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Spain Approves New Port Reform Plan



  • As Höegh Autoliners Scraps MV Höegh Triton

The Spanish Council of Ministers approved on May 12 a new royal decree in another attempt to reform the port system in the country.

The decree will now require a majority approval in the Spanish Parliament, which is expected to be discussed on May 18.

Although the details of this decree have not been unveiled, the government has allegedly failed to include the participation of employers and workers in the drafting of the proposal, according to the International Dockworkers Council (IDC).

For this reason, Spanish union Coordinadora believes the decree poses a threat to Spanish dockworkers. As a consequence, the union has published a three-week strike advisory during the odd hours on May 24, 26, 29, 31 and June 2, 5, 7, 9.

“As in the case of the previous royal decree, IDC will continue to watch over new developments closely, and remains ready to escalate a collective response as needed,” IDC said.

In March, the Spanish Congress rejected the royal decree plan presented by the country’s Minister of Public Works.

The proposed measure, which is in line with the requirements of the European Union, was supposed to enable ports to hire non-unionized dockworkers instead of the unionized ones. This was expected to result in massive layoffs in the future.

The country’s unions postponed strikes several times, hoping that the government would engage in tripartite negotiations to solve the conflict.

Meanwhile, Norway’s car carrier owner and operator Höegh Autoliners has sold its 1988-built Pure Car and Truck Carrier MV Höegh Triton for recycling, the company said.

As informed, the vessel will be recycled at Jiang Men City Zhong Xin Shipbreaking & Steel Co. in China, under supervision by Grieg Green.

“This is the 17th car carrier we have sold for green recycling and we are pleased that Grieg Green will supply services to safeguard safe and environmentally friendly recycling of the vessel,” says Steinar Løvdal, Chief Operating Officer Deep Sea.

The ship is the second old-timer to be sold by the company since the beginning of the year. Namely, on January 24, the vessel City of Mumbai (built 1987) was also sold for recycling in China.

This is the second of two vessels that Sinor Lines, a joint venture between Höegh Autoliners and CSC RoRo, has run in their services in South East Asia and that was sold for green recycling. The first of two, Höegh Chennai was sold for demolition in December 2016.

The two vessels were also recycled at the Jiang Men City Zhong Xin Shipbreaking & Steel, under supervision by Grieg Green.

Höegh Autoliners has fifty car carriers in its fleet, based on the company’s website data.

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Customs, Army in Strategic Collaboration Against Smuggling



…Adeniyi, working to further tighten the noose against illicit traders!

The Comptroller General of Customs CGC, Adewale Adeniyi strengthened his strong-foundation laying mission last week, with a pivotal meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, affirming the Service’s sincere commitment to national security.

The Comptroller General in a meeting held Thursday, 30 November 2023, at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja, specifically lauded the collaborative efforts between the Nigeria Customs Service and the armed forces, stressing the critical role such partnerships play in national security.

Hawk-eye industry watchers say it is the CGC’s running effort to further tighten the noose against illicit traders.

“We stand stronger when we work together”, the CGC, Adewale Adeniyi stressed, acknowledging the global challenges, and reiterating the commitment of the Nigeria Customs Service towards collaboration, innovation, and consultations.

Expressing his strong belief in collaboration, innovation, and consultations, the CGC posits that unity strengthens the nation, and reflects deeply, on past collaborations with the Defense Headquarters, particularly the support the Service has received in the sphere of Capacity building, Joint operations, and Training exercises.

Additionally, the CGC expressed gratitude for the support provided by the armed forces in various operations, particularly in civil-military cooperation initiatives.

He was unambiguous of the Customs Service’s dedication to exploring innovative solutions to challenges, leveraging technology, and working closely with other government agencies.

He consequently proposed an intensified joint exercise between the Customs Service and the military; even as he suggested unannounced frequent operations, to demonstrate a show of force, capable of deterring criminals.

The CGC, Adeniyi emphasized the importance of shared experiences in training, facilitating a better understanding of operational contexts.

He underscored the significance of information sharing and the need for collaborative efforts to address porous borders and challenges posed by non-state actors.

CGC Adeniyi assured the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, of the Customs Service’s continued support, stressing the prioritization of clearing military consignments and participation in training programs.

He equally proposed ongoing cooperation, dialogue, and joint exercises to ensure a collective and effective response to evolving security threats.

In his address, General Musa expressed gratitude for the critical role played by the Nigeria Customs Service in the nation’s security landscape. 

He highlighted the indispensable nature of the Customs Service, stating that without their contribution, the country’s defense efforts would be severely compromised.

He commended CGC Adeniyi for his leadership and dedication since assuming office, acknowledging the challenges faced by the country, particularly in the global economic downturn.

He stressed the importance of interagency cooperation in tackling non-state actors and securing the nation.

Addressing the collaboration between the military and the Customs Service, General Musa recognized the significant support received, particularly in civil-military cooperation initiatives.

Furthermore, General Musa affirmed the need for enhanced collaboration, training, and information sharing between the Armed forces and Customs.

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Vendetta or Hanky Panky: Maritime Stakeholders Shocked By Severity of NIMASA’s N500M Penalty



…In addition to Suspension of Certifiers’ authority 

Concerned Maritime Stakeholders have expressed shock over the severity of a N500 million penalty slammed on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency following its submission of an alleged defective 2018 tax returns.

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria FRCN last Thursday slammed a N500m penalty on NIMASA, after it suspended the agency’s audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018.

As if it wasn’t done yet, the body, stressing its commitment to a stricter enforcement of standards, highlighted that the decision was taken in accordance with the FRC Act 2011 (as amended) and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria-Guidelines/Regulations for Inspection and Monitoring of Reporting Entities.

Undone, the council also suspended the FRC registration numbers of the certifiers of NIMASA’s 2018 audited financial statement, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (FRC/2017/CIANG/00000016699) and Chudi Offodile (unregistered), thereby making them incapable of certifying any financial statements in Nigeria.

“Did they cook the book”, an industry watcher, Bolutife Egbewole asked, stressing that that any penalty that runs into half a billion was suggestive of hanky panky.

“It’s like somebody is saying, ‘Let them protest and then we can drag them into the open’. But, whatever may be its reason, everyone knows this punishment is severe!”, he stated further.

Speaking in the same vein, another industry operator asked: Where is NIMASA going to find that kind of money? The agency has only two kinds of money: Government dedicated funds and the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF). 
“So, where do you expect the Director General to dip hands into?”, he asked, tasking the Director General to visit the FRCN and insist on dialogue.
He also wanted to know if the agency had,  in the past, infuriated the body in any way, to which the general masses might have reason to suspect vendetta.

But a freight forwarder who aired his view in Apapa advised the Director General not to pay.
“If he doesn’t pay, and he doesn’t act on the letter, what will happen? This is job matter. It is a civil issue. A bii naa criminal matter be this? Anyone can make mistakes and figures can become unintentionally lost… Would that call for this kind of penalty? Except it can be proven that somebody was deliberately playing hanky panky and needed to be deterred “, he concluded.

The body had tersely declared its position thus: 

 “The 2018 Audited Financial Statements of NIMASA are hereby withdrawn, and NIMASA is directed to restate its 2018 audited financial statements. NIMASA is required to publish, within seven working days from the date of this notice, in at least two national newspapers (full page), that their 2018 financial statements and returns have been withdrawn for non-compliance with Financial Reporting Standards.

“The FRC will immediately post this information on its website and inform other regulatory agencies that the defective financial statements and returns have been withdrawn for restatement.

“NIMASA is directed to begin the process of restating the 2018 audited financial statement in accordance with the FRC Act. This restatement will form the basis for the preparation and submission of audited financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

“NIMASA is required to file the restated financial statements for 2018, together with the management letters issued by their external auditors, with the Council within 60 days.”

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SIFAX: Ajayi Crowther University Honours Taiwo Afolabi With a Doctorate Degree



The Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State has honoured the SIFAX Group Chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, with an honorary doctorate in Business Administration.

The colorful event which was a cardinal part of the institution’s activities to mark its 15th  convocation ceremony was therefore attended by the Group Chairman and his wife; as well as the top SIFAX Group management team.

*Yinka Afolabi, Executive Director, SIFAX Marine; Tobi Afolabi, Executive Director, Operations, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group and his wife Afolashade Afolabi; Mariam Qudus, Executive Director, Compliance, SIFAX Group and her husband Qudus during the conferment of the honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration on Dr. Taiwo Afolabi by the university at its 15th convocation ceremony held on Thursday.

*Cross section of guests and SIFAX Group top management team during the conferment of the honorary doctorate in Business Administration on Dr. Taiwo Afolabi by the university at its 15th convocation ceremony 

*L-R: SIFAX Image maker, Muyiwa Akande, and Head, Off-Docks, Oliver Omajuwa at the ceremony.

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