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Jonathan Seeks Professionalisation Of Freight Forwarding

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President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said there was an urgent need to professionalise freight forwarding to reduce congestion at the nation’s ports.

Jonathan said this at the opening of the Nigerian Maritime Expo (NIMAREX 2013), with the theme “Nigeria Maritime: Invest Now.’’

The President, who was represented by the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, said that government was concerned about the congestion at the ports.

Jonathan said that the congestion was impacting negatively on the clearing and movement of cargoes.

“To this end, a stakeholders’ meeting was organised and it was observed that the freight forwarders need to professionalise their practice in accordance with the CRFFN Act 2007,’’ he said.

The president said that the maritime industry played a significant role in the global economy with over 90 per cent of world trade carried by sea.

According to him, Nigeria generates about 70 per cent of the ship traffic, cargo throughput and volume of trade in West and Central Africa sub-region.

Jonathan said that Nigeria’s volume of trade had steadily risen from 82 million tonnes of cargo in 2008 to 93.7 million tonnes in 2009 and 100 million tonnes in 2012.

He said 1.4 million containers were used in moving cargoes in 2012.

“The maritime industry is therefore, growing and will no doubt position Nigeria in no distant future as the maritime hub for Africa,’’ he said.

He commended the organisers of the exhibition for providing a forum for the display of various maritime products, new technologies and expertise.

“I hope that the holistic business experience that NIMAREX will offer through a combination of conferences and exhibition will avail investors the desired opportunities to explore the industry,’’ Jonathan said.

The Chairman of NIMAREX 2013 Planning Committee, Mrs Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, said that the exhibition was an annual event to showcase the nation’s enormous maritime endowments to the world.

According to her, the Nigerian maritime industry is like a virgin land full of untapped natural resources.

Onyema-Orakwusi said the industry had the potential and opportunities to achieve rapid and sustainable development.

“This sector is endowed with vast natural resources such as extensive coastline, aquatic animals and oil and gas deposits.

“Nigeria as a country generates about 70 per cent of the ship traffic, cargo throughput and value of trade in West and Central African sub-region.

“All these natural and economic factors combined to create huge investment potential and opportunities in the maritime sector,’’ The Tide source quotes her as saying.

Onyema-Orakwusi urged the Federal Government to urgently intervene in security of the nation’s maritime domain and reduce the cost of doing business at the ports.

“It is our view that if these challenges are addressed, it will create a more congenial atmosphere for investments to thrive,’’ she said.

In his address, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, Chairman, Indigenous Ship owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), noted that there were enormous untapped potential in the Nigerian maritime sector.

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Crude Hits Seven-Year High On Recovery Hope … Equity Rally Runs Out

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Crude oil hit a more than seven-year high yesterday on optimism that the global recovery will ramp up demand.
However, concerns about the end of long-running central bank support and rising Treasury yields saw most equity markets reverse early gains.
After an almost uninterrupted rally from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, world markets are showing signs of levelling out as global finance chiefs shift from economy-boosting largesse to measures aimed at reining in inflation.
Still, there is an expectation that equities will enjoy further gains this year as countries reopen and people grow more confident about travel, especially as studies suggest the more prevalent Omicron coronavirus variant appears to be milder and as vaccines are rolled out.
Analysts are also watching the corporate earnings season that is underway, with hopes that firms can match their stellar performances last year.
But while Asian markets started the day brightly after Monday’s travails, traders returned to selling, with US Treasury yields surging on expectations the Federal Reserve will have to unveil several interest rate hikes to tackle a worrying spike in inflation. Wall Street was closed Monday.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta all fell.
There were gains in Shanghai in hopes of fresh economy-boosting measures, while Wellington and Manila also edged up.
London, Paris and Frankfurt all fell at the open.
But oil built on its early promise, with Brent climbing to $88.13 a barrel and WTI hitting $85.74, both levels not seen since October 2014.
The gains came thanks to demand optimism as the world reopens and concerns about Omicron ease. The loosening of travel restrictions in several countries has seen jet fuel costs soar.
Hopes for more monetary easing by major consumer, China, to reinforce its stuttering economy were also seen as key support for the oil market.

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NPA, MWUN, Others Synergise On Labour

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President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has reaffirmed commitment to ensuring smooth working relationship with  management, Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC) of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on labour related issues.
Adeyanju, who made the commitment during a working visit to the Port Manager, TCIPC, Mr. Buba Jubril, in Lagos, noted that the union will continue to promote industrial peace and harmony in the  operational activities at seaports.
Noting that synergy among all the maritime stakeholders was key for port efficiency, he hinted that the union has changed the narrative from being tagged as hooligans to a more responsible and civil Institution in the maritime industry.
Earlier, the Port Manager, TCIPC, Buba Jubril, thanked the  PG of MWUN for the systematic approach on labour related issues at the port level
Disclosing that the PG has been instrumental to the existing peace in port operations, Jubril assured on the existing synergy the port authority and all the unions.
Jubril further said that “ Myself and the President General MWUN has come a long in the industry.
“I have known him (PG) for over 33years and that will tell you that he is my friend and friend to management of the Nigeria port authority”, he said.

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Osinbajo Wants More Stakeholders’ Involvement In Blue Economy … Inaugurates Committee

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has sought for wider participation of relevant stakeholders in the blue economy project to deepen participation and benefits of Nigerians from the country’s marine resources.
Making the call at the  inaugural meeting of an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa yesterday, the Vice President said “a viable blue economy project will offer vista of opportunities not only for littoral states where there are bodies of waters, but for the entire country”.
He identified areas to be exploited to include ports, terminals, fishing, training, environment, tourism, power,oil and gas.
While identifying possible challenges of sustainability, the VP urged all the ministries, departments and agencies to strengthen their collaborations in an atmosphere of inter ministerial working groups and advised all members to attend the meetings faithfully for maximum results.
Osinbajo , who formally inaugurated the expanded committee, identified the need for a legal framework that will be more robust than other international maritime conventions on blue economy, which Nigeria has been signatory to.
He said the scope and participation of the committee will be further improved upon to accommodate more members from government agencies and relevant private sector stakeholders
“There is no doubt that the blue economy is a new frontier for economic development and a means of diversifying the economy through the use of resources from oceans, seas, rivers and lakes for the well being of the people.
“It also provides positive contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) 2052 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2052AIM) and the UN 2030 agenda
“This concept for economic diversification is promoted by the international community and provides friendly means of livelihood in line with this administration’s agenda on job creation’, he said.
He continued that “the ocean economy as an emerging economic frontier applies to ocean-based industry activities and the assets, goods and services of marine ecosystems.
“Countries have to define the scope of their blue economy based on their priorities. For example, in Bangladesh, the ocean economy consists of the following broad and growing economic sectors; living resources, minerals, energy, transport, trade, tourism and recreation, carbon sequestration and coastal protection.
“These industries and ecosystem services do not develop in isolation, but rather interact as an economic ecosystem”, the VP said.
Earlier in his remark,Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi said the blue economy is capable of improving government revenue, create employments and grow the gross domestic product of Nigeria.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, also expressed optimism in the benefits derivable from a well exploited marine environment
Speaking at the event,  Dr. Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) lauded the initiative of the expansion while recommending inclusion of financial institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as key financial institutions that will contribute meaningfully to realizing Nigeria’s Blue Economy objective.
In addition to  maritime agencies such as the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and Maritime Academy of Nigeria, the expanded committee also include ten state governors.
They the Governors of Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River, Bayelsa and Edo States.
Other members are Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Power, Finance, Environment, Trade and Investment, Agriculture and Water Resources , Chief of Naval Staff, Comptroller General of Customs, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, etc.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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