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NIWA Reads Riot Act To Boat Operators

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As part of measures to curb incessant boat mishaps and loss of lives and properties, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) says seven years jail term await boat operators and owners of jetties who breach safety regulations.
Area Manager, NIWA, Mrs. SaratBraimah, disclosed this at Ovori while presenting life jackets to Ibeshe, Guasu Communities in Lagos State during an awareness campaign.
Braimah, who was on a sensitization programme to some riverine communities in the State, said the newly gazetted Transport Code of the Federal Government is part of efforts to curb the incessant loss of lives caused by non-compliance to waterways regulations.
According to her, the Ministry of Justice has just gazetted a new waterway regulation, which stipulates seven years imprisonment for community leaders who operate jetties at night, and private operators where boats are overloaded after 7pm.
“The same penalty goes for operators and passengers who fail to use lifejackets and are non-compliant to waterways regulation.
“We are here to rub minds with your community in order to curb boat accidents and incessant loss of lives.
“You can tell us where the government has lapses so we can improve, while we work together to remove the human problems.
“Most boat accidents are results of human elements, which is not far from non-compliance to regulations.
“We have repeated it severally that there should be no night sailing from 7pm. It is better to stay alive and travel the next day than to endanger your life at night.
“Boat drivers should have licenses because training is key. Don’t patronize unregistered boats and unnamed boats. There will be NIWA stickers to identify the registered boats”, she said.
The NIWA boss also warned drivers not to drive boats without paddles as they would be unable to ferry such boats to the nearest shore if the boat’s engine suddenly fails.
She cautioned drivers on dangers of   overspeeding, driving recklessly, and making use of leaking boats, driving without passenger manifest and fire extinguishers.
Engr. Braimah who directed the seizure of substandard life-jackets found at retail stores around the communities, described substandard lifejackets as deadly.
Earlier, the Youth Leader, Sagbo-Koji, Mr Bobby Sanni, advised the Authority to co-opt youths in the community in its task force, noting that Marine Police and NIWA Task Force officials close duty at jetties by 6pm, but youths could help in the enforcement at night.
Communities visited includesSagbo Koji in AmuwoOdofin, Irede in Oriade and Ibeshe, all in Lagos.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

MWUN Demands Fixing Failed Tin-Can, Onne Ports’ Quay-Aprons

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has again raised concerns over the decay in ports Infrastructure across the littoral states of the nation, saying the dilapidated quay apron Tin Can Island Port Complex and Port Harcourt Port pose serious danger to dockworkers.
President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, disclosed this on Thursday in Lagos during the recent Dockworkers Day Celebration.
Adeyanju, who is also the Deputy President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), lamented that the two major seàports in Lagos are old, hence government and the concessionaires have failed to maintain or upgrade the infrastructure for optimal utilisation.
Apparently unhappy with the situation in furtherance to the protection of dockers, the President General stated that “Today’s event is expected to X-ray the challenges faced by the Dockworkers in their daily struggle and efforts toward Port efficiency and in the light of ever-improving technological driven economy.
“MWUN Warns NPA To Stop Vessels From Berthing At Five Star Logistics Terminal.
“Training and career is fundamental and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential to protect them against various hazardous working conditions.
“It is instructive to note that the environment we operate has posed dangers to our lives. For instance, the quay aprons at Apapa port complex are dilapidated and Tin Can Island Port Complex has collapsed due to long use, while Port Harcourt port is aged and decrepit”.

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MOWCA Seeks Collaboration With Incoming IMO Scribe

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Secretary General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr. Paul Adalikwu, has met with the newly elected Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr. Arsenio A. Dominguez Velasco, in London to continually foster cooperation between both bodies.
Their meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the recently held 33rd General Assembly of the IMO, explored already agreed areas of collaboration between both organisation with a view to continuing them when Velasco resumes in January 2024.
While congratulating Dominguez on his new appointment and reassuring him of MOWCA’s support in promoting environmentally safe and sustainable shipping in West and Central Africa , Adalikwu recalled that he achieved the signing of a Joint Action Plan (JAP) agreed by both bodies in 2022 under the outgoing Secretary General Mr. Kitack Lim.
Adalikwu gave Dominguez a brief on MOWCA, its scope of operations and achievements made under his watch in the past two years, while the incoming IMO SG promised to consolidate and sustain the relationship between both organisations.
The  IMO and MOWCA had agreed on a Joint Action Plan (JAP) to promote maritime security, safe, efficient and environment friendly shipping.
The JAP was agreed upon at IMO headquarters in London with outgoing IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, MOWCA Secretary General, Dr Paul Adalikwu, and transportation ministers from West and Central African countries in attendance.
Both bodies agreed that the JAP be operational from 2022 to 2032 in the first phase and implemented to align towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), African Maritime Transport Charter, African Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050, and African Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development.
Adalikwu described the JAP as a bold step towards ensuring improved safety of ships, crew members and cargoes on African waters, especially in the West and Central African regions.
He added that the move would engender more technical cooperation between IMO and MOWCA for strategic human capital development that will leverage on technology.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

 

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Maritime

NCS Enforces FG’s 22% Increase On Import Duty

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The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has begun enforcement on the 22.24 percent increase on import duty, by the Federal Government.
Federal Government had increased import duties by as much as 22.24 percent, a development that may worsen the inflationary trend that is already prevailing in the country.
The increase, which is the third this year from records, is expected to drive the cost of clearing a 40-foot container from N7.3 million to N8.9 million, and is warranted by the depreciation of the Naira, as the naira value of the imports rose astronomically, affecting the import duty component.
NCS in a release on Friday, explained that the Comptroller-General of Customs,  Adewale Adeniyi, and the entire personnel were not aware of the development until it was communicated by the Ministry of Finance.
The statement further added that the NCS only carry out the   directive of the Federal Government.
It, however, noted that the Service is not oblivious of what await importers, adding that the agency will maximise its service delivery and work on clearing cargoes as soon as paper works are completed.
”The NCS recognises the import of this exchange rate, particularly when it is done without prior notice on trade.
“We have addressed freight forwarders; we recognise what the Nigerian business community is going through but there is little we can do about fiscal and monetary policies. Our role is to implement them.
“But we align ourselves with government policies because every decision taken is for the collective interest of the nation and I expect that we all abide by it.
“What we said we should do as Customs, which we have told the freight forwarders and clearing agents, is that to mitigate the impact of what they are going to go through in the next few days, we will maximize our service delivery by ensuring that importers do not incur demurrage and associated costs”, the statement noted.
Although the Association of  Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), in reacting to this development through its Vice President, Segun Oduntan, said there was nothing anybody can do about it, he appealed to the government to assist Nigerians in transportation by pegging the duty rate on buses and transport vehicles at zero duty.
He also noted that the development will result in higher inflation on goods and services in the country.

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