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NPA Blames Under-Utilisation Of Eastern Port On Insecurity

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The management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has linked the under-utilisation of the four Ports in the Eastern states to acts of insecurity in the waterways
The Authority also attributed the  length and drafts of the channels as factors for low traffic and under utilization by investors.
Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, disclosed this in Port Harcourt during a recent tour of facilities in Rivers Port Complex.
Koko, who stated that NPA is interested in decongesting ports in Lagos, said they are partnering with the Nigerian Navy and Community youths to secure the waterways in the Eastern region to attract investors and importers to do business in the Ports.
“We will like to decongest the Lagos Ports by encouraging the Eastern Ports to compete favourable with other ports in West Africa.
“We are serious at increasing the traffic in the Eastern Ports and make them more competitive with other West African Ports”, he explained.
He further noted that as a way of attracting investors and importers to patronize the Ports, NPA has reduced tariff in the Eastern Ports to encourage investors to do business in the Eastern Ports.
On dredging of the Rivers Ports, Koko said dredging of the channels to a little above 9.5 metres to 13 metre would collapse the berth, noting that the port is a colonial port built over One hundred years ago.
”We are discussing on how to revitalize the collapsed berth 7 and 8 and make it more functional to attract investors to move bigger vessels to the terminals.
“We need to dredge and deepen the channels to accommodate more and bigger sea going vessels to increase flow of traffic to the ports”, Koko said.
He diclosed that NPA is working towards moving more cargos from the Rivers Port Complex and Eastern to Onitsha  Port.
He noted that the idea, when put into effect, would reduce movement of containers by land and make it more safe and secure for the importers.

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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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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