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Transforming Ship Registry In Nigeria

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Maritime nations all over the world evolve strategies and methodologies of modernising ship registry for the purpose of enhancing national tonnage.
In the pursuit of goal tonnage enhancement and transformation, nations adopt cut-edge technology both direct and indirect marketing of the national flag and other known effective methods in their registration of vessels.
Of course, every maritime country however adopt strategies that influence specific objectives of the country and such objectives are not expected to threaten the interest of global maritime.
Besides the drive for local tonnage to achieve desired goal, the maritime nation players have also adopted systems of close or open registry of vessels. The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) by the statute establishing it is responsible for organising, shipping activities and development. It was in consonance of this that late 2008, NIMASA made its intention known to the registration of ships in Nigeria.
The Nigerian ship registration office performs flag state responsibilities of NIMASA, as enshrined in Section 16 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 2007. Section 28 (2) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, 2007 also established the office of the registrar of ship and that of the deputy registrar of ship.
The NIMASA ship registry unit conducts all flag registration duty from the head office location of the agency as guaranteed in its regulation.
NIMASA Act of 2007, in accordance with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) global practices, anticipates the efficiency of the Nigerian Ship Registration Office especially when operators can access the services from other operational location.
The creation of the office of the deputy registrars of ship, many believe is a demonstration of the agency’s commitment to structure the Nigerian ship registration office to reflect the changing trend in the modern international maritime operations.
The decision of the Agency to formally establish ship registration desks in Warri and Calabar was to complement registration service offered from Lagos and Port Harcourt as provided in the NIMASA Act of 2007.
By this development, the ship registration service in Nigeria have been taken to the door steps of vessel owners, even as it enables Nigerians in diaspora to take advantage of the increased accessibility offered by the decentralisation through any of the mentioned locations to fly the Nigerian flag.
Preliminary modernisation programmes and measures taken by the agency have resulted in the electronic up-load of over 3,200 vessels of different categories of data being integrated to the web link of the agency. Daily vessel registration details are transferred electronically to the data base with the aim of updating available web information.
NIMASA’s modernisation and transformation programmes could also be appreciated in the area of mutual sharing of vessels details between the agency and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The information sharing approach influences the NNPC and other international oil companies for Nigerian flagged vessels in the award of contract in the current cabotage regime.
The benefits for registration and decentralisation services include enhanced access to registration service, reduced cost of logistics particularly for up-country vessel owners and fast tracked vessels registration process amongst others.
Nigerian ship registration office has also developed relevant templates to guide applicants on-line. On completion of the automation process, applicants are expected to download relevant ship registration forms, upload required documents for vessels registration, effect payment of registration via an on-line payment engine as well as take delivery of provisional certificates of registry on-line.
However, the modernisation of the ship registration process has been extended to cabotage registration. Subject to applicant’s submission of all documents, the Nigerian ship registration office developed on-line templates to achieve cabotage registration of vessels in 48 hours.
The deployment of multi-skilled human capital by NIMASA is another strategy for meeting the technical, administrative and legal requirement. This move informed NIMASA to articulate a “Fly Nigeria” initiative embodying the genuine principles of safety, as a condition for flying the Nigerian flag.
The overall end result of the modernisation and transformation programme is the reformation of processes and procedures of flag state toward promoting efficiency and unparallel advisory services to the external public of the Nigerian ship registration office. Even at times, the Agency has not relented at directing its efforts at professionalising the ship registry as critical vehicle for service efficiency.
Staff of the registry office visit some foreign ship registries, including the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency of the United Kingdom and the Singaporean ship registry office as part of efforts to update knowledge and enhance service delivery.
Similarly, working attachments to the Panama, Hellenic and Malaysian ship registry was also pursued towards full professionalisation of the ship registry, to expose staff of Nigerian ship registry office to challenges of an ICT driven registration services.
Demonstrating commitment to global maritime safety, NIMASA’s efforts to approve the America-Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas and Lloyds registry among others was seen as a welcome development to classify societies for conventional vessels of 500 tonnes and above.
Although much efforts have been made by the agency towards the transformation and modernisation of Nigerian ship registry, even as it was committed to eliminate delay of the past and engender new culture of professionalism and efficiency in service delivery, a lot more is needed to attain and sustain full transformation and modernisation of Nigeria flag ship registration.
In this era of cabotage, and with the quest to be one of the leading maritime nations, it may not be out of place for Nigeria to shift from theories to actual accomplishment goals in this direction.
The international players are on the watch to se Nigeria totally transformed and modernise her flag vessel registry, and the task is before NIMASA.

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Multiple Fibre Cuts Bar MTN’s 87m Customers From Calls, Data

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MTN Nigeria has blamed the recent network issue experienced by its customers nationwide on multiple fibre cuts.
Recall that MTN customers were unable to make calls or use their data last Wednesday.
According to the company, the problem started at about 1.39 PM on Wednesday.
In its reaction via X, MTN Nigeria blamed the network issue on multiple fibre cuts, even as it assured that its engineers are working assiduously to restore normal services.
The statement reads: “Dear Customer, you have been experiencing challenges connecting to the network due to a major service outage caused by multiple fibre cuts, affecting voice and data services.
“Our engineers are working hard to resolve this with services gradually being restored in some areas.

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Alake Confident Nigeria’ll Overcome Economic Hardship

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The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake has said that Nigeria would soon overcome its current economic hardship.
Alake gave the assurance in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said  the hardship was because Nigeria was going through a gestation period of economic restructuring and reforms.
He said that President Bola Tinubu was determined to revamp  Nigeria’s  economy and put on a pedestal for sustainable growth through his Renewed Hope agenda.
According to him, the President has a track record of changing the economic tides of a region, just as he did when he was the governor of Lagos State.
“Going down memory lane to the experience in Lagos state, the then governor  Tinubu in 1999,  met a state that was almost insolvent, with a monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N600 million.
“ And a wage bill of over N1.1 billion monthly, with little or no resources to cater to infrastructure and other sectors of the economy.
“President Tinubu took similar measures in Lagos as he is taking in Nigeria, to turn the tide and financially re-engineer the state.  Today, the state is the fifth largest economy in Africa, bigger than most African countries.
“What we are going through is the gestation period of reforms and policies for economic restructuring and like the President will say, it is like throes of pregnancy, that a pregnant woman goes through.
“After delivery, she heaves a sigh of relief,” he said.
The minister urged  Nigerians to be patient with the government  as the current economic  situation  would soon stabilise with positive  results from on going reforms.
“For the first time, Nigeria has a  president well-versed in public finance. I am  confident in this administration’s capacity to diversify the economy, plug leakages, and redirect the economy to a path of sustainable growth.
“ The future of this country is extremely very bright. What we need to do is to exude confidence in our ability and capacity to weather the storm of restructuring, economic and societal restructuring.
“As we restructure our economy, putting in physical infrastructure, we must also restructure our minds and mental capacity to be at par with physical development.
“ So that we can efficiently and judiciously enjoy the benefits of physical development.
“With the cooperation of Nigerians, the tide will turn very soon, and we all will be proud, he

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Only Professional Builders’ll Handle Global Centre’s Modern Cities  – President

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The President/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Centre for Empowerment and Care for Life Challenges (GCECLC), Amb. Vincent Ejikeme Agbo has said that only professionals would be used for the massive global center real estate housing and industrial development in the country.
The CEO who said this in a chat with the media shortly after their press conference in Port Harcourt recently, reiterated that the group will not compromise standard  both in the use of  standard building materials or professionals in the building sector.
Amb. Agbo noted that the use of quacks builders and building materials are the major causes of building collapse in the country, adding, “the 5,000 housing units that would be built in the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory in the first phase of the GCECLC building project would be the same quality with that of the developed countries”.
He said the building materials would be supplied directly by the main companies, adding, “GCECLC, a non governmental organizations (NGO) has already gotten the license from Dangote group of companies to supply cement at a giveaway price for the building project, seeing the importance of the project to the masses.
“We want to bridge the gap in the Nigerian building sector and this would enable everyone in the country to own a quality building in an environment where the system is working”.
In his contribution, the Vice President of the NGO, Amb. Shittu Isiaka Salami said the group is working with all the building construction agencies to ensure  that quality jobs are delivered because, “we have zero tolerance for building collapse”.
Amb Isiaka called on qualified building engineers and contractors to come and do business with the NGO in the project that is aimed at fulfilling United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) 9 & 11.
The Public Relation Personel/ the marketing contact person for the building project, Amb. Larry Goodwill Ajiola advised interested building engineers and contractors to register for the project, adding that non professional contractors would not be given a chance to build.
Amb  Ajiola said contractors should give priority attention to the project when money is given to them as, “no excuse would be tolerated in the first and second phases of the building project aimed  at decongesting the urban settlement.
Amb. Ajiola who is also the CEO of I Cnntact- Connect Limited, Port Harcourt, said the project is a welcomed development, especially to the less privileged ones that never thought they could own a house of their own.
He noted that the long span of payment between 10- 30 years makes it affordable to all serious minded citizens, adding, “GCECLC has risen to give hope to the hopeless in the country, especially now that Nigerians are passing through hardship.
“It is a welcomed development to Rivers state and the other 36 States. It is contributing to the welfare of the masses. Everyone will benefit since you will pay small small. I have confidence that the project is already a success”.
One of the invitees, Mrs Ifeoma Usoro commended the NGO for  moving into this financial intensive area for their love to help the poor masses and requested for the building engineers to be given more time to conclude registration modalities.

Lilian Peters

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