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NPA Set To Deploy New Equipment To Ports

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it will soon deploy new operational equipment to the various ports in the country as part of measures to enhance their operational capacities.

The Manager of Port Harcourt Port, Mr Dele Alabi, who disclosed this in an interview with The Tide correspondent on Tuesday in Port Harcourt urged port users, especially shipping companies, to bear with the authority as the new equipment, when fully deployed, would enhance the ports’ operations.

“Already, the management of the authority has made arrangement to procure some of these crafts as we speak, I am aware, those crafts are just waiting for deployments, so, I am also waiting to be briefed, fully briefed.

“I intend to look at the report to find out what the situation of things are,’’ Mr Alabi said.

He assured that the authority would come up with answers to the issues raised by the shipping trade group soon.

Chairman of the shipping trade group in Rivers, Mr Miebaka Lugard, said shipping firms had been encountering problems at the Port Harcourt Port.

He said the firms paid for pilot boats and tug boats, but noted that such services had yet to be provided by the authority.

“For some time now, we have not been enjoying these facilities any longer.

“Facilities like tug boats that attend to ships when they are berthing or when they are sailing. We also have pilot boats that convey pilots from Port Harcourt to their places of operations either at Bonny or at Okrika or at Onne.

“And, we also have facilities like pilot cutters that always bring in vessels from the sea to Bonny anchorage for inward movement to the Port or outward movement outside the Port.

“To buttress our case, in every bill we pay, all these facilities are paid for in advance,’’ he said

Lugard said the trade group had forwarded its complaints to the NPA management on such issues.  Severally but to no avail, and called on the authorities to expedite action.

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Maritime

PTOL Wants  NPA To Repair Port Access Roads

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The Ports Terminal Operators of Nigeria Limited (PTOL) has called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Rivers Port Complex, to repair access roads leading to the port to enhance easy flow of traffics.
The operators said the bad condition of the roads had negative impacts on its operations and internally generated revenues.
Company Secretary, PTOL, Chroma Okwuanyi, stated this during a facility  tour of the terminal by the House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation led by Hon. Victor Kolade Akinjo with officials of Rivers Port Complex, Port Harcourt.
Okwuanyi said that due to bad access roads, heavy trucks cannot access the terminals and the complex.
He appealed to the House Committee and the Management of NPA, Rivers Port Complex, to reconstruct the access roads to enhance its operations and safety.
Okwuanyi lamented that truck drivers accessing the terminals find it difficult to do business in the complex due to bad access roads. 
“Many investors and truck owners doing business in the Port had relocated to other ports due to the bad roads as it hugely affects the trucks”.
“We are appealing to the House Committee and NPA management to assist the operators reconstruct the access roads to standard so as to enable us carry out our operations”, he said. 
He also appealed to NPA management to  provide modern navigational aids to enable the operators carry out their operations effectively.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Nigeria Partners Denmark On Fight Against Piracy In GOG

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The Federal Government has expressed its willingness and readiness to collaborate with the Danish government to fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Foreign Minister of Denmark, Jeppe Kofod, made this known at the ongoing 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States. 
Onyeama said the renewed effort by both governments took place during a bilateral meeting between him and   Minister of Denmark.
He said apart from the Gulf of Guinea, Denmark has been very supportive in the area of humanitarian assistance in the North-East regarding the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Foreign Affairs Minister described the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Denmark as a win-win situation, even as he said Nigeria was looking for more investment into the country.
He said that Nigeria is trying to diversify and attract more investment. 
Collaborating on the renewed efforts, Kofod said Denmark was strengthening its cooperation with all of the countries around the Gulf of Guinea and deploying resources to the Gulf of Guinea to fight piracy.
Kofod also said Denmark wanted to cooperate with all the countries around the Gulf of Guinea to fight the root cause of piracy.
He said Denmark was occupied with safe travel for its seafarers and its ships.
“As a maritime nation like Nigeria, we are very occupied with safe travel at sea for our seafarers, for our ships. So, that is why we are investing heavily in this”, he said.

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Maritime

NCS To Deploy Drones At Borders To Check Smuggling

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says it will soon deploy drones at the Seme border to check smuggling activities.
Coordinator of Customs, Zone A, Lagos, Assistant Comptroller I, General Modupe Aremu, disclosed this during a visit to the Seme Area command.
Aremu said border management surveillance would be done electronically through the use of drones to ensure that there is aerial overview of the border.
“Seme command visit is the end of my tour in zone A, and I must commend all the commands. They account for over 80 percent revenue collection by the NCS and so they should keep up the good work.
“With the tour of all commands, I have seen that all the officers are doing well but they can do better. And I am telling them that they should expect impromptu visits from the zonal coordinator. So, they should not relax on the job.
“E-customs N300 billion contract, that is, end-to-end automation that is about to kick-off, is about information and communication technology connectivity. When it comes on board, we are going to have electronic signature, drones patrolling the border”, Aremu said.
She said the service was trying to minimise person-to-person contact to reduce human interaction and make the work faster and more efficient.
Aremu urged officers to keep abreast of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol in order to understand procedures.
On enforcement activities, she urged the command to keep up the work done as the country needs the service to properly secure its borders.
Aremu expressed hope that the scanner at the border would start functioning to help simplify processes as much as possible.
She also urged the command to ensure proper compilation of case files and prosecution of arrested suspects to show the seriousness of the service in fighting smuggling.
Also speaking, Customs Area Controller, Seme Area Command, Bello Jibo, said enforcement activities were not affected by the border closure as the command intercepted 1,244 suspected smuggled goods with duty paid value of over N856 million.
“The command has a very good understanding with the host community and in cementing this relationship. The command built and handed over a modern toilet facility to the Badagry West Development Area and partnered with an NGO to equip the Badagry United Football Club.
“The challenges faced has to do with ICT interconnectivity at the joint border patrol, signing of bilateral agreement, connection of the barracks to the national grid, and inadequate junior staff,” he said.

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