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Maritime

Pirates contradict NIMASA, kidnap 12 from Swiss ship in Nigeria

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…As 6 drown on Friday, in Maiduguri***

Contrary to claims that the menace of piracy has been tamed, unfolding events shows that Pirates on Saturday, kidnapped 12 crew members from a Swiss cargo vessel within Nigerian waters.

Massoel Shipping confirmed that its vessel, MV Glarus, was carrying wheat from Nigeria’s capital to Port Harcourt when it was attacked at the weekend.

“The pirate gang boarded the Glarus by means of long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck,” the firm told AFP.

The intruders struck 45 nautical miles from Bonny Island in the Niger Delta, taking 12 of the 19 crew hostage.

Geneva-based Massoel said the pirates had “destroyed much of the vessel’s communications equipment”.

The crew members’ nationalities remain unknown, but the firm said their families are being closely informed of the situation.

Specialists are en route to ensure the hostages’ “speedy and safe release”, the shipping company said.

Switzerland’s foreign ministry said Massoel had confirmed that none of those kidnapped were from the country itself, Reuters reports.

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, with foreigners and high-profile Nigerians frequently targeted.

There has been a slight increase in hostage-takings off the coast of Nigeria, according to a 2017 report by the watchdog Oceans Beyond Piracy.

More people were held for longer, with the organisation warning of a “significant increase in the level of violence”.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has consistently insisted that its MoU with the Nigerian Navy is not only working, but has indeed brought sanity to the country’swater, and curbing the soaring adventurism of the pirates.

The lameduck claim is however consistently contradicted by increasing strike of the pirates in Nigeria waters.

In the meantime, the bodies of six persons, out of nine persons who boarded a boat Friday afternoon from  Zabarmari to Dusuman settlement, in Jere Local Government Area of Borno have been fished out by local divers.

Zabarmari Ward Head, Bulama Maidamma said the six, consisting of two females and four males; as well as the three rescued passengers were mostly going  for Jumat service.

“The two females boarded the boat from Budum area, some of them were heading to Dusuman for the Jummat prayers while others went to attend funeral of a relative”, Maidamma explained, attributing the incident to the heavy wind with sandstorm which lasted for about 30 minutes on Friday.

“The boat capsized at the deeper point of the river. Most of them drowned because they could not swim and were not putting on life jackets.

“Consequently, we mobilised divers to go in search of them. They were able to rescue three passengers including the driver on Friday.

“However, the ongoing search of the six others took us until Saturday evening to recover their bodies,” he said.

Malam Muhammed Labo, a local in Dusuman, who confirmed that his brother, a GSM technitian was among the victims indicated that his brother went for a funeral of a relative at Dusuman.

The National Emergency Management Agency, Northeast Zonal Coordinator, Mr Bashir Garga who also confirmed the incident however highlighted that most of the passengers were returning from Jummat prayers when the incident happened on Friday.

Malam Bello Danbatta, the Head of Emergency Response of the State Emergency Management Agency, said the incident was reported late to the management.

Danbatta said the agency had mobilised it personnel to the scene to ascertain the cause of the incident.

Mr Edet Okon, the Police Public Relations, Borno Command, said he was yet to be briefed of such development, adding that he would comment after full investigation.

 

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Zoe Maritime Roundtable Targets Improved Passenger Safety, Using Chinese Experience

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…Edodo-Emore refocuses Stakeholders’ attention on Security and new technologies in inland waterways

Significant progress will be achieved in the area boat -passenger safety amongst other gains, as Nigeria gets an infrequent opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience in improving general service delivery in-country.

The Chinese Consul-General in Nigeria, Madam Yan Yuqing, one of the key speakers at a Zoe Maritime Summit is expected, in addition to dissecting the topic of improving services delivery, to also offer, useful ideas and lessons on safe inland waterways operations in Nigeria.

Osun Assembly passes N138.2bn 2023 Budget 

Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

The Summit promoter,  and CEO of Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd, Barr (Mrs) Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore told Maritime First that the discussion is designed to inland waterways operators the knowledge to better manage the sector, particularly, towards improving boat passenger safety.

 Consequently, a major highlight of the Summit is a presentation on the Chinese experience in the management of inland waterways.

The Barrister highlighted that with the theme: “Security and New Technologies in Inland Waterways Transportation”, the Zoe Resources Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting h places at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos should be a must-to-attend Summit. 

*Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore

Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore noted that prominent maritime personalities and revered industry players have confirmed readiness to grace the occasion.

Among these are the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,. Adegboyega Oyetola is scheduled to unveil the Ministry’s focus and plans for Inland Waterways and Coastal Services, an intervention that has agitated the minds of inland waterway operators since his appointment last year.

Others are Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA); Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Company Ltd (NBTC), and Rhoda Olofu, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Marine Police Command.

*Mobereola

Industry technocrats, heads of security agencies and regulatory authorities expected to feature in panel discussions on the theme include the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola and the Managing Director/CEO, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Alhaji Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji.

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NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko

Also billed to participate in the breakfast summit are port users, heads of maritime desks of banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Others are ship owners, boat owners, boat captains, log byistic companies, barge operators and any other entity whose operations are inland waterway-based.

Freight forwarders, importers and oil and gas companies will also grace the occasion.

Foreign entities from maritime nations will also feature and make interventions especially as concerns experiences in their respective nations to enable Nigerians benefit from global inland waterways visibility, network, growth and exchange of knowledge.

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Maritime

CUSTOMS Q1: PTML Hits N66.9bn Revenue, Targets 2-Hour Clearing-Time for Vehicles

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…Warns that any uncovered infraction will lead to severe sanctions!

The Port Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) Command of Nigeria Customs Service has recorded N66,920,181,586.30 as total revenue for first quarter of 2024.

 The collected revenue is N22,198,965,809.55 higher than N44,721,215,776.75 collected between January and March 2023 representing a 49.6 percent increase. 

A press statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the command, CSC Muhammad Yakubu, stated that Comptroller Saidu Abba Yusuf, Customs Area Controller of the command, described the increase in revenue collection as a laudable feat, adding that the command is more committed towards trade facilitation and as well as supporting government drive for ease of doing business. 

Comptroller Yusuf who thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR for initiating strategies to achieve faster cargo clearance, reiterated that PTML Command under his watch aims to surpass its record of three-hour cargo clearance for compliant traders. 

According to Yusuf, the launching of time release study (TRS) which is ongoing and other deliberate efforts by the Comptroller General have contributed in the expansion of terminal space and promoting ease of doing business in PTML. 

PTML Customs Command Achieves 19% Increase in Annual Revenue

The CAC also disclosed that the PTML command has the potential to achieve two-hour cargo clearance and surpass it’s existing three-hour record if port users’ compliance level is improved.

Comptroller Yusuf who described PTML as one of the safest and most secure environments for RoRo(Roll On Roll Off) and general cargoes also advised importers and their agents to take advantage of the incentives available for compliant traders such as fast track, advance ruling and possible migration to the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status. 

He reminded port users in PTML of the robust and time-conscious dispute resolution mechanism, which has contributed immensely to the revenue collection, trade facilitation and anti-smuggling functions of the command. 

While commending the various government and private sector stakeholders for their cooperation and support towards the realisation of the government goal of revenue collection and prevention of unlawful activities, Comptroller Yusuf expressed optimism that the command will surpass its annual target for the year. 

He described the importation of vehicles meant for Nigerian roads into neighbouring countries with the intent to smuggle them through unapproved roads into Nigeria as unpatriotic and an act of economic sabotage as the command has the capacity for seamless and efficient processing of such automobile cargoes. 

For the second quarter and first half of the year, the CAC enjoined officers of the command to maximally deploy available technology and rededicate themselves to the job to achieve more. You u

He reminded the port users that there is increased anti-smuggling vigilance to uncover concealment such as under declaration and smuggling of prohibited items. 

The CAC further added that any discovered infraction will lead to full evoking of the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA), where there are spelt-out penalties.

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EST-Floattech Delivers Octopus Battery Systems To Coastal Workboats For E-LUV, SPSS

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– Coastal Workboats, a renowned name in the maritime industry for its commitment to sustainability, will collaborate with EST-Floattech, a leading provider of energy storage solutions for the maritime sector. EST-Floattech will be providing the battery system for the purpose-built Electric-Landing Utility Vessel (E-LUV) to be built at Coastal Workboats’ new yard Stornoway and the Shore-based Power Supply System (SPSS).

The collaboration with Coastal Workboats Scotland marks a significant step towards lowering emissions in the UK’s maritime industry with EST-Floattechs technology. This collaboration is realized due to Coastal Workboats receiving a £6 million (€7 million) grant to demonstrate the UK’s first commercial electric workboat and charging station. This grant, provided by the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC), underscores the industry’s recognition of the pressing need for cleaner, greener maritime operations and will boost the usage of electric workboats in a commercial environment.

The vessel that will be built, the E-LUV, is set to be the UK’s first commercial electric workboat. This innovative vessel, a Ro-Ro and dry cargo transportation ferry, will be equipped with 2400 kWh of EST-Floattech’s Octopus High Energy battery system. The system will be placed as two independent battery systems on board, power a range of equipment, and be used for fully electric sailing. Starting for demonstration purposes in the Shetland Isles in a short trial, the E-LUV will be operating between West Burrafirth and Papa Stour. The route takes about 45 minutes, twice per day and five days per week while showcasing the capabilities of energy storage solutions in maritime applications.

Secondly, EST-Floattech will supply 1.200 kWh of the Octopus High Energy battery system, to be placed in a 20-foot container that will support the charging of Coastal Workboats’ E-LUV vessel. It is also possible to place the containerized energy storage solution on board as a range extender. We will be collaborating with MJR Power & Automation for the system integration and the entire system will be placed inside the container by Renew Marine Ltd.

Enhanced safety, less maintenance

The E-LUV will adhere to Bureau Veritas classification standards, ensuring top-notch safety and quality. The battery system will not only be safer, but it will also need less maintenance. This Ro-Ro and dry cargo transportation ferry is set to become a new standard for emission-free voyages. This contract is a significant achievement for Coastal Workboats, a small, family-run yard, and also for EST-Floattech.

Coastal Workboats’ Chief Engineering Manager Luke Parnell said: “Our attraction to the Octopus Series quite simply comes down to safety. EST-Floattech have produced a class-approved product that brings to market a level of safety unseen previously. In particular, the passive nature of the heat dissipation system represents a marked step forward in safety, particularly for an application in the marine environment. Given our primary concern is safety above all, the Octopus was the perfect choice for us.”

Jelle Meindertsma, Sales Manager at EST-Floattech, states, “We are proud to be contributing to lowering emissions in the maritime industry in the UK, working hand in hand with Coastal Workboats to bring sustainable, high-performance energy solutions to the forefront. Our collaboration on the E-LUV is a testament to our shared commitment towards a more environmentally responsible maritime future.”

This collaboration between Coastal Workboats and EST-Floattech marks a significant stride towards achieving the UK’s environmental targets and demonstrates the power of innovation in the maritime sector.

Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition

This project, the fully electric inter-island workboat demonstration project (including the E-LUV), is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 3 (CMDC3), which was announced in September 2022, funded by UK Government and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC3, the Department allocated £60m to 19 flagship projects supported by 92 UK organisations to deliver real world demonstration R&D projects in clean maritime solutions. Projects will take place in multiple locations around the UK from as far north as the Shetland Isles and as far south as Cornwall.

UK SHORE

The CMDC3 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in the UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

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