The Commissioner of Po
lice, Ports Operations, Apapa, Lagos, Mr Kayode Aderanti, said there was significant reduction in the activities of criminals called port rats at the various terminals.
Aderanti told our correspondent in Lagos that port police had taken various proactive measures to curb the problem.
“The issue of port rats seems to have gone down drastically. We have been taking lot of proactive steps to nip the problem in the bud.
“If the rats are no longer there definitely the port will be free from all these cankerworms. We believe that they are irritants and we have done things to sanitise the port,’’ he said. The commissioner said that only persons that had genuine business at the port would be allowed in the vicinity.
“You should know that the port is not a ‘Jankara market’, it is meant for people that transact special businesses.
“The fact that you are a clearing agent does not give you the freedom to go in and out of the port.
“If you are a clearing agent you must have genuine business transaction to conduct in the port before you are allowed into the port,’’ Aderanti said. He warned that the period when people just hang around the Customs area under the excuse that they are customs agents or freight forwarders was over.
Aderanti said the command was doing everything possible to ensure that only genuine people transacted business at the port and in a secured environment.
“In the past three or four weeks, I have been able to meet with chief security officers, clearing bodies, labour unions and customs within the ports.
“I have been able to sensitise them on the ways I want to approach these issues in a proactive manner.
“There is need for us to work together to create a multi-efficient programme to tackle insecurity.
“ I want to ensure we tackle the problem of those who cause damage in the port. Soon I will also hold a meeting with terminal operators, managing directors and shipping lines,’’ he said.
Aderanti said the police would act promptly anytime it received report of diversion of cargoes at the port.
No fewer than 700 seafarers were trained Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on the seafarers Training and Certification Workshops (STCW) to enable them update their mandatory certificates, NIMASA Labour Inspectors.
The Director General of NIMASA, Mr Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi dropped this hint during a special session with shipowners, seafarer.
Employers, manning Agents and seafarers on Maritime Labour convention 2006, at Hotel Presidential Port Harcourt last Friday.
Represented by Barr. Callistus Obi, Akpobolokemi said the Agency is very passionate about ensuring that Nigerian seafarers got placement on both Nigeria and foreign flagged vessels.
He disclosed that the Agency under his administration had also committed huge resources towards the training of cadets through various programmes like the Nigeria Seafarers Development Programme.
According to him, the special session was to enable shipowners, employers of seafarers, manning agents and seafarers know their rights and obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention MLC 2006, which had been ratified in Nigeria, and commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his unflinching support towards the training and welfare of seafarers.
In his remarks, the co-ordinator of NIMASA, Eastern Zone, Mr Anthony Ogadi recalled the origin of MLC 2006 which started at the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation, and that Nigeria had shown strong resolve toward actualizing the provisions of the convention.
Ogadi said as the country’s apex regulatory agency, their responsibility has beento ensure that commitment of the Federax Government towards implementing the provisions of the convention is upheld, pointing out that the Agency has put necessary machineries for the domestication of the convention.
He hinted that NIMASA is ready to synergise with relevant stakeholders in ensuring effective implementation of the provisions of the convention, adding, “As we look forward to the entry into force of the convention on 18th June, 2014, it is expected that all stakeholders will all reposition their offices and operational platform to embrace the new system and to comply with the provision of the convention”.
The zonal co-ordinator further noted that, “I have no doubt in my mind that we are better informed on our rights and obligations as shipowners and seafarers respectively”.
The special session had an interactive section where stakeholders asked question boarding on activities within Rivers marine sector
Customs Cautions Officers On Improper Dressing, Unkempt Beards
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to sanction its officials for improper dressing and unkempt beards. Other minor violations include use of name tags.
This was contained in a memo issued by the Deputy Comptroller General, Human Resources Development of NCS, A.T. Babani.
The memo number HRD/2021/026 titled: “Introduction of Customs Police Caution Slip in the Service” was dated 10th September, 2021.
The memo stated that the caution slip would be issued in triplicate for minor offences such as improper dressing, use of unapproved name tags, and failure to shave among others.
The service said it has introduced the use of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
The memo reads, “I am directed to bring to your notice that the Comptroller General of Customs has approved the usage of Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) as a law enforcement tool in the service.
“The slip which will be administered by the Customs Police Unit of various Zones/Area Commands would be in triplicate and once issued, a copy shall be forwarded and inserted into the officer’s establishment file.
“The issuance of the Customs Police Caution Slip (CPCS) will include offences such as improper dressing, multi-colour waist belt other than approved one and usage of unapproved name tag, failure to shave, and other sundry minor violations of the second regulation 13 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP LFN of 2004 as amended.
“The caution slips would serve as a proactive tool to ensure compliance to rules and regulations.
“First-time offenders, repeated offenders and consistent pattern of offence identified, shall be documented and used for strategic decisions making”.
Stakeholder Tasks RSG, MWUN On Piracy
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, says the union and the state government need a strong synergy to tackle the act of sea piracy and all forms of criminal activities in the state’s waterways.
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers state Branch, Comrade Jonah Jumbo, in an interview with The Tide, noted that unlike in Lagos State, there was no synergy between the Rivers State Government and MWUN to curb piracy on the waterways.
“We need to work together to checkmate all forms of criminality, sea piracy and attacks on passenger boats in our waters”, Jumbo said.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that the state government and the union were working in parallel lines, hence the high rate of piracy on the waterways.
Jumbo said, lack of synergy between the state and the union was having negative turns in its operations, thereby not improving marine transport business in the state.
The chairman said the union alone cannot solve the problem of insecurity in the waterways, hence the need for collaborations between the state government and other relevant authorities.
He further noted that Lagos State was doing well in marine transportation because there was a strong synergy between the state government and the union.
“Lagos state maritime business is improving every day with more fleets because the government, stakeholders and the union are working towards ensuring success”, he said.
By: Chinedu Wosu
Inadequate Facilities At MAN Worry Mariners
The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has lamented lack of simulators for training of cadets at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
The body also decried lack of ocean-going vessels to enable the cadets of the academy acquire the mandatory sea time experience.
NAMM President, Capt. Tajudeen Alao disclosed this during an interview with newsmen, recently.
“Training at the Academy had always been as per the International Maritime Organisations (IMO) model courses”, he said.
Capt. Alao said the shortcomings have always been in the areas of lecturers, simulators and international trading ships for practical exposure.
Other challenges include lack of funding, bureaucracy and the Nigerian factor.
“Leadership of the academy too has not been based on professionalism but political consideration. The shipping companies who are end-users have not committed their services to the academy.
“The number of students per class is much more than what is obtainable in the western world.
“There are no core ship-related courses, not many courses, facilities and disciplines,” Alao said.
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