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SIFAX Group, Chairman Bag Brandcom, MARAN Awards 

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Tired and Weary, ANLCA Sues for Peace

SIFAX Group has won the Most Outstanding Maritime Company of the Year award while its chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, emerged as the Maritime Person of the Decade.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr. Muyiwa Akande, Group Head, Corporate Communications, SIFAX Group, on Tuesday in Lagos.

R-L: Philips Ojo, Corporate Communications, SIFAX Group receiving MARAN’s Maritime Person of the Decade on behalf of Dr Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group from Barr. Hassan Bello, immediate past Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigeria Shippers Council at the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria’s 34th-anniversary celebration held at Providence Hotel, Ikeja last Friday.

The SIFAX Group award was conferred at the 2022 Brandcom Awards organised by Brand Communicator, Nigeria’s foremost marketing communications magazine.

The chairman’s award honour came via the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) 34th anniversary in Lagos.

According to Joshua Ajayi, convener of the BrandCom Awards and publisher of the Brand Communicator, SIFAX Group had continued to set the pace in the maritime sector with novel solutions that had impacted the industry.

Philips Ojo, Corporate Communications, SIFAX Group (middle) receiving the Brand Communicators Most Outstanding Maritime Company of the year award on behalf of SIFAX Group from Comfort Oboh Nwankwo, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Lagos State Chapter (left) and Victor Gbenga Afolabi, CEO, Hazon Holdings (right) at the 2022 BrandCom Awards which was held at D’Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos recently.

“We have monitored the progress of SIFAX Group during the 2021/2022 business year and have found out that the company’s innovative solutions continue to positively impact the country’s maritime industry.

“The standards set by the company are high and we can not have selected a better company in the industry. We are proud of what the company is doing, and we urge them to keep it up,” he said.

Olumuyiwa Akande and Philips Ojo both of the Corporate Communications Department, SIFAX Group displaying Brand Communicators Most Outstanding Maritime Company of the Year Award presented to SIFAX Group at the 2022 BrandCom Awards which was held at D’Podium Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos recently.

Also, Mr. Gboyega Oni, acting President, MARAN, said the choice of Afolabi for the award was not far-fetched owing to his tactful business acumen that had propelled SIFAX Group to a whole new height with impactful investments in the maritime sector.

“SIFAX Group has been a trailblazer in the maritime sector in the last decade. Aside from investments in terminal operations, its off-dock solutions have positively affected the industry, Oni said.

In his response, Akande lauded the organisers of the award for the honour, adding that the group would seek to improve on the standards that had brought it these accolades.

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Global Transport Roundtable To Transform Nigeria To Continental Power House holds Wednesday 

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Global Transport Roundtable To Transform Nigeria To Continental Power House holds Wednesday 

…Front Seat liners include Sanwo-Olu, Oyetola amongst others 

An initiative to equip and transform Nigeria into a continental economic powerhouse with functional transport infrastructure is scheduled to be held on Wednesday in Lagos.

Recognised as Global Transport Policy Annual Roundtable, the organisers have secured the assurances of the active participation of important decision-makers which includes the Lagos State Governor who will serve as the event Chief Host, when the Keynote address will be delivered by the Ministers of Transport, Aviation & Aerospace Development, in the presence of the Marine & Blue Economy, Industry; Trade & Investment as well as  Foreign Affairs amongst others.  

Global Transport Roundtable To Transform Nigeria To Continental Power House holds Wednesday 

“Our mission is clear: to amplify the conversation that with an excellent transport infrastructure blueprint, Nigeria shall indeed become a continental economic powerhouse, because transport infrastructure serves as the lifeblood of our interconnected world, facilitating the movement of people, goods, and ideas across climes and nations”, the  Chairman/ Chief Consultant, Global Transport Policy, Dr Oluwasegun Musa told newsmen in Ikeja.

Dr. Oluwasegun Musa who disclosed that the event would also create desired opportunity at the prestigious Marriot Hotel, Ikeja GRA to launch a bilingual magazine on 24th April 2024 by 10 am, stressed that With efficient transportation networks, and efficient trade innovation, social cohesion actually becomes guaranteed or attainable.

The theme was: Transport Infrastructure And Strategic Policy Intervention: Building Blocks For Economic Growth.

“It is a call to action across the spectrum of industry players. It is a critical round table that will converge the government, industry technocrats, relevant unions, royal fathers, the academia, diplomats, the press and every other player critical to the advancement of the industry through dialogue, and essential conversation to drive the industry forward.

“As you already know, trends and developments in recent times have shown the need for this urgent conversation to foster economic growth in the transport industry.

“With panel sessions of esteemed stakeholders and critical dialogues around topical issues that spotlight grey areas for strategic inputs for policy interventions, GTP Annual Roundtable is keen on unveiling the critical components of the transport industry as prime enablers for rapid growth.

Our call has been well received. 

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is expected to attend. The Lagos State Governor will serve as the Chief Host of the event. The keynote address will be delivered by the Ministers of Transport, Aviation &Aerospace Development, Marine & Blue Economy, Industry, Trade & Investment and Foreign Affairs amongst others.

“The Keynote presentation will be delivered by Dr. Alban Igwe, a seasoned global transport specialist who will be shaping the conversation around the theme for holistic engagement”, he further said.

He noted that the first Panel session would have critical agencies of government like Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Ports Authority (NRC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) engage in a roundtable discourse titled: TRANSPORT

When Infrastructure And Regional Integration: Assessing The Potential OF TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT FOR NATION INTEGRATION. International diplomats from embassies of France, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States will be delivering justice to the second panel session titled: INTERMODAL TRANSPORT IN THE 21ST CENTURY: TRENDS DEVELOPMENTS AND POLICIES IN DEVELOPED NATIONS.

The discourse would also be tackling possibilities for states to engender comprehensive transport growth for economic impact through strategic collaborations to reinforce national advancement.

It would also serve as an official launch of Global Transport Policy Magazine. It is a bilingual magazine produced quarterly with authoritative trend-spotting and compelling cross-cutting analysis, Global Transport Policy is aimed at helping local and international governments shape workable policies and perspectives for better outcomes. This compendium catalogues global trends, events, innovations, challenges and solutions for holistic analysis and stakeholder engagement with broad industry insight and cutting-edge research.

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China Pledges Support for FG’s Efforts At Harnessing Inland Waterways Transportation

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China Pledges Support for FG's Efforts At Harnessing Inland Waterways Transportation

…As Yuqing highlights why China adopted a near-perfect waterway transport system

The People’s Republic Of China has promised its assistance to the Nigerian Government in promoting inland waterway transit as a means of reducing port traffic around the country.

The revelation was made by Ms. Yan Yuqing, the Chinese Consul General, during the Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd.-organized Breakfast Meeting on Security and New Technologies for Inland Waterways Transportation in Lagos on Thursday.

According to Yuqing, Nigeria boasts several notable rivers with enormous potential for the development of inland waterway transportation, including the Niger, Osun, and Cross Rivers.

According to her, inland waterway transport is currently driven by several profitable areas of the Chinese economy, and China is willing to work with the current Nigerian government to clear the country’s ports.

She said that although there is a lot of interaction between manufacturing and waterway transportation, the productive sector’s usage of China’s inland waterways has resulted in a low level of atmospheric carbonisation.

She explained that the near-perfect waterway transport system was adopted by China, adding that the Chinese government had completed the construction of 16 new automatic container terminals, with more than 10 currently being constructed.

According to Yuging, China has built transportation connections with over 100 nations and areas worldwide.

According to her, China is now the world’s largest shipowner country in terms of gross tonnage, with its shipping companies owning a fleet of 249.2 million gross tonnes.

“Waterway freight accounts for China is about 17 per cent of the national freight volume, while its cargo turnover accounts for about 54 per cent of the total turnover in the transportation system.

“The new quality productive forces are an important driving force for the development of waterway transportation.

“The new quality productivity forces are innovation-led, oppose damage to the ecological environment, promoting the low-carbonisation of economic and social development, and the collaborative development of high-quality economic development and high-level protection of the environment.

“The new quality productive forces introduce digitalisation and intelligence into China’s inland waterway and maritime transport systems, and at the same time call for the protection of the oceans while exploiting their resources, to achieve sustainable development for all mankind.

“China has constructed 16 Automated Container Terminals, with more than 10 currently under construction, both ranking first in the world. At present, the mileage covered by the national ENC (Electronic Navigational Charts) is more than 5700 kilometres.

“China adheres to the sustainable use of fishery resources, continue the fishing moratorium arrangements and take resolute countermeasures against illegal fishing.

“China has also passed laws to protect the oceans. Last October, Chinese lawmakers voted to adopt a revised Marine Environment Protection Law which took effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

“The newly revised law highlights prioritising protection and tackling problems at their source, as well as coordinating activities on land and at sea to protect the ocean environment.

“The revised law underscores the protection of marine biodiversity, stresses strict control over pollution, and requires that measures be taken to prevent solid waste from entering the sea,” Yuging said.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, praised the organisers for emphasising the critical nexus between inland waterways’ security and emerging technology in his keynote address. discussing transport as a topic.

The National Inland Waterways Authority was established with the responsibility of overseeing Nigeria’s extensive inland waterway resources, according to Oyetola, who was represented by Mrs. Selly Ekanem, Deputy Director Cabotage of the Ministry.

According to him, NIWA was also founded to enhance and expand the nation’s inland waterways navigation system, but over time, it has faced a number of difficulties that have impeded its growth, including:

“Non-channelisation and dredging of navigable rivers, inadequate construction and rehabilitation of river ports, limited water transport infrastructures. (comfortable boats, jetties and buoys), low investment.

“Other challenges faced by NIWA include lack of strict implementation of regulations,

lack of coordination between national and sub-regional institutions as well as safety and security concerns along the navigable waterways.

“As you are aware, the Inland waterways transportation system is an essential element of integrated transport systems, being one of the oldest means of transporting goods and services from one point to another.

“Nevertheless, the least developed compared to air and road transportation, most especially in Nigeria.

“It is worthy to note that when the Inland waterways transportation system is properly developed, it will be characterised by high transport volume, low energy consumption, and low negative environmental impact,” Oyetola said.

He reassured Nigerians that inland waterways will be used safely, sustainably, and for growth and development, but that more work must be done to ensure sustainable growth.

Malam Muhammed Bello-Koko, the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), stated that the organisation was collaborating with marine police officers to ensure that all ports were secure, including enlisting the police to lessen criminal activity in the port area.

Bello-Koko announced that the Calabar-Warri ports now had a Marine Police section thanks to their administration. Bello-Koko was accompanied by Mr. Muhammad Khalil, General Manager of Ports Security, and other representatives.

*L-R General Manager, Ports Security, Mr Muhammed Khalil, a director in Niger Benue Transport Co Ltd.; Mrs Uche Chigbo, the Chief Executive Officer, Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd.; Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, The Consul General of China; Ms Yan Yuqing, the Assistant Manager, Environment and Port Services of NIWA, Hajia Aisha Eri and the Commissioner of Police (CP), Ishola Olanrewaju, during the Breakfast Meeting on Security and New Technologies for Inland Waterways Transportation, .organised by the Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd., in Lagos on Thursday.

He said they they had finished perimeter fencing of the Lagos ports, adding that the authority had started construction of electronic gates at One and Lagos ports to improve call-up system of truck entry into the port.

Bello-Koko said that the authority had encouraged the haulage of cargo through the rail and barges, which had helped in decongesting the port and reducing the time of doing business at the port.

The Managing Director, Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Alhaji Munirudeen Oyebanji, who was represented by the Assistant Manager, Environment and Port Services of NIWA, Hajia Aisha Eri, said there had been a reduction in boat mishaps across the country due to constant enlightenment of boat users.

Oyebanji said that they had 21 offices across the country and they engaged water transport passengers on the importance of safety monthly in ensuring that they follow the safety procedures in accordance with the international best practices.

“Doing our monitoring, we discovered that many passengers boarded without putting down their details of the manifest despite the enlightenment.

“Sometimes some captains proved strong head by not wearing life jackets although about 80 per cent of the local captains usually survive boat mishaps, but we sanction them when they operate without life jackets.

“Although water accidents can not be totally avoided but can be properly managed with a lot of awareness and constant enlightenment.

“NIWA is working towards ensuring that stakeholders in water transport get more finance from the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), to enable them to get standard equipment for the water transportation as well as barges for export produce into ports.

“Although some of the NIWA activities were neglected, the new administration is working round the clock in ensuring better usage of the inland services to reduce traffic on the road.

“Before 2025, we will start seeing huge development on inland operations because we are working hard in ensuring that the local community operators get funding,” Oyebanji said.

He said that NIWA had collaborated with the Nigerian Navy in ensuring no water transport activities in the night, adding that most of the boat mishaps usually occurred in the night.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Maritime Command, Mr Rhoda Olofu, who was represented by Commissioner of Police (CP), Ishola Olanrewaju, said they usually apprehend a lot of stole away and other related crimes within the port.

Olofu said the port crime was reducing due to the synergy among them and other security agencies such as the Nigerian Navy and other sister agencies, adding that their duties do not extend to the high sea.

The Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Co Ltd., Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, who was represented by Mrs Uche Chigbo, said in the past they enjoined exporting goods to Cameroon from Warri

Oluyede said that they worked with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Inland waterways to export agricultural produce to Cameroon, which they conveyed between 18 vessels from Warri to Cameroon peacefully.

She said that the government’s establishment of cargo haulage for export had made their operation too low.

Oluyede commended the government’s efforts in piracy attacks, adding that they faced a lot of bunkery and miscreant attacks when they diversified to the lifting of oil business.

The Convener of the Breakfast Meeting the Chief Executive Officer, Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd., Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, said they used the annual theme set down by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the World Maritime Day to set the agenda and discourse for the year.

The theme for World Maritime Day in 2024, according to Edodo-Emore, is “Navigating the Future, Safety First,” with a network of interior waterways spanning more than 10,000 kilometres across the nation.

The speaker expressed her belief that there exists potential for the advancement of inland waterway transport and highlighted the obvious returns on investment.

“Development of inland waterways transportation will remove the pressure of transporting bulk cargo by road, it will develop coastal communities by developing river ports and ultimately reverse the trend of urban migration.

“We acknowledge that Nigeria needs a safe and secure environment to drive investment in inland waterways transportation. Armed robbery at sea and in the inland waterways poses real security challenges in the creeks and coastal communities and, of course, drives investors away.

“Although we are still grappling with maritime security challenges of various dimensions in Nigeria, the world has since moved on with new technologies in the maritime space – such as the development of unmanned or autonomous ships.

” The Internet of things, drones and artificial intelligence to mention a few at this maritime Business Roundtable, we would like to explore how to stimulate investment in inland waterways transportation by tackling security and using new technologies to stimulate the development of the sector,” Edodo-Emore said.

She acknowledged that China had the largest inland waterways in the world, adding that the ports had to be efficient to deliver on their mandates all over the world.

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First Lady Inaugurates New Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel

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First Lady Inaugurates New Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel

The First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu has inaugurated the second 76-metre high Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessel, built by a Turkish shipbuilder, Dearsan Shipyard, for the Nigerian Navy.

Performing the ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, the First Lady said the administration of President Bola Tinubu was committed to a more secure and prosperous nation.

A statement on the ceremony was made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja by the first lady’s Spokesperson, Busola Kukoyi.

According to the statement, Mrs Tinubu performed the age-long tradition of slipping the vessel into the water– a formal custom that celebrates a vessel being transferred from land to water for the first time -.

She stressed that the vessels were a testament to the commitment of President Tinubu’s administration to a more secure maritime environment for economic development.

“The acquisition of the high endurance offshore patrol vessels is another feat in the Tinubu administration’s commitment to the Nigerian Navy’s fleet renewal efforts towards a more secured maritime environment for the nation’s economic prosperity.

“As we appreciate the processes that have brought us here today, I want to commend Dearsan Shipyard for its high-quality shipbuilding capability.

“I also want to commend the shipyard for attaining this milestone, leading to the launching of the second Offshore patrol vessel.

“Our gathering here today will undoubtedly strengthen the relationship between the Nigerian Navy and the shipyard as well as between Nigeria and the Turkish Government,” she said.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohammed Mattawalle expressed optimism that the vessels would enhance the nation’s maritime sector.

“I attest to the dedication and commitment of the Nigerian Navy, not only to secure our territorial waters but also to see to an improved blue economy.

“The impacts of the vessels on the Navy’s activities would be significant,” he said.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Oglala emphasised the commitment of President Tinubu to the welfare of men of the Nigerian Navy.

He said the President had resolved to provide all that is needed to enhance their job and that would ultimately result in reduced crimes in the maritime domain.

In their respective remarks, the Turkish  Deputy Minister of Defence, Suay Alpay and the Secretary of Defence, Haluk Gorgun said, there is room for more cooperation with Nigeria, not only in the area of security, but also economic development.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Navy in Nov. 2021 signed a contract with Dearsan Shipyard, Turkey for the construction of two units of 76m HE Offshore Patrol Vessels.

The Keel laying ceremony of the ships, which signifies the commencement of their construction took place in Sept. 2022.

Ogala launched the first of the new vessels, also in Turkey, in Oct. 2023

The vessels are to be used for maritime interdiction operations, surveillance, search and rescue operations, anti-piracy, and special forces operations as well as providing naval support to land forces.

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