Following the spate of pirate attacks on foreign vessels, Nigerian importers have paid a whooping sum of N984 billion ( $2.74 billion) in three years as war risk surcharge in insecurity on the nation’s waterways.
This development has led to a spike in insurance premiums slammed on vessels and cargoes destined for Nigeria by offshore.
Shipping surcharge is a supplementary carrier charge that is only applied when insurance underwriters designate specific zones as war risks.
It covers more than actual wars (invasion, insurrection) including international events that may be escalating toward war, and areas where hijacking (piracy) is prevalent. The surcharge is levied to recover potential extra costs, such as re-routing or additional security.
But according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), Nigeria has paid $2.74billion as insurance surcharge due to pirate attacks.
Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, as against 43 for the same period in 2017 and 37 in 2016.
In the first quarter of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels worldwide.
A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. There were also 12 reports of attempted attacks.
The Gulf of Guinea accounted for 29 incidents in 2018, more than 40 per cent of the global total. Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one was in this region.
Nigeria alone recorded 22 incidents. Of the 11 vessels fired upon worldwide, eight were off Nigeria, including a 300,000 MT deadweight VLCC tanker more than 40nm off Brass.
But in a statement, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has criticised Nigeria’s categorization as a war risk nation,
The Executive Secretary and the Chief Executive Officer of the NSC, Hassan Bello, who made the condemnation said that the few incidents of attacks recorded on Nigerian waters were not sufficient to warrant tagging the country a war-risk nation.
“We do not deserve the war-risk clause tagged on us. Our waters are safe. Again, this is where I have to commend the Marine Police for greatly streamlining procedures for cargo clearance at the ports. We’re also ensuring lesser vessel dwell time at ports. The responsiveness of the new IGP has been remarkable in this direction”, he siad
Bello urged both offshore and onshore shipping companies to continue patronising Nigerian seaports fact that the nation’s territorial waters are very safe.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside also criticised the designation of Nigeria water as war risk, attributing it to false reportage about attacks on the nation’s territorial water.
NSC Boss Warns Maritime Agencies Against Unhealthy Rivalries
The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, has warned agencies in the maritime sector to avoid superiority rivalry, saying it has done the industry more harm than good.
He also advised heads of maritime agencies to avoid cosmetic cooperation and come together for the development of the industry.
Bello gave this warning at a sent-forth ceremony organised in his honour, last Friday.
Bello bowed out of service last Friday after eight years of service.
He was appointed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2013. Before his appointment, he was the Director, Legal Services of the NSC.
Bello noted that some agencies spent so much in defending their territories while neglecting their statutory mandates.
According to him, “There is lack of synergy among the agencies and I don’t think it is succeeding because it has been the basis of equality. There is no agency that is better than the other.
“Agencies are not graded by their budgets but what they contribute, but it is very unfortunate some agencies think that maritime starts and stops with them. No, it cannot work.
“Some agencies are trying to defend territories and in doing so, they go to a large extent and that is not good. They spend a lot of money to defend these territories while they neglect what they are established to do and that’s why we are not developing and that’s what Nigerian Shippers’ Council will never take from anybody not now, tomorrow or forever. We are all equal, we all have contributions to make.
“We can’t be having cosmetic cooperation, we have to have real cooperation”.
Bello said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had undergone a lot of transformations, saying the era of state capture was over.
He lauded the Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors of the Ministry for giving the Council the opportunity to achieve a lot through their supports.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Okowa Seeks Permanent Site For Maritime Varsity
The Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the Federal Government to develop the permanent site of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko.
Okowa made the call while playing host to the Governing Council of the university during a courtesy visit at the Government House, Asaba.
He said the establishment of a permanent campus would go a long way in putting the university on a sound footing, and ultimately enable it to deliver on its core mandate of imparting sound maritime-related education on students.
The governor said he was happy that the institution took off academic activities at the temporary site but urged the Federal Government to make resources available for the construction of buildings and provision of amenities that would enhance academic activities.
He noted that the birth of the special educational institution for the training of manpower in the maritime sector had strengthened peace and the economy of riverine communities.
Okowa advocated the need for more projects to be sited in riverine areas because of the inputs of riverine areas to the economy of the nation.
“We thank God that the Maritime University has started even when we have challenges because we do know that the take-off of the university brought good news to our people and helped us to build peace, particularly in our riverine areas”, he said.
Earlier, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr Elias Courson, commended Governor Okowa for his inspiring and magnanimous support towards the take-off and continued development of the university.
He also thanked the governor for establishing three additional universities in the state, which would provide additional access to quality education not only to Deltans but to Nigerians.
Dr Courson, however, appealed to Okowa to assist the university in completing the renovation/ remodelling of the classroom blocks, construction of additional staff quarters and provision of a potable water scheme in the campus.
By: Chinedu Wosu
2022 Nations Cup: S’Eagles To Travel To Cameroon By Boat
The Lagos State Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) says it will convey the Super Eagles of Nigeria by boat to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup.
Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Abdullah Balogun, stated this in a statement.
“We plan to take Nigeria’s Super Eagles to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup after achieving that of Benin Republic — this is a goal we have set for ourselves”, Balogun said.
LAGFERRY said they considered the boat trip following the success recorded in the Benin experience.
He said, “It was a major milestone for us to transport Nigeria’s national team to the Benin Republic through the waterways.
“Coming on board LAGFERRY through the international route to the Benin Republic is a mind-blowing experience. We were excited to be part of it”.
The LAGFERRY boss said the success recorded in the Benin game, where the Eagles won 1-0 away, was as a result of the trouble-free trip.
“It reflected on the field of play and it showed on their (players) performances because they came out victorious in the game,” he said.
Balogun said the players, during next year’s boat trip, would enjoy free Wi-Fi, USB pots and a lot of entertainment and side attractions enabled by technology.
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