General Manager of Port Terminal Operations Nigeria Limited, (PTOL), Mr Ephraim Efiota, has decried incessant reports of insecurity in the Nigerian waterways, saying it attracts additional surcharges from importers.
Efiota who stated this at the commissioning of Reach Stackers heavy duty machines within the premises of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Port Harcourt Ports, said several media reports on insecurity on the Nigerian waterways frightened foreign investors and countries where local importers brought in goods.
He further said these countries took advantage of such reports to impose all kinds of charges on importers, appealing that the security situation in the country was not as bad as being reported.
Efiota noted that some of the countries where imported goods were coming from relied on the old statistics about insecurity on the waterways to impose charges on imported goods.
The PTOL boss, however, said that the security challenges in the country were being tackled by the Federal Government and urged the media to imbibe the culture of developmental journalism.
”When we talk about insecurity in Nigeria, especially the waterways, we have to balance it and be careful on the kind of information we give out so that we don’t shoot ourselves on the foot. I believe that there was a time insecurity was on the high on the waterways, but recently we are not hearing much of these attacks anymore.
“Some persons may say there is so much insecurity on our waterways, probably believing on the statistics of the past. By the time we are saying this to the international communities, we are just giving false information and what does this lead us to, you find them imposing all kinds of surcharges such as insecurity surcharge, congestion surcharge on our importers and so on.
“The issue of insecurity on the waterways has drastically reduced,” he said, adding that business activities at the Port Harcourt terminal has increased because of reduction of crime on the waterways.
Meanwhile, General Manager of NPA, Port Harcourt Port, Engr. Yanus Ibrahim Anji, has called on the management of PTOL to take advantage of the opportunities available to it and increase its facilities so that the company can deliver quality services to the customers.
”We congratulate PTOL for this feat. We want to call on them to get more equipment so that they can deliver quality services to their customers,” Anji 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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