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SOAN Thumbs-Up NIMASA, Amaechi; as Engr. Ogbeifun notes positive paradigm shift to Uplift Industry

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Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) President, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun at the weekend thumbs-up, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) leadership and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, saying he had noticed a paradigm ship and renewed determination in both, towards uplifting the shipping industry.

The SOAN Arrowhead stated this last week in Lagos, in an exclusive chat, stressing that until very recently, the agency’s leadership was seemingly, truly distracted.

“I am going to be a little bit specific. Until recently we had a leadership in the agency that wasn’t quite sure of their long term intention; whether to stay in NIMASA and drive it; or to go to other areas of interest maybe in government.  But thankfully, from what we see in recent times, the leadership seem to be focusing seriously on addressing the issues in NIMASA.

 

DG Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside

He lauded that Dakuku Peterside led agency for rising through the ashes of IMO November election, to refocus and address the challenges of the Nigeria Maritime Industry sequel to SOAN’s wake- up call, after the country failed to fly at the International Maritime Organization’s Council’s election.

“The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) took a bold step to bring to the fore, some reasons why the country failed to be elected into the council of the IMO last November and I am personally glad to say that after that incident we see a positive shift, towards addressing some of the issues raised. I think the leadership of NIMASA took the criticisms in good strides and decided to address some of those issues seriously. Committees were set up, I was very excited with the committee set up, with seasoned industry players as members and leaders of that committee to address the issue of national Flag register.

“The leadership of NIMASA took the criticism in good shape and decided to address some of those issues “, particularly with seasoned maritime operators.

He praised the agency for the recent serious attempts to overcome the challenges of Nigerian Cadets, particularly on the issue of seatime training adding that he was also aware that the agency is also looking towards expanding same opportunity by ships in Nigeria.

He urged the Minister of Transportation and the NIMASA leadership not to relax their determination to curb piracy on Nigerian waters, adding that while their vision took them to establish convincing talk- shop outside the shores of Nigeria, the global community is now waiting for the outcome of the talks, as a proof of Nigeria’s seriousness towards curbing piracy.

He also revealed a new seriousness on the part of Rotimi Amaechi to disburse the CVFF on the overall interest of the maritime industry development, stressing that from what he could see, the Minister’s renewed determination and body language should also be encouraged and supported by the industry stakeholders.

“Until recently we had a leadership in the agency that wasn’t quite sure of their long term intention; whether to stay in NIMASA and drive it; or to go to other areas of interest maybe in government.  But thankfully, from what we see in recent times, the leadership seem to be focusing seriously on addressing the issues in NIMASA.

“The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) took a bold step to bring to the fore, some reasons why the country failed to be elected into the council of the IMO last November and I am personally glad to say that after that incident we see a positive shift, towards addressing some of the issues raised. I think the leadership of NIMASA took the criticisms in good strides and decided to address some of those issues seriously. Committees were set up, I was very excited with the committee set up, with seasoned industry players as members and leaders of that committee to address the issue of national Flag register.

“We are still hoping that the committee is working and the expected outcome of their work which will culminate, in at least, having one global trading vessel, flagged in their register, which would signal the success of their work!

Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi

“At times, I have been bogged down by the administration’s stance to take seriously, the issue of cadetship placement on board vessels; and yes, some cadets are said to have been sent to various countries to get sea time; but we also believe that there is a large fleet of vessels in the country that can provide sea time opportunity for cadets, I believe that the administration is looking inwards as well.

“But more importantly, in sending these cadets to wherever, they must be tracked, to a point where they are fully qualified to become officers that you can point to, and say, we have 15, 20 or these numbers of officers, trained, certified, qualified and ready to go on board to serve as officers.

“So, I’m encouraging the agency not to stop at placement of cadets but we must follow through. That is why the Ship Owners Association came up with a very comprehensive and robust presentation that will take the cadets from zero, up to the point of becoming officers, on Nigerian ships. Don’t forget that Nigerian Ship Owners are doing it for themselves, and are willing to provide more spaces for more, to be trained, and we believe the Maritime agency is looking at that now.

“There may be some policy obstacles, but if proper engagement is undertaken,  the relevant government agencies can be made to see the benefit of removing those obstacles, so that we can create opportunities that will help the nation’s maritime sector.

“There are quite a few other initiatives, I still believe. A few months ago the Hon. Minister with the DG of NIMASA also organised some international sections in Europe to inform the world of the efforts being made to address the issues of insecurity in our waters. Those sections, out in Europe were very nice talk sections. But the world is waiting to see the talks translate to practical results on ground, because we are still getting cases of piracy, hostage taking, kidnapping and such things in our waters.

“They (Minister and Dakuku) should be encouraged to take it further, through whatever platforms they are trying to put in place, to curtail piracy, working with other security agencies and this is important.

“If you look at how our domain is in indicated, In terms of international piracy, it is not very encouraging; there are works to be done.

“If you are talking in terms of Nigerian Ship Owner and their sustainability, I think in recent time, there has been a paradigm shift at the ministerial level which is encouraging NIMASA to take the issue of Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) disbursement seriously.

“I was privilege to be in the meeting where the Hon. Minister actually directed NIMASA and other relevant stakeholders to come up with a reviewed guideline for the disbursement of the CVFF for his consideration because the Act stipulates that the Hon. Minster is responsible for coming up, working with the maritime agencies, with the guidelines for the disbursement of the CVFF.

“The review of the guideline is critical because the existing guideline today is not implementable. In that guideline there was the provision of the primary lending institutions, which were to make contributions to funding of any application and were also, to provide guarantees as well as carry out the risk assessment of applications.

“At that time, the CVFF was domiciled in commercial banks; they were the custodians of the funds and could guarantee and play the role they were assigned. But today the funds have been moved to TSA of government; and there needs to be a review of that aspect to ensure that the role is harmonized. The roles they were playing can still be played today by either the commercial banks or government banks or whatever commercial entity. That is one of the reviews that needs to be done, including other aspects of the guidelines which must be carried out!” the nation’s foremost shipping mogul stated further.

 

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MWUN: Bello-Koko Is An Extra Ordinary Administrator Of Note Says Adeyanju

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MWUN: Bello-Koko Is An Extra Ordinary Administrator Of Note Says Adeyanju

… As he congratulates NPA Boss Bello-Koko, and SIFAX Boss, Dr. Afolabi 

The President-General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade (Dr.) Adewale Adeyanju has described the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Alhaji Bello Koko as an extraordinary administrator of note, who is truly deeply rooted, in port administration.

A Prince of Ibadan, Adewale Adeyanju made the observation, while congratulating Alhaji Bello Koko, who was recently honoured with double plaques, one for recognizing him as the “Public Servant of the Year 2023”; and as head of the “Outstanding Government Agency of the year 2023” respectively.

Dr. Adewale said that the Managing Director of NPA is not a mean administrator, having been so bestowed upon with these laudable awards by the Management of Champion Newspapers Limited.

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN)

“Alhaji Koko is deeply rooted in the Maritime sector, an extraordinary administrator of note; hence, his Germaine expertise has brought so many reforms of development to the Maritime sector”, the Ibadan Prince stated.

Comrade Adeyanju, who is also the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in concert with his executives believe that Koko still has a lot to offer in the industry, and his double awards are no flukes but a charge for more development in the Maritime sector.

In a similar vein, Prince Adeyanju also congratulated  Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi (M.O.N) for his appointment as the first Chancellor of Gerar University of Medical Sciences, Ogun State recently.

Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi (M.O.N)

Adeyanju and his entire Executives of the Maritime Workers Union salute the CEO/Founder of the SIFAX Group over his pragmatic conduct on work excellence, commitment to nation-building and a wonderful employer of labour in the Maritime Sector, whose better management of workers cannot be overemphasized.

Comrade Adeyanju says that Afolabi’s appointment as the pioneer Chancellor of the Gerar University of Medical Sciences is a result of his love for academic excellence, research and development for the growth of quality education in the country. It’s therefore not surprising that the Maritime Industry Guru was so appointed.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria fervently pray that both the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority ( NPA ), Bello Koko and the CEO of SIFAX,  Dr. Afolabi find favour and mercy in the eyes of the Almighty God to accomplish much more in their various designations as so honoured.

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Customs, VIO Confrontation: CGC Condemns officers’ misbehaviour, Opens Comprehensive investigation

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Customs, VIO Confrontation: CGC Condemns officers' misbehaviour, Opens Comprehensive investigation

…Says officers’ behaviour undermines CGC’s key policy thrusts of fostering collaboration with sister security agencies 

Customs Officers shown in a viral video in a physical confrontation with Vehicles Inspection Officers VIO are now in hot soup, as the Abuja High Command, has dissociated the Service from their unwholesome behaviour and began a comprehensive investigation on the development.

The National Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada who confirmed this on Tuesday, also stressed that the incident contradicts the values and operational standards of the NCS, aside from undermining key policy thrusts of the Comptroller-General of Customs, which is to foster collaboration with sister security agencies and other stakeholders.

“Furthermore, the NCS unequivocally dissociate itself from the actions of these officers…”

“The NCS acknowledges that the event occurred on Friday, 24 May 2024, at AYA Roundabout, Abuja VIO Office. The officers involved in this regrettable incident are NCS personnel attached to the Customs Mechanical Unit in Karu Barracks, Abuja”, Maiwada stated, expressing deep concern.

“The Service wishes to express its deepest concern and empathy for those affected by this regrettable incident. 

Customs, VIO Confrontation: CGC Condemns officers' misbehaviour, Opens Comprehensive investigation

“Furthermore, the NCS unequivocally dissociate itself from the actions of these officers. Their condemned behaviour, which appears to be self-motivated, is under thorough investigation, and appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken to forestall future occurrences.

“Such behaviour undermines one of the key policy thrusts of the Comptroller-General of Customs, which is to foster collaboration with sister security agencies…”

“It is essential to state that this incident contradicts the values and operational standards of the NCS. 

“Such behaviour undermines one of the key policy thrusts of the Comptroller-General of Customs, which is to foster collaboration with sister security agencies and other stakeholders to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians and their properties. 

“The NCS, under the leadership of CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his Management Team, strongly condemns such conduct and does not tolerate any actions that jeopardise the commitment to professionalism and inter-agency cooperation”, the national spokesman said, stressing that the Customs Service remains steadfast in its mission to generate revenue, facilitate trade, and suppress smuggling to support a more robust and secure economy for all Nigerians, and would not tolerate any contradictory or unwholesome behaviour.

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Seme Customs Generates N2.6bn Revenue; Facilitates Export Of 143,468Mt Cargo

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… Comptroller Bomodi says command recorded 474 interceptions of various contraband items

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has achieved a significant milestone in revenue generation and export facilitation at the Seme/Krake border from January to May 2024. 

According to the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Timi Bomodi, the command generated revenue of N2,634,190,645, surpassing the same period in 2023 by 272%.

The Command also facilitated the export of 143,468 metric tons of produce, with a Free Board (FOB) value of N35,199,971,097, equivalent to $38,461,397.39.

 Additionally, the command recorded 474 interceptions of various contraband items, including premium motor spirit, rice, used vehicles, codeine, cannabis sativa, wild animals, and general merchandise.

The seized items had a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N840,003,646, and 18 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.

 The command has also set up a complaint desk to address issues concerning the molestation of females on this corridor, and has warned that stringent action will be taken against any officer found guilty of such acts.

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