Martime stakeholders and participants at the Maritime Platform National Discourse held in Lagos recently have set agenda for the Buhari-Ied federal government by designing a roadmap which would guarantee efficient development of the sector in the next 5 years.
The Maritime Platform National Discourse had its theme as, “Nigerian Maritime Sector In The Next Five Years: Deciding Where We Want To Be”.
In a ten-point communique which was released after the Discourse, maritime operators believed that it is high time the federal government showed real commitment to turn maritime potential into realities by supporting shipping development in the country.
According to the communique, stakeholders resolved that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with its monetary policy should in the next four months compel commercial banks to provide at least 10% lending regime for the maritime sector, as it is doing presently with agriculture and industry sectors. By so doing, maritime sector will have a guaranteed funding corridor to finance shipping development.
It stated that the federal government should in the next 3 years establish the much needed maritime bank to fund maritime projects and meet financial requirements of the sector, adding that in the next 5 years, no foreign vessel should be allowed to carry Nigerian crude oil because Nigeria has primordial advantage in domestic trade and
indigenous ship owners must be encouraged to grow their fleets through adequate funding and the disbursement of the CVFF to enable them acquire specialised crude-carrier vessels.
The communique reiterated that NIMASA should collaborate with NCDB, NNPC and PPMC to ensure cohesive enforcement of Cabotage Act by immediately stopping foreign vessels from carrying Nigerian refined petroleum product because Nigeria has about 373 Cabotage vessels which are qualified enough to carry the nation’s refined oil products.This is because according to current statistics, Nigeria consumes 1.8 billion metric tons of oil per month, which means that with only 8 vessels carrying 5000 metric tons each per day, indigenous shipowners currently have sufficient capacity to carry Nigerian refined petroleum products if given the jobs.
It further said maritime stakeholders should henceforth be consulted and fully engaged in all policy-formulation and implementation in the sector.
ment to avoid failure.
Integration of all stakeholders’ interest groups to create a platform for a stronger advocacy in order to get policy makers and approving authorities to understand and implement our positions, adding that anks through their Research and Development (R&D) departments should design products for financing development of Inland water Transport
(IWT) sufficient to cause a change and repositioning of IWT in the next five years.
It stated that he Volume of Cargoes expected into Nigeria in the next five years will be so high such that the present seaports cannot accommodate them; hence, the Lekki
Deep Seaport; the Badagry Deep Seaports and other proposed Deep Seaports should be completed in the next five year; and that in the next 5 years, the Single Window initiative by the Nigerian Customs Service should be fully integrated and operational such that human contact in cargo clearance would be completely eliminated through automation of all cargo
clearance processes and procedures. And by so doing, corruption will be drastically reduced if not eradicated in Nigeria cargo clearance system.
“All major Seaports in Nigeria should be connected by Rail transport system in the next 5 years to ensure easy evacuation of goods from the ports by rail. This is particularly important because the expected volume of cargoes into Nigeria by 2020 cannot be evacuated only by road without experiencing unprecedented congestions,” the communique stated.
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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