By Seun Ibiyemi
Former Director-General (DG), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Ade Dosunmu, on Tuesday said that the agency was not a revenue generating establishment.
Dosunmu, in a statement in Lagos was reacting to the call by the Presidential Policy Advisory Group to merge the agency with the Nigeria Customs Service and Federal Inland Revenue Service.
According to Dosunmu, this is a very serious misconception and dangerous for the future of shipping/ maritime industry in Nigeria.
“My attention has been drawn to speculation purported to have emanated from the Presidential Policy Advisory Group erroneously classifying NIMASA as a revenue generating Agency, thereby proposing a merger of NIMASA, Customs and FIRS.
“NIMASA was created in 2007 following the merger of National Maritime Authority (NMA) and Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC), deriving its powers from the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007, NIMASA Act, 2007 and Coastal and Inland shipping (cabotage) Act, 2003.
“The Agency is a Maritime Safety Administration responsible for regulating shipping activities in Nigeria, with a view to achieving safer shipping and cleaner oceans as mandated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) through its various Conventions and Protocols.
“The enabling acts give NIMASA statutory powers as specified by International Conventions and protocols for the enthronement of global best practices in ensuring safety of Navigation and prevention / control of marine pollution in the shipping industry as regulated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), in which Nigeria is a contracting member state,” he said.
Dosunmu said that the IMO had 167 Maritime Nations as members including Nigeria due to our vast maritime coastline and issue conventions and protocols, such Conventions as the Marine Pollution Prevention (MARPOL), and others.
He added that all these convention had been domesticated in Nigeria and NIMASA was the focal agency for implementation of the conventions through the discharge of its technical mandate which could not be performed by any other agency in Nigeria.
“NIMASA, being the safety administration of Nigeria, has counterparts in 167 maritime nations responsible for ensuring safer shipping and cleaner oceans through the instrumentality of the technical mandate it performs viz Port states inspection, Flag states inspection, Search and Rescue.
“Others are maritime capacity building, maritime security by ensuring our waters are safe from Piracy and Sea robbers, prevention/control of marine pollution, administers the training and Certification of Seafarers (STCW ’95), others.
“The same technical functions are performed by Maritime Safety Administration of UK, MCA, US Coast Guard, Safety Administration of Greece, Finland, Cyprus and all other member countries of IMO.
“It is, therefore, my humble position that emphasis of government should be on how to strengthen NIMASA to deliver more on its technical mandates and not merging it with Agencies that are not compatible with its philosophy and objectives,” he said.
According to him, there is no doubt that in the course of discharging her technical mandate, NIMASA generates revenue and uses part of it to prosecute its technical regulatory functions.
He pointed out that the surplus at the end of the year was paid into the federation account in line with the target set by Ministry of Finance.
“However, the critical and urgent nature of some of these technical activities and the fact that they require instant response is part of the reason NIMASA is allowed to retain its funds and sometime not allowed to go through the bureaucracy of tendering.
“An example is a vessel that is sinking or an unexpected oil spill and pollution of the waters, or wreck that needs to be removed to ensure safety of channels for Navigation, flag state inspection, survey, regular patrol of our coastal waters and enforcement of necessary regulations.
“It is my strong view therefore, that the proposed merger will be counterproductive with huge negative implications for Nigeria in the global shipping community.
“Our waters may be considered no longer safe for international shipping and that can affect the volume of maritime trade and eventually lead to drop in revenue,” he said.
He said that another implication was that Nigerian waters could become a destination for rickety ships and thereby becoming a dumping ground for ship wrecks and derelicts.
As at today, Nigeria is the leading maritime nation in West and Central Africa in terms of ship traffic and cargo. This feat was not achieved in a day.
“It is the cumulative effect of the reforms successive administrations introduced to strengthen the capacity of NIMASA as a maritime safety administration for the country,” he said.
He urged the Federal Government under the able leadership of President Bola Tinubu, to consult major maritime stakeholders on issues affecting the maritime industry for proper guidance.
“The industry is the gateway to the economy of Nigeria and also very critical to the logistics aspect of the oil and gas industry since most of the crude oil production and exploration activities take place offshore Nigerian waters.
“Trial and error will not work. Rather, NIMASA being the regulator, should be strengthened technically.
“The whole idea of merger should be set aside until wider consultation with the industry stakeholders is held.,” he said
FG to deploy 100 electric buses
President Bola Tinubu has said Nigeria is taking a significant step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by introducing a pioneering initiative to deploy a fleet of 100 electric buses.
The President spoke at a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and Electric Buses Rollout Programme on Saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the margins of the COP28 climate summit.
President Tinubu explained that the strategic initiative is aimed at significantly reducing Nigeria’s carbon footprint and modernizing the country’s transportation systems as part of a larger effort to position Nigeria and Africa as the pioneering frontier of green manufacturing and industrialization with a focus on natural gas as a transition fuel alongside other renewable energy sources.
To spearhead this transformative plan, the President announced the appointment of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Mr. Dahiru Salisu, to co-chair the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.
”This initiative stands as a testament to our dedication to environmental stewardship as clearly exemplified through our collaboration with the Africa Carbon Market Initiative. Our visionary plan is a strategic guidepost, directing Nigeria towards becoming an investment-friendly destination for carbon market investments.
”We recognize the imperative of fostering an environment that not only attracts investment but also upholds standardized and sustainable industrial practices. As a manifestation of our forward-thinking approach, we are actively looking to implement robust, enabling policies and frameworks that will serve as the catalyst for the burgeoning growth of the carbon market within our national borders.
”In further driving my commitment, I have recently approved an Inter-governmental Committee on Carbon Markets to be chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change to drive this visionary plan,” the President stated.
The President assured prospective investors that this initiative transcends being a mere pilot project.
”It is a concrete manifestation of our unwavering dedication to a carbon-neutral future. I assure you; this is only the commencement of our ambitious plans, with many more impactful initiatives on the horizon,” he said.
President Tinubu, while acknowledging the pressing need for a comprehensive global collaboration on climate-related challenges, called on global partners to join hands in accelerating collective efforts towards a net-zero future.
”As we unveil our initiatives, I challenge other nations to emulate our strides in mapping out their sustainable futures with a clear understanding that Africa is a beacon of innovative solutions to climate-related challenges.
”In this pursuit, we acknowledge the pressing need for comprehensive global collaboration, and we reiterate our commitment to being an active participant in international efforts.
”Nigeria’s plans for a greener and cleaner economy can serve as an inspirational narrative for nations worldwide. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in visionary leadership and pragmatic action supported by our technical partners, is poised to become a blueprint for countries aspiring to also develop and catalyze their markets for sustainable growth,” the President concluded.
In his remarks, FIRS Chairman, Mr. Zacch Adedeji acknowledged the visionary leadership of President Tinubu as the guiding force behind Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its vast carbon potential.
At COP28, Sanwo-Olu seeks funding to address supply of clean water in Lagos
Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sought global support for funding in Lagos state to be able to provide clean water.
The Governor speaking at a side meeting with the theme: “Valuing Water: A Lifeline in Climate Transition”, organised by Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum and Sustainable Market Initiative at the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) at Dubai Exhibition Centre pitched a sustainable funding proposal in order to raise private and philanthropic funding in addressing inadequate water infrastructure and supply shortages in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos, with 22 million population, has a daily demand of 700 million gallons of portable water, but said the State could hardly supply 210 million gallons per day due to shortage of infrastructure.
The Governor said, although provision of clean water had been generally considered a social service, it was an essential element of economic necessity, given its importance to keeping humans healthy.
Lagos, he said, is challenged by increasing demand for clean water. Sanwo-Olu said the inadequacy of supply infrastructure could raise disease vulnerability in underserved communities, pointing out that the State, despite being surrounded by abundant water bodies, could only manage to utilise 40 per cent of its installed water facilities.
He said: “Lagos has an investment of about $2.8 billion in water infrastructure, but there is a burden on the huge population, as we need to create an ecosystem where we can have access to basic needs in the 21st century. Given our meagre resources, it is really a challenge but we certainly cannot continue to give excuses. This gap is being felt by underserved communities and the risk to the public is high.”
“We have continued to allocate resources to this sector from our budget, but the intervention is hardly enough to serve the needs of the residents. Four years ago, I gave a commitment of $100 million, but this is like a drop, given the number of investments required to fully explore the potential in the sector. We have huge infrastructure that is not being utilised, making us to operate at less than 40 per cent of the installed capacity.”
“Out of the $1.7 trillion needed globally to address the gap in clean water adequacy, Lagos requires less one per cent of the funds to provide safe water. It is my belief that this conversation would lead to sustainable solution that would meet the needs of millions of people that want water adequacy. Our goal is making committed partners believe in economic viability of their investments.”
Sanwo-Olu listed the country’s energy crisis as another factor slowing down the provision of clean water, stressing that irregular power supply rendered resources allocated to the sector inefficient.
The Governor called for equity in global investment towards accelerating water adequacy, noting that humans, regardless of their gender and geographical location, need equal access to clean water.
With 65 per cent of its population made up of young people of under 30, Sanwo-Olu told the funders that Lagos remained an African asset on which viable investments could be made.
The side meeting, which was moderated by the Secretary General of Insurance Development Forum, Ms. Ekhosuehi Iyahen, had seven other panelists, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WaterAid, Tim Wainright, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo, and CEO of Dalmia Cement in India, Mahendra Singh.
Others are Chief Operating Officer of Water.org, Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Partner of AquaForAll, Josien Sluijs, Assistant Director General of Food and Agriculture Organisation at UN, Maximo Torero, and former CEO of Mars, Incorporated, Grant Reid.
COP28: Gov Eno joins President Tinubu in Dubai
Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency Pastor Umo Eno, is part of the delegation led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR at the ongoing COP28 climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Delegates from nearly 200 countries, leaders in business and finance, and representatives of civil society are gathering in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 for the COP28 climate conference, aiming to fast-track the transition to a clean-energy future.
COP28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), occurring annually.
Also in the President’s entourage are the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari and the newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Okokon Ekanem Udo, among others.
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