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‘Maritime Industry Produces 350million Jobs’

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A former Dean, School
of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos, Prof. Obinnaya Chukwu, says maritime activities in developing countries produce approximately 350 million jobs.
Chukwu made the disclosure in a paper titled “Maritime Governance for Sustainable Development’’, made available to our correspondent on Thursday in Lagos.
He spoke on the side line of the celebration of the African Seas and Oceans Day Conference in Lagos.
According to him, the world’s marine and coastal resources have a market value of 3 trillion US which is five per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The expert said that more than 90 per cent of global trade was by sea, while more than 55,000 merchant ships carry more than 8.4 billion tonnes of goods yearly
He said that about 1.3 million seafarers served on commercial vessels yearly, while more than 95 per cent of world’s international voice and data traffic were carried by undersea cables.
“More than 2 billion passengers board ferries, cruise ships yearly.
“The number of piracy/armed robbery rose from 254 in 2006 to 544 in 2011 and the number of ships lost due to safety shortfalls increased from 120 in 2006 to 172 in 2010,’’ Chukwu said.
He recommended long-term strategic planning to support sustainable growth in the maritime sector.
Chukwu said that marine knowledge would improve access to information so as to improve understanding of the sector.
He said that adequate knowledge of the sector would enable public authorities and researchers to develop new products and services.
The don said that there was need for maritime security strategy to identify maritime threats, challenges and risks and provide a common frame work for relevant authorities to ensure coherent development of specific policies.
Chukwu advised the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to strengthen the Port and Flag State Control in line with the objective of the African Union ‘2050 AIM strategy to increase African ownerships of ships.

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Maritime

Union Slams Ban On Night Travels, Vows To Arrest Defaulters

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The Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has threatened to sanction any boat operator who plies at odd hours in the state.
The union described night travels by boats as risky, saying the BMTA will impound and dismiss any boat driver who indulges in the act.
Marine Safety Officer, Bonny Maritime Transport Association, Comrade Kins Dimkpa, made the threat during an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt.
Dimkpa said the association had placed restrictions on night travels by boats from 5pm to dawn, saying any violator of the restriction order risks sanction by the union.
According to him, the ban was placed to save lives of passengers and drivers from pirates.
He noted that most of the boat mishaps take place at night as most speed boats do not have headlamp.
“As a union serving the public, we are here to save lives and do our business without loosing our passengers and our drivers to accident or sea robbers”, he said. 
Dimkpa also advised passengers not to board any boat to and from Bonny Island to Port Harcourt after 5pm.
He insisted that defaulters would be arrested by the marine police and prosecuted accordingly.
The safety officer urged the security agents to assist in ensuring the safety of lives in the waterways by patrolling the creeks and channels, especially in the riverine communities.
He also advised passengers to always wear their lifejackets before boarding boats, just as he cautioned drivers against ferry passengers without life vest.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Navy Nabs 22 Thai Sailors For Smuggling Cocaine Into Nigeria

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No fewer than 22 sailors of Thai origin have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy for smuggling 32.9kg of cocaine from Brazil to Nigeria.
The suspects, who are currently being detained at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, pending further investigation, were arrested on-board a ship named MV CHAYANEE NAREE by the Navy following an intelligence report from the UK Border Force.
It was learnt that the cargo ship left Santos in Brazil for Nigeria on September 19.
The Commander of Nigeria Navy Services, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Bashir Mohammed, said the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects was carried out through collaborative efforts between the Nigerian Navy, Interpol, Nigeria Custom Service, Nigerian Ports Authority and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). 
Mohammed said the vessel departed Santos Brazil on September 19, 2021 and drifted for a week at a position about 250nm (approximately 500 kilometres) off the coast of Benin Republic from October 1 to October 8 before setting sail and arriving Nigeria on October 8, 2021. 
“Upon entering Nigerian waters, the vessel was intercepted by Nigerian Navy Ship, EKULU and escorted to NPA Port where it was directed to berth on October 9, 2021 and taken into custody by the Navy.
“Thereafter, other agencies were invited to conduct an extensive and comprehensive search of the vessel for narcotics and other contraband items.
“The suspected vessel was thoroughly searched by a combined team of Nigerian Navy, Interpol Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency”, he said. 
Mohammed explained further that the search began on October 9, 2021 and at about 6pm on October 13, the efforts of the search team yielded results when a bag was found in the vessel’s cargo Compartment One.
He said tests conducted on the contents of the bag by the NDLEA confirmed the substance to be cocaine wrapped in 30 slabs weighing 32.9kg.
He said the substance had been handed over to the NDLEA while further search and investigation continue on the vessel. 
Also speaking, Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command, Ibrahim Malanta Yusuf, said it was gratifying to note that the success of the operation was as a result of the synergy between relevant agencies of government.

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Maritime

Tin Can, Rivers Ports, Need Urgent Reconstruction – NPA MD

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The Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, says two of the nation’s ports, the Tin Can Port in Lagos and the Rivers Port Complex in Port Harcourt need urgent reconstruction.
He said while the Tin Can Port has been overtaken by population explosion, the Rivers Port Complex is over 100 years old and has actually reached the end of its productive life cycle.
The NPA boss stated this while speaking to newsmen in Lagos, recently. 
According to him, the Rivers Port channels cannot be dredged below the current draft because of restriction imposed by the initial engineering design of the berths.
“It is pertinent to mention that the channels cannot be dredged below their current draft because of restriction imposed by the initial engineering design of the berths”, he said. 
He regretted the activities of vandals at the Rivers Port where suspected vandals resident in the host community deployed welding equipment to cut the beams supporting the quay aprons.
“We are also grappling with cases of vandalization, for instance in Rivers Port, where suspected vandals resident in the host community deployed welding equipment to cut the beams supporting the quay aprons.
“The marine police have been doing a good job by trying to put a stop to these nefarious activities usually perpetrated at odd hours”, he said. 
Bello-Koko assured of the NPA’s efforts at fixing the access roads to the port.
“We have also not relented in efforts aimed at fixing the ports access roads and we have been liaising with the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure that those roads are fixed and they have been very cooperative. We have been in touch with Hi-tech Infrastructure Company
“We also enforce the minimum safety standard of trucks to ensure the quality of trucks that go into the port, because broken down trucks on that axis cause most of the congestions.
“So, things are improving, we have been publishing the number of trucks that go into those port locations on a weekly basis and you can find this information on all our social media platforms. This data gives you an idea of the number and types of trucks. 
“In keeping with our resolve to maximise the benefits of multi-modalism, we have encouraged the use of barges. This is also to reduce congestion and pressure on our roads. You can see there are many barging activities ongoing and it has really assisted in reducing the evacuation of containers by road.
“To curtail the incidence of barge accidents along the channels, barge licenses that do not meet up with our safety standards will be withdrawn. It is now mandatory for barges to have communication equipment. 
“The incidences of barges moving at night or double banking must also stop because of safety issues. We will also be introducing tariffs on barge operations in order to increase accrueable revenue to government”, he said.

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