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NIWA Raises Alarm Over Substandard Tugboats, Barges On Waterways

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has decried the use of substandard tugboats and barges by operators to evacuate cargos from Apapa Port to Ikorodu and Epe waterways in Lagos.
NIWA said the development was responsible for the falling of many containers into the Lagos lagoon, thereby posing grave danger to boat drivers.
NIWA’s Manager, Lagos Area, Sarat Braimah, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, recently, said the Apapa traffic gridlock had gradually shifted movement of containers by barges in Lagos.
“As a result of the congestion at our ports, which was caused by the Apapa traffic gridlock, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) called us for a meeting, and informed us that they have given some people license to lift cargoes by barges using our inland waterways.
“The routes for cargo evacuation by barges are Apapa to Ikorodu and Apapa to Epe.
“We were happy with the NPA initiative because having all containers leave the port by road is crippling our port system.
“Unfortunately, just two months after the commencement of cargo evacuation by barges at our seaports, we started having containers falling into the lagoon; the same way containers used to fall off from the back of trucks on Ojuelegba bridge, but this time around, the containers were not falling off from the back of trucks, but were falling into the lagoon from atop the barges”, she said.
Braimah said the Authority found out that the problem has to do with the quality of tugboats and barges used in cargo evacuation at the nation’s seaports.
She appealed to investors interested in moving cargoes by barges to do it right.
“We would not want to transfer the problem we are having on our roads to our waterways. I have told the barge operators to look for funds to ensure they are doing the business properly.
“I have told them that henceforth, the survey and registration of their barges must strictly come from the NIWA Lagos office.
“We will only give permit to any barge that we have satisfied that is fit and capable of doing the cargo evacuation business on our waters.
“For example, the first mishap that occurred was because the tugboat had only one engine and was carrying twelve containers from the Ikorodu terminal to Apapa and all of a sudden, right in the middle of the Lagos lagoon, the only engine of the tugboat developed fault at Elegbata.
“With a faulty engine, the tugboat could no longer maneuver the barge, and the heavy tides of the Lagos lagoon threw some of the containers off balance on the barge, and they fell into the lagoon.
Braimah said the sad incident happened about two weeks ago.

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Maritime

MWUN  Hails Terminal Operators Over CBA Implementation 

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Following the clampdown of APM Terminal by Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) over poor remuneration, the Union has commended terminal operators for implementing the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) it signed with the union last year.
The agreement was signed between the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) and MWUN to improve the welfare of dockworkers and ensure sustained industrial harmony.
President of MWUN, AdewaleAdeyanju, said the implementation of the CBA has been encouraging following substantial compliance by terminal operators.
“The implementation of the NJIC agreement so far has been encouraging. I can say we have gotten 80 percent implementation.
“The Dockworkers know their do’s and don’ts on the NJIC and the areas we are having challenges is being handled internally in conjunction with the stakeholders.
“If the workers are not well paid, you would see it in their faces and with the NJIC that came into place, I don’t think we have any problem,” he said.
Adeyanju also decried the worsening Apapa gridlock, stressing that a permanent solution to the gridlock would be the establishment of holding bay facilities for trucks.
“The Presidential Task team cannot do beyond what they are doing on the gridlock. We should rather blame the shipping companies that are moving their empty containers into the terminal.
“If you don’t have anything doing in the port, why are you bringing your empty containers to litter the roads? They are using our roads as garage where they park and stack containers.
“So, we should apportion the blame to some of the shipping companies too, because their empty containers should be stacked somewhere else, not inside the port.
“The issue of holding bays should be discussed by the Federal Government and with the terminal operators. I know there are efficient terminal operators who know their onions,” he stated.
Noting that the issues that led to the MWUN strike have been resolved, Adeyanju said APM Terminals Apapa and the union have resolved issues on the CBA. He urged workers to resume operational activities at the terminal immediately.
Recall that MWUN embarked on a two days warning strike over poor remuneration by APM terminals on Nigerian  Dockworkers at itApapa  facilities.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Eight Ships With AGO, PMS, Others Expected At Eastern Ports, Today 

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Eight Sea going vessels  laden with AGO,  Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), and other cargos are expected to berth at different terminals today at  Eastern Ports to discharge cargoes.
The manifest of the ships and cargoes was contained in the Weekly Shipping Position Magazine published by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt.
The Authority said the  ships are expected to arrive at Rivers Port Complex, and Calabar Port with the Commodities.
According to the publication, the ships are laden with AGO, PMS, Bulk Wheat and Steel Pipes.
It gave the names of the Vessels for Rivers Port Complex as Grand Dionysus, MT Creamiera, Matrix Ilu and Kowe.
Other ships due for the Ports includes, Keonamex Victory, Kmarin Melbourne, MT. Picton and Rising Sun.
Names of he shipping agents contained in the manifest are Alraine, Amco, Peak Shipping and Tera Shipping Limited.
Others are Allison Shipping, Tiger Shipping Company, and Katrim Shipping.
NPA noted that the arrival of the vessels and cargos would make AGO, PMS, Steel pipes and others available to the end users and improve  trade and commerce in the region and beyond.

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Pirates Cart Away N.1m Loot From Traders

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A five-man gang  of suspected sea pirates attacked  traders and fishermen along Akwakpa, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and carted away over N.1 million from them.
The pirates, who shot sporadically to scare away intruders, also beat up the traders during their mission.
Narrating her ordeal, Mrs Victoria Pius, one of the victims, said the pirates collected about one million naira from her. She said the money was part of a loan.
“They shot in the air severally, beat us mercilessly before collecting our things,” she said.
The stranded woman said the pirates also kidnapped some of the traders on the boat.
Victoria also said the pirates disguised themselves as fishermen to carry out their nefarious activities on unsuspecting traders.
She appealed to the State Police Command to assist and check the incessant attacks on fishermen, traders and women along the waterways.
Earlier, Police in the State said it had rescued 28 fishermen kidnapped by a five man gang in the State.
Commissioner of Police, Olatoye Durosinmi, said the fishermen were rescued through intelligence gathering.
According to him, as soon as he got the report, he drafted marine officers who were able to rescue the victims at the creeks where the gang held them hostage for over eight hours.
“The 28 men and women you see here are the people rescued by the marine police officers.
“They (pirates) seized the boat of the victims and put them where they will not come out.
“These men of the underworld will pretend to be fishermen. We’ve actually caught five of them before and put them in detention. The long arm of the law will soon catch up with all of them.

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