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Weekend Ginger: Maritime Architecture: What if Amaechi’s ‘Comb them out’ option fails?!



SAA operations make me appear ineffective - Amaechi

Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi

…As if it has ever worked elsewhere!!***

Ravishingly handsome, agile, powerful and rich, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi is also gifted in oratorical skills! How come he stands so close to the truth, and fails to recognise it?

“Those that go into the water do not live in the water; those criminals live with us, and the military both in terms of intelligence and physical assets will go and comb them out…!” the Minister had told newsmen who listened to him with rapt attention at the Eko Hotel, Lagos venue of his special media briefing on Monday.

If Capt. Solomon Omoteso were alive, he would probably have given vivid examples of why Amaechi’s option would fail as solution.

Also read: Provide jobs, not only force, to tackle insecurity, Ex-Gov. Daniel tells FG

And as if specifically addressing the Minister, the Ogun State ex-Governor, Gbenga Daniel had come out to beg the Federal Government on Thursday: Provide jobs, not only force to curb youths’ restiveness!

Yet, even Daniel as a serving Governor failed to see the altruism of this simple fact: an idle hand, is devil’s messenger!

Eloquently, Hon. Minister Amaechi affirmed on how security equipment, platforms or gadgets would soon arrive the country. And those trained in the art of its good use would take it over, and ‘smoke out’ the trouble makers and Nigeria would have peace. If it was so simple, how come Nigeria has only successfully hovered between degrading or technically defeating the Boko Haram?!

If it was so simple, how come the caravans of Puerto Ricans and co were not frightened away from Mexican borders, in their intimidating march towards the US border?

And how come till today, refugees, in spite of the deathly presence of the Mediterranean Sea, never shy away from dashing from Libya into Europe in dinghies in dangerous trips!

Perhaps, we have no reasons to fear. Perhaps, the Minister’s option is right and everyone else is wrong!

But what happens if after Amaechi’s security apparatus is berthed and installed, and piracy is merely ‘technically’ reduced or degraded and not curbed?

Then, industry watchers may sadly watch another failure of the Minister’s second tenure!

A simple look at the Minister’s performance sheet of his first tenure as Minister of Transportation showed abysmal failure!

More companies operating in the Nigerian Maritime industry died, than were created. The hope that the Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund would serve as Life elixir woefully failed!

The Maritime industry in the real sense, benefited very little, under Rotimi Amaechi.

Piracy peaked in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, shamefully overtook Somalia Coasts, in terms of crimes and kidnaps on waters, with Nigeria becoming war leader on piracy index chart.

Also read:Anti-piracy law alone may not win the war against Piracy- Greg Ogbeifun

Trawler operators went to beds with both eyes opened; more down- stream shipowners folded up, handed over their vessels to banks over inability to offset loan facilities and a few even witnessed their health rapidly moved down hills, in quick depreciation!

We pray the Minister’s second tenure would successfully heal, refresh and like soothing balm, truly open new economic opportunities for operators. But let the truth be told, the first tenure was an abysmal failure!

When Amaechi assumed office as Transportation Minister, the State of Port Access roads were not so dangerous, pathetic and hopeless.

But like an acorn, it simply grew, festering like an open sore, fed by negligence, inaction and distractions, it turned into an oak of intimidation, hopelessness and deathly! The portholes are now dreaded manholes!

Under Amaechi’s watch, in spite of availability of experts and experts opinion, the Lagos ports are gradually, reluctantly advancing into the mother of all Congestion!

Ibadan High Chief, Adebayo Sarumi

*One of the ‘Minister’s wise men’

Under Amaechi, the only area the nation has recorded true progress, is in the area of genuine improvements at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron and Cadets training, particularly the sphere of sea-time provision. Amaechi appointed a body of ‘Wise-men’ which successfully turned the fortunes of Oron round. Why hasn’t the Minister deployed same measure on other unfolding challenges!

Engr. Greg Ogbeifun

*One of the ‘Minister’s wise men’

The success on the railways would forever remain arguable! Amaechi cannot claim to have started the Kaduna- Abuja rail; he inherited it. Thank God he sincerely nurtured it to fruition. But, has similar success been recorded elsewhere?

First came a pledge that the Lagos Ibadan rail would become operational last year February, before Elections. The pledge failed and another date of ‘before the end of year’ came up!

Then, Nigerians were told it would be February 2020, it failed; and April was muted. Now, everyone is thinking of May 2020! But industry watchers who have made independent visit to the rails, believe even that date is most likely unrealistic!

A revered lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Mr. Adebayo once taught us something on ‘disjointed Pragmatism’, in Administration as a system which allows you to adopt and utilize anything that helps you add to your progress.

Sadly, even  disjointed pragmatism, has failed in Apapa. We have tried to use barge for evacuation, only to come up with a more ridiculous, yet dangerous result. Most strategically placed houses are now turning into either Truck terminals or illegal jetties or holden bays, with attendant consequences!

Containers are getting over stacked, more are being offloaded, in spaces that are rapidly shrinking! Worse still, vessels turnaround time are increasing! This was not the case before Amaechi assumed office Sir!

An industry watcher who spoke on conditions of anonymity said each time he wanted to imagine what the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan, he simply visited Apapa!

Sadly sometimes, one has the frightening impression that the Taliban may be doing it better than what obtains here!

The success of Amaechi is everyone’s success! Let us pray for him, especially as we embark with tottering steps, on a second tenure expedition amidst fear that, if we are not careful, this again may be more lacklustre!

Finally, let us ask the Minister when will the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) begin it’s orchestrated 25year Development Plan!

Some believe they have begun it, some think otherwise. Yet, even those who think they have, cannot categorically say when the 25 year- plan would mature!

Nigerians once thought the year 2020 would never come, so, they designated it: House for All; Food for All; Shelter for All, etc

Alas! When the 2020 finally arrived, it found everyone, like children of Israel, trekking!

Also read: NEMA receives 161 Nigerians from Libya

“Problem of insecurity is a problem of hunger, education and poverty!” So, anyone who must tackle it, particularly on water, must start with employment, food and ‘hope’ on land; not security infrastructure euphemistically called ‘Maritime architecture’!

For though, if it works the Minister may bask in fleeting glory; while if it fails, Nigerians may suffer unimaginable hardships!

Let’s keep praying for Nigeria…

May the President live forever!!


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CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola



CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola

…Pledged collaboration to ensure the transportation sector is professionally driven

The Executives of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) paid a visit to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dayo Mobereola (right), receiving a plaque from the President of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), Mr Segun Obayendo, during the NIMASA DG’s conferment as a Fellow of CIoTA at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

The executives, led by the President, Mr Segun Obayendo, congratulated the DG on his appointment and pledged to collaborate with the agency in ensuring the transportation sector is professionally driven.

The DG welcomed the association and expressed the Agency’s readiness to partner with CIoTA towards achieving a robust transport sector.

The President of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), Mr. Segun Obayendo; the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola; the Executive Director of Operations, NIMASA, Engr. Fatai Adeyemi; and the Executive Director of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Jibril Abba, during the NIMASA DG’s conferment as a Fellow of CIoTA at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the NIMASA DG, was conferred with a fellowship at the institute.

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NPA: Tinubu Sacks Bello-Koko, Appoints Dantsoho New MD; Sen. Adeyeye Chairman



NPA: Tinubu Sacks Bello-Koko, Appoints Dantsoho New MD; Sen. Adeyeye Chairman

President Bola Tinubu has kicked out the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA Managing Director, Muhammed Bello-Koko and replaced him with Dr Abubakar Dantsoho. He also approved the appointment of Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye as Chairman of the NPA Board.

A statement by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the new Managing Director is a core professional and holds a PhD, in Maritime Technology.

“Dr Dantsoho holds a Doctorate in Maritime Technology from Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, and a Master’s degree in International Transport from Cardiff University of Wales, United Kingdom.

Dr Abubakar-Dantsoho

“Before his appointment, he had served in various roles in the Nigerian Ports Authority as Assistant General Manager; Technical Assistant to the Managing Director; Port Manager, Onne Port; and Principal Manager, Tariff & Billing”, Ngelale stated, adding:

“Senator Adeyeye, the Board Chairman, is a seasoned lawyer, journalist, and politician,” the statement further said.

Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye

Adeyeye is a former Minister of State for Works and a former Ekiti South Senatorial District senator.

“The President expects the new leadership of this pivotal agency to deploy excellence in the discharge of their duties to enable efficient port services and improved industry outcomes,” Ajuri Ngelale indicated further.

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Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion



Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has expressed concern over the lack of understanding among some freight forwarders regarding the role of the Enforcement Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Tin Can Port.

In a statement released by NAGAFF Headquarters, the association emphasized that the Enforcement Unit serves as gatekeeper and an intervention force, mandated to police the ports and border stations, acting on intelligence information from the Customs Intelligence Unit, Interpol, and informants.

NAGAFF clarified that the Customs Intelligence Unit operates effectively, bursting revenue crimes in customs ports, and encouraged freight forwarders to report any corruption or observations to the appropriate authorities.

Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

The association advised freight forwarders to maintain professional standards, ensuring genuine declaration of imports and exports for customs purposes, as non-disclosure is an offence against customs laws, leading to seizure and prosecution.

NAGAFF assured high response rates from its High Command to protect genuine declarations and compliance, emphasizing that the Comptroller General of Customs and his management team will not tolerate any corrupt acts.

The statement was signed by Dr Clement Iwegbuna, NPS, NAGAFF Hqtrs, and forwarded to the Comptroller General of Customs, DCG Enforcement, and DCG T&T Hqtrs for their information and records.

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