result of 4.820 billion dollars in 2022 representing an increase of 39.91 percent over 2021.

“The Lekki Deep Sea Port will not only provide jobs, directly and indirectly along the value chain but will further ease the perennial congestion at the Apapa Ports and thereby enhance the export drive of the country.

“It will also guarantee seamless trade facilitation.

“Having been designated a Customs port, all is now set for commercial vessels to berth and clear cargo at the port which is reported to be the country’s first Deep Sea Port and first fully automated as well,’’ Yakusak said.

He explained that the Lekki deep sea port domiciled within the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ), would further create an enabling environment for business and commercial activities to thrive.

According to Yakusak, this is particularly for the export of Nigerian products as it will play a strategic role in promoting international trade and sustainable economic growth for the country.

“The commissioning of the Lekki Deep Seaport is strategic and very key to the development and promotion of export trade.

“Indeed, it will ease the supply chain constraints and enhance logistics given the vital role of logistics in facilitating the transportation of goods to the international market.

“It is also a major source of foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

Yakusak said that about 214 different products ranging from manufactured, semi-processed, solid minerals to raw agricultural products were exported in 2022.

He said that 19 exit points were used with Apapa Port recording the highest tonnage of exports.

Yakusak commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the political will to execute the project in collaboration with other stakeholders.

He said that the project was expected to add about 361 billion dollars to the economy.

The project is a joint venture between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Lagos State Government.

Others are the Tolarams Group (owners of the Lagos Free Zone) and China Harbour Engineering Company. 

In another development, the Federal Government said it foiled  66 attempts by hackers from Europe to compromise the virtual meetings of the Federal Executive Councils (FEC).

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami gave the revelation in Abuja at the 19th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).

The scorecard series was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of Buhari’s administration.

Presenting the scorecards of his ministry, Pantami said since the unveiling of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions in October 2020, not less than, 108 virtual FEC meetings had been held.

He said from the 108 virtual FEC meetings held, 66 attacks to compromise the meetings were made from Europe but all failed.

The minister said all the cases were reported to the appropriate authorities for the record and actions.

He recalled that the National Policy on Virtual Engagements was launched to formalise government online meetings such as FEC and Council of State meetings.

The minister said that with the policy developed with the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, government’s virtual meetings could be held effectively and legally.

He said the implementation of the virtual meetings had saved the country over N47 billion which could have been used if they were held physically.

The minister also disclosed that in line with Buhari’s vision to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty, not less than 2.2 million jobs had been created in the digital sector in the past three years.

He said the feat was achieved in the sector by the implementation of the Executive Orders signed by the President to priotise indigenous content as well as indigenous professional in the execution of national projects.

Pantami said in the execution of jobs, planning and design of projects as well as appointments of key officials in the digital sector of the country priorities were given to indigenous professionals.

 He said his ministry also priotised the execution of programmes and projects that could generate direct and indirect jobs.

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