The National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Lucky Amiwero, has called on the Federal Government to allocate the controversial terminal handling charges and seven percent port development levy to the cargo trading process.
It will be recalled that a ministerial committee set up by the former minister of transport to review port charges, recommended the total cancellation of terminal handling charges and port development levy, which were not provided in the port concession agreement.
“Terminal handling charges are duplicated as terminal delivery charges and the duplication of the collection by shipping/terminal operators is in contravention of the ministerial committee’s recommendation and global practice, which outlaw the collection.
“The collection should be substituted for the cargo tracking note being a component of freight, which is to track cargo down to the port of destination”, Amiwero said, adding that the illegal and duplicated charges should be allocated to the cargo tracking process, which has great benefit to the nation in terms of revenue, security and safety of cargo.
The present collection of seven percent port development levy at the ports, he said, is not in consonant with the port concession agreement that transferred port development activities to the terminal operators.
In a 10-page letter entitled “Global Perspective on Cargo Tracking and its Effect on Security and Safety of the Nation’s Economy,” which he addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federal (SGF), Amiwero provided a comprehensive analytical framework on the cargo tracking note (CTN) recently introduced to Nigeria.
He noted that one of the important recent international developments in the field of supply chain security was the adoption, under the auspices of World Customs Organisation WCO) of a new framework of standards to secure and facilitate global trade, which is referred to as WCOSAFE Framework.
Among the four areas the SAFE Framework focuses is the mandatory outbound inspection of high risk containers on which the concept of cargo tracking and screening of outbound cargo was built.
Prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States, Amiwero said, customs authorities were responsible for the clearance of imported goods at destination, but the attack precipitated a change in cargo inspection based on security.
The cargo security programme developed after the terrorist attack emphasised provision of a new protocol for tracking and screening of cargo from both the country of origin to destination, which was adopted globally due to security threats on the supply chain.
He noted that the instrument for the implementation of CTN in Nigeria is pre-shipment of import and export 10 and 11 of April 9, 1999, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act 17 of 2007 and the Nigerian Ports Authority Decree 38 of 1999.
Freight includes the tracking of containers by the shipping agency/terminal operator to destination before delivery to consignee. This is based on the provision of the United Nations convention on carriage of goods by sea (ratification and enforcement) Act 19 of 2005 which is liability of carrier from the port of loading to port of discharge by handling over to the consignee, he added.
Navy Rescues Crew From Burning Fishing Vessel
The Nigerian Navy Command says its gallant personnel rescued three Beninoise nationals from a burning fishing vessel that caught fire at the Lagos anchorage, recently.
Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, made this known in a statement.
The FOC said the crew members were rescued by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BINI after a distress call was sent out past midnight, on April 21.
According to him, on arrival at the scene, the fishing boat was completely engulfed by fire with one of the rescued crew members, Yoes Senovou, severely burnt in the incident.
He said the crew members who could not communicate in English were given first aid at the Naval Base where they were stabilized, while Senovou was taken to the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Ojo, for treatment.
“NNS BINI, while on routine patrol, responded to a distress call from a boat with call sign Sport Tail shortly after midnight on 21st April 2020 within the Lagos anchorage area.
“On arrival at the scene, a fishing boat was completely engulfed by fire. Three crew members, all Beninoise nationals, were rescued from the water and handed over to NNS Beecroft. They were given first aids at the Naval Base and stabilized.
“But one of the rescued crew members, Mr. Yoes Senovou, was badly burnt in the fire incident. He was promptly taken to the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Ojo, where he was treated.
“It was not immediately clear why they were fishing in Nigerian waters, if indeed they were truly fishing. Although none of the crew members could communicate in English, they gestured that they had machinery failure and drifted into Nigerian waters”, the FOC said in the statement.
Daji said efforts were ongoing to hand over the rescued persons to the Benin Republic Consulate in Lagos, if they are not implicated in any criminal activity.
Unpaid Allowances:Dock Workers Shut Operations At PTOL
Aggrieved members of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) on Wednesday shut down operational activities at Ports Terminal Operators Limited (PTOL) located at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Port Harcourt Complex, over unpaid allowances.
The angry protesters also demanded for the removal of the Acting General Manager of the company, Mr. Mac Pherson, due to his alleged insensitivity to the plights of casual workers.
The protest which started at 8.am saw the gate of PTOL besieged by angry dockworkers who carried placards with bold inscriptions: “Pay us our allowances and we want the AGM removed”.
The protest forced the firm to shut down operations as over 100 dockworkers stormed the company’s premises, chanting labour slogans.
Our correspondent, who monitored the protest reports that the aggrieved workers forced their way into the company’s premises and disrupted its operations.
The angry workers blocked the main gate of the firm and prevented movement of persons and vehicular activities to and from the company.
There was, however, huge presence of armed policemen to prevent any breakdown of law and order.
Although the protesting workers declined to speak to the press, they insisted on the payment of their allowances and the removal of the company’s acting general manager.
Attempts to also speak with the management of the firm proved abortive as none was handy to comment on the development.
Stories by Chinedu Wosu
‘Pirates Abduct 22 Seafarers, Attack 37 Vessels In Four Months’
A global maritime reporting centre, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), said a total of 22 seafarers were abducted by pirates and 37 vessels attacked in the first quarter of 2020.
The Bureau said it received reports of 47 attacks in the first three months of this year, with the Gulf of Guinea remaining the world’s piracy hotspot.
This is as IBM said, many incidents remain unreported even as seafarers were advised to remain vigilant at all times.
The Bureau’s 24-hour Piracy Reporting Centre disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide.
The centre said, it recorded 21 attacks in the Gulf of Guinea in the first three months of this year, explaining that 12 were on vessels underway at an average of 70 nautical miles off the coast.
Armed perpetrators are targeting all vessel types. They approach in speedboats, boarding ships in order to steal stores or cargo and abduct crew members to demand a ransom, IBM said.
The Bureau explained further that the 17 crew members were kidnapped in three incidents in the Gulf of Guinea waters, at distances of between 45 and 75 nautical miles from the coast; 10 vessels were fired upon worldwide for the whole of 2019, with four already reported being fired at within Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the first quarter of 2020.
This, according to IBM, includes a container ship underway around 130 nm southwest of Brass.
The report said another container ship was boarded by pirates in another incident around 102 nm northwest of Sao Tome Island.
Speaking on the report, IMB Director, Michael Howlett, said: “Navy patrols, onboard security measures, cooperation and transparent information exchange between authorities, are all factors which help address the crimes of piracy and armed robbery.
“The threat to crew is, however, still real – whether from violent gangs, or opportunistic armed thieves inadvertently coming face-to-face with the crew. Ships’ masters must continue to follow industry best practice diligently and maintain watches.
“Early detection of an approaching pirate skiff is often key to avoiding an attack.”
The piracy report shows zero hijackings in the last two quarters and no incidents around Somalia.
In Indonesia, five anchored vessels were reported boarded by pirates, and five ships boarded while underway in the Singapore Straits.
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