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Stakeholders Introduce Portal To Boost Efficiency In Maritime

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In a bid to ensure effective and efficient service delivery in Nigeria’s seaports, the Maritime Anti-corruption Network (MACN), in conjunction with the Convention on Business Integrity (CBI), has introduced Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) to promote transparency and consistent application of standards in the nations seaport.
Speaking at a one-day roundtable session on service delivery at the Nigerian ports held at the Novotel Hotel, Port Harcourt last Tuesday, the convener of the programme, Soji Apampa, said the portal was targeted at eliminating corruption and “elements of delay in the turn-around of ships in the country’s ports.
The theme of the session which was organised by MACN in conjunction with CBI was “Towards Standard Procedures that work in Nigeria’s Seaports and Terminals.”
He said the challenge of gratifications and maritime corruption had been the bane of effective and efficient service delivery at the ports over the years.
Apampa who is also the representative of MACN said that MACN had implemented collective action by launching several serious procedures in cargo clearing in the ports, adding that through joint action, more efficiency would be achieved in the system.
The representative of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Fadipe, pointed out that the support portal would help to submit and track complaints, recalling that the portal was launched in June 2017 by the Vice President.
He said that apart from poor infrastructure at the ports, other challenges identified include time and cost of doing business at the ports, government agencies and terminal operators efficiency to duties, government official documentation, berthing of ship and discharging of cargoes processes.
Other challenges, according to him, involve the efficiency of custom and immigration personnels
“At what time do they go on board ships, and what time is the ship operating? Also discharging time of the ship, instead of six hours turn-around, we have 24 hours incurring much delay due to official delay, and all the costs were borne by consumers.
“Today, people are becoming aware and a lot of government agencies are becoming indicted since the introduction of the Port Service Support Portal,” he noted.
An anti-corruption crusader, Vebek Menon, said that so far only five cases of complaints had been reported through the portal and that the matter raised would be addressed without prejudice.
In his own contribution, a stakeholder in Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Chief Ernest Ilochukwu, queried why government could not fashion out way to stop corruption in the maritime sector and why there are no harsh consequences for failure to deliver.

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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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Maritime

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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Maritime

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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