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Budget implementation: House committee expresses confidence in NIMASA management



…As Dakuku reiterates agency’s commitment to capacity development

The House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administra-tion has commended the Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its efforts in repositioning the country’s maritime sector for greater efficiency. The committee gave the commendation in Lagos, when it paid an oversight visit to the Agency’s head-quarters.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago, who led the House delegation, expressed confidence in the Management of NIMASA, saying his committee is impressed with the Agency’s budget performance in 2018. Bago, however, noted that there was room for improvement in the remaining part of the year and in 2019.

The House Committee Chairman’s remarks followed a presentation by the Agency on the 2018 budget performance, which was based on the five-point transformation strategy of the Dr. Dakuku Peterside-led Management. Bago observed that there had been improvements in the Agency’s activities, saying it is a welcome development for the country’s maritime industry.

“We wish to assure you that as a responsible Committee, we are poised to continue to give NIMASA the required legislative backing in ensuring that it achieves its mandate in order to realise a robust maritime sector,” Bago said.

He also expressed delight in the operation of the Satellites Surveillance System put in place by the Agency to check and monitor the activities of vessels on the Nigeria’s territorial waters. He assured that the National Assembly was working on the speedy passage of the Anti-Piracy bill proposed by the Agency, noting that it will help to nip illegalities on the country’s waterways in the bud.

He also applauded NIMASA for the successful berthing of its recently-acquired modular floating dockyard in the country, describing the facility as an asset that should be promptly put into operation for revenue generation.

“Let us put that asset to use and generate revenue,” the Committee Chairman stated.

He used the opportunity to commend the Management of the Agency for its commitment to staff welfare, promotions and trainings, and urged that the tempo should be sustained, as it will help the Agency realise its vision of being the leading maritime administration in Africa.

Responding, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, expressed gratitude to the Committee for their support to the Agency. Dakuku, who was represented by the Agency’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Bashir Jamoh, reiterated NIMASA’s commitment to working together with the Committee to achieve the common goal of growing the maritime industry and developing the country.

Dakuku said the Agency remained committed to keeping up with international standards.

“On our part as an Agency, we are working on improving the entire maritime sector on daily, from good to better and to best. Through this, we will be able to compete favourably with our counterparts in other maritime climes,” he said.

On capacity development, which is one of the five strategic pillars of the current leadership of the Agency to revamp the sector, the DG stated that training and retraining of staff was a major focus of his administration. He said the capacity building initiative had helped to improve the productivity and professionalism of the workforce.

Dakuku assured members of the Committee that the legislature remained a viable partner and stakeholder in the drive to achieve a robust maritime sector in Nigeria.

The Dakuku-led management of NIMASA has since its inception introduced several transformation initiatives that have been nurtured through collaboration with stakeholders, both locally and internationally.


NPA warns against illegal stripping of containers along port access road



The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko, has issued a stern warning against the illegal stripping of containers along the port access road, this is even as he vowed that any trucker that is caught in the act risked being delisted from the eto platform controlled by the Truck Transit Park (TTP) Limited.

Koko stated this during a visit to the stripping yards at TinCan Port on Friday. While addressing concerns surrounding container stripping, he emphasized that stripping is a legal activity, but engaging in it illegally is what makes it an issue.

The NPA boss noted that one of the problems is the tendency for trucks to linger after stripping, causing traffic disruptions.

He said the NPA has been vigilant in monitoring and preventing such occurrences. This is just as he further revealed that in the past, stripping took place along roads until a ban was implemented, and collaboration with the Police was established, to seize such items and penalize those found stripping containers on roads.

Addressing the scarcity in some of the stripping yards, the Managing Director acknowledged the impact of economic challenges on cargo flow.  Despite business downturns, he assured that trucks wouldn’t be allowed to park along roads for stripping activities. This is even as he revealed that proposals for well-equipped stripping yards, referred to as divining yards, have been received, signaling a potential shift from informal stripping.

When questioned about round-tripping, where trucks seek additional business after finishing stripping, the NPA boss explained the implementation of the Eto system to prevent such practices. He said trucks are required to leave the port area and find business in designated pre-gate areas or truck parks.

Regarding sustainability, he informed that the NPA has collaborated with other government agencies and the Lagos state government to ensure that nothing of such take place along the port access road.

The Managing Director also emphasised the need for regular supervision and disclosed that meetings are held regularly to ensure the effective operation of the Eto system.

In response to questions about penalties for illegal stripping, Koko outlined measures taken by the NPA about truckers engaging in stripping along roads. He said they face delisting from the Eto platform, preventing them from obtaining entry tickets.

He said NPA has also collaborated with other security agencies to stop delisted trucks from conducting business in the port.

He also warned that stripping yards that violate operational rules risk down temporarily, with the possibility of non-renewal of land leases for repeated offenses.  

He noted that these stringent measures aim to maintain order and safety within the port environment.

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PTML Terminal to receive biggest RoRo-container vessel in Africa



The PTML Terminal located at Tin Can Island Port in Lagos, has said it will receive the largest container-Roll-On-Roll-Off ship ever to visit the sub-region on November 27.

In a statement, the terminal operator said that the ship named, MV Great Lagos, is owned by the Grimaldi Group.

The statement added that the ship, which was launched in April, was a marvel of modern engineering and environmental consciousness, stretching 250 metres in length with a beam of 38 metres and a weight of over 45,000 tonnes.

The ship, according to the statement, can transport 4.7 kilometres of rolling freight, 2,500 car equivalent units, and 2,000 20-foot equivalent units.

Speaking on the ship, the Managing Director of PTML, Ascanio Russo, said, “MV Great Lagos is the second of the G5-class of ships recently launched by the Grimaldi Group and named after Nigeria’s commercial capital, which it has served for many decades. The vessel sets a new benchmark in the shipping industry,”

Russo commended the Nigerian Ports Authority for its support towards receiving the vessel.

He said the visit of MV Great Lagos to Lagos is a landmark event for Nigeria’s maritime sector and PTML.

Russo added that the visit showcased the terminal’s advanced capabilities and its role as a leading multipurpose logistics hub in the region.

According to him, the arrival of ‘Great Lagos’ at PTML is not just a routine port call, “it is a testament to the terminal’s cutting-edge facilities and its readiness to handle the new generation of mega-vessels. Its arrival at the Lagos Port is a testament to the port’s capability to handle vessels of such magnitude, further positioning Nigeria as a key player in the global shipping industry.

“What truly sets the ‘Great Lagos’ apart is its compliance with the highest environmental standards. In an age where environmental sustainability is not just a preference but also a necessity, the ship leads the way in eco-friendly maritime transport. Its advanced design and technology significantly reduce the environmental impact, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and protect marine ecosystems,” Russo said.

He added that the terminal operator invested over $20 million to receive the ship, “By extending its Berth 11, equipping it with deeper berths, expanded storage areas, and acquired state-of-the-art cargo handling equipment.

“This transformation positions PTML as one of the most advanced logistics terminals in West Africa, capable of handling a diverse range of cargo types including bulk, break-bulk, containerised, and RORO cargoes,” he said.

He said, “The seamless integration of vessels and terminal activities at PTML is a clear indication of Nigeria’s dedication to advancing its maritime infrastructure while prioritising environmental responsibility.”

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Roadmap: Oyetola meets Marine & Blue Economy stakeholders



…Says Indigenous ship owners will be supported

By Seun Ibiyemi

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, CON, on Tuesday said the ministry is set to embrace the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models to transform the sector.

He was quick to add that the initiative will not in anyway impede the growth of local players but rather provide an avenue for them to create and extract more value from the sector, especially through ship construction, maintenance, and repairs.

The Minister made these disclosures at the ministry’s first Stakeholders’ Roundtable Engagement on Advancing Sustainable Development in Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy sector, held in Lagos.

According to the minister, the forum was convened to bring together players in the sector to discuss and chart a roadmap/direction that will advance the industry’s potential, promote sustainable Blue Economy investments and ensure global competitiveness within the sector.

He noted that the model, a collaborative synergy between the private sector’s efficiency and the public sector’s oversight, will bring about transformative impact on the marine and blue economy as well as boost the creation of substantial job opportunities and the facilitation of increased trade and investment in the nation, reinforcing the ministry’s collaborative and forward-looking approach.

Some areas of discussion at the Roundtable bothered on strengthening the Blue Governance; Transforming Port Operations; Enhancing Port Infrastructure; and Promoting Blue Economy Investments.

Oyetola said, “There is an urgent need for a collaborative effort to brainstorm and devise strategies to leverage our marine resources for the betterment of the economy and safety of our planet. It is imperative we come up with practicable ways of ensuring that our Inland Rivers, Lakes and Waterways are well utilised for cargo shipment and passenger transportation.

“This Engagement Forum is crucial to the development of the sector as it offers an opportunity for us all to collectively contribute our perspectives, ideas and offer relevant inputs that can propel the sector to the trajectory of success necessary to support the development of the economy as well as meet the expectations of Mr. President who took the courage to open up Nigeria to focus on the Blue Economy Value Chain.

“The zeal for a better life for Nigerians propelled President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to recently unveil 8 Presidential Priorities to address critical national challenges. These priorities are to be delivered through 8 focus areas, namely: economic growth, food security, energy and natural resources, infrastructure development, security, healthcare, education, improved governance, and job creation.

“Our Ministry though new, is not resting on its oars and has continued to foster Inter-Agency collaborations and implement initiatives to promote Port efficiency, cargo shipment, maritime security and tap into the resources of the Seabed.

“The ministry’s decision to consider the re-establishment of a National Shipping Line, through a strategic PPP arrangement, is borne out of our desire to capture a substantial share of the estimated $10 billion annual ship charter market within the country.

“This initiative will not seek to impede the growth of local players but rather to provide an avenue for them to create and extract more value from the sector, especially through ship construction, maintenance, and repairs. This would enable our local businesses to better leverage the Carbotage Act, which gives Nigerians the exclusive right to control locally generated seaborne trade.

“Other anticipated outcomes include the creation of substantial job opportunities and the facilitation of increased trade and investment in the nation, reinforcing our collaborative and forward-looking approach”.

The Minister who said he is acquainted with the sector’s challenges, assured of his commitment to “bequeathing to Nigerians a better sector than we have met today”.

He assured that the Stakeholders’ Engagement will be a continuum, “since it is important that we normalise this harmonious synergy and work together to ensure that our industry is safe, reliable and sustainable”, Oyetola concluded.

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