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Maritime

Body Calls For Proper Ports Regulation

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President, National Association of Stevedoring Company, Mr Bolaji Sunmola, has called on the Federal Government to ensure proper regulation of ports’ operations in the country in order to address the ‘ambiguity’ hindering their smooth operations.

Sunmola who  made the call at a forum recently in Abuja, noted that there were a lot of loopholes in the operations of the nation’s ports and called for urgent measures by the Federal government to tackle the problems.

He said that with proper legislation, problems such as encroachment of ports’ operations by some terminal operators would be addressed.

“We need a proper government clear cut regulations to say that this particular kind of service is scheduled under this category so that there will not be any ambiguity in terms of who is doing what and who is not.’’

Sunmola, who described stevedore as master in cargo handling, attributed the problem between them and terminal operators on port concession undertaken by the Federal Government five years ago.

He suggested that in order to ensure proper management of port activities, cargo handling should be rested in the hands of stevedore, who he described as ‘’professional’’.

“Prior to port concessioning to the parent organisation, a decision by the federal government to regularise that part of industry, like the days of port decongestion which cannot be done without our input, for concessioning too we are not complaining.’’

“But then there are some loopholes which have not been completely locked by the government, this is what we are still yearning that government should do for us, there is nowhere in any country where the issue of cargo handling is left into the hands of foreigners.

‘’It has its own attendant risk problems that is why we are saying cargo handling has to be in the hands of the masters who are the stevedoring companies. By the Act that bring us into existence we are basically a complete indigenised operators.’’

Reacting to the crises between the company and jetty operators, Sunmola said that there were crises existing between the two organisations.

He said that Stevedoring were the eye of the government at every jetty, adding that they collaborate with the port operators and ensure their security.

According to him, only those appointed jetty operators that have skeleton in their cupboard will have a problem to grind with stevedoring services.

Our correspodent reports that Stevedoring is an umbrella organisation for stevedoring companies operating in Nigeria and are solely in charge of all stevedoring regulatory services.

Stevedoring companies also assist other arms of government to ensure smooth operations of the maritime sector.

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Maritime

NPA Frowns Against Extortion Of Truck Drivers

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened to sanction any staff that indulges in extortion of money from truck drivers at Apapa Port. 
The Acting Managing Director, NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, disclosed this shortly after a meeting with Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
Koko expressed optimism that the agency’s collaboration with the state government would bring an end to the perennial gridlock within and around the Apapa area.
The NPA boss emphasised the need to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws along the roads leading to Apapa and Tin Can ports, which are the two busiest ports in the country. 
He said NPA had been inundated with complaints of extortion from truckers, especially by security operatives, demanding money from drivers before accessing the ports.
 He described the practice as a major disincentive to the smooth implementation of the truck call-up system.
“One of the complaints of the truckers has to do with extortion by security operatives, the Army, the Police, the Nigerian Navy and even NPA security staff.
“This is one of the areas we require the intervention of government, because we have police officers deployed from the State Command who are allegedly involved in this. We at the NPA have resolved to take the right punitive measures against any of our staff involved in this.
“We have moved some of them out of port locations, and we will do further reviews. Whoever is found involved would be appropriately sanctioned”, he said. 
The NPA boss acknowledged that the Lagos State Government had been a close partner in terms of enforcement, but asked for more intervention to end the menace. 
“NPA has reached out to the Federal Ministry of Works, we have been speaking with the Director of Works in the State, and we have asked that they should provide some palliatives around Sunrise Bus-stop.
“We were made to understand that the contract for that section of the road has just been awarded, but because of the rains, work has been delayed”, he added.

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Maritime

MWUN Tasks NIMASA, NIWA On Boat Drivers’ Training

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The Maritime and Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to train and retrain boat drivers in the country to reduce incessant accidents on our waterways.
MWUN said training and retraining of boat drivers would enhance their capability and efficiency in the industry and save lives.
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers State Chapter, Comrade Jonah Jumbo disclosed this during a telephone interview with The Tide.
Comrade Jumbo also advised NIMASA and NIWA to sanction any boat driver involved in over-speeding, overloading and reckless driving to reduce boat mishaps.
The chairman who regretted that most boat drivers lacked the skills and technical know-how to navigate the waters, said their human errors often caused accidents.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that regular training for boat drivers would enrich their skills and enable them to read the tide while on transit.
He frowned at the increasing rate of boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways and urged all stakeholders to check the trend. 
The MWUN boss called on the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police to arrest and prosecute any driver indulging in alcohol and overloading of passengers while on transit, adding that the act caused over seventy percent of water accident.
He appealed to drivers to desist from acts capable of causing accident, noting that many families have lost their loved ones through reckless driving and unholy acts caused by human errors on the waterways.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Sokoto To Boost Water Transport With Motorised Boats

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The Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, says his administration will boost water transportation with motorised boats.
He also said his government would make life jackets available to all travellers and other water users to reduce boat mishap.
The governor stated this while commiserating with the people of Shagari Local Government Area that recently lost their loved ones in a boat mishap in the state. 
He regretted that the state had lost many lives to boat accidents and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and their families the fortitude to bear their loss.
Also speaking, Chairman, Shagari Local Government Council, Aliyu Dantine Shagari, said eight of the victims were married women while five were children and elderly men.
He attributed the cause of the boat mishap to overloading.
“But there are other causes of boat mishap including strong wind. We are still investigating the matter to know what actually led to the accident”, he said. 
The chairman advised boat drivers to desist from overloading and over speeding, noting that the community lost over six people in a similar accident last year.

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