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Cabotage waiver cessation: NIMASA offers incentives to investors



Cabotage waiver cessation: NIMASA offers incentives to investors

Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside said that the agency has lined up mouthwatering incentives to attract Nigerian investors to take advantage of the huge opportunities its Five-Year Strategic Waivers Cessation Plan is creating the Nigerian maritime industry and invest in the sector.


Dakuku, who spoke recently in Lagos at the first edition of the Nigerian Maritime Finance Fair, organised by the Association Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), said the agency in its determination to encourage Nigerians to invest in the sector, it invited property owners along the Nigerian coast on the opportunity to utilize same for development of ship building/repair yards.


“We also invited Nigerian indigenous cabotage operators to partner with invited foreign ship building companies on ship building with NIMASA facilitating same by creating the enabling environment.

“NIMASA will further request for tax holidays and Customs Duties incentives for ship building yards in Nigeria,” he said.


Dakuku, who was represented at the event by the Director of NIMASA in-charge of Cabotage, Barrister Victor Egerue, said for steady and sustained march towards the target of ending waivers in the next five years, the agency desires that ship repair yards should be established as a prelude to establishing ship building yards.


He stressed the need for the sustenance and enhancement of existing ship yards and their capacity, saying the private sector will be engaged for the utilization of NIMASA’s floating dockyard.

He added that there is need for import duty waiver on imported ship spares and component to be facilitated.


According to him, ship building and repair strategy should include:  Repair of existing shipyards; upgrade of existing facilities; Identification of technical operators to facilitate (a) and (b) above.

He also said that there is need for a review of the Temporary Importation Permit Scheme by Nigeria Customs Services on Bareboat charters.

Need to facilitate Joint Venture Partnership between foreigners and Indigenous operators on Ship Building.

Engagement of NEXIM BANK to guarantee loans sourced from foreign financial institutions for acquisition of vessels.

Credit Guarantee schemes should be established; while foreign vessels should obtain license before they sail into Nigeria to perform any task and this will be fully enforced with sanctions for non-compliance, he said.

Dakuku further stated that the indefinite suspension of waiver placed on certain categories of foreign seafarers will be sustained, even as a database for Seafarers will be established by NIMASA.

He said that ship owners are to be engaged to provide international seatime training to Nigerian cadets, while seafarers training will be geared towards domestic needs. He added that the disparity in wages between foreign seafarers and their Nigerian counterparts should be addressed.

Roadmap for the implementation of the waiver cessation plan include: A joint committee of NIMASA/relevant stakeholders to be inaugurated this month to drive the process.

The plan will be largely private sector driven; while NIMASA will enhance enforcement of maritime laws and regulations; and ensure that a data-base for cabotage operations is established from this month.

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CSR-in-Action partners Access Bank to host C-PET Workshop



CSR-in-Action partners Access Bank to host C-PET Workshop

Access Bank in conjunction with CSR-in-Action’s College of Sustainable Citizenship, have concluded plans to host the 9th Civil Society Organisation Professionalism, Effectiveness and Therapy (CSO-CPET) workshop.

The biannual programme is slated for Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at the Access Bank Head Office on Victoria Island, Lagos.

The workshop themed: ‘Governance and Decision-Making’ will feature participants from different civil society organisations and non-profits numbering over 50, while Soji Apampa and Oluseyi Oyebisi will be the facilitators for the training.

Soji Apampa is founder and consultant executive director of convention on business integrity. His areas of expertise cut across corporate governance, political economy analysis and anti-corruption research while Seyi Oyebisi is the Coordinator, UNICEF Rural Voices of Youth. He is a civil society strengthening and development expert.

Speaking on the upcoming training, Bekeme Masade-Olowola, Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, said: “Good governance is at the heart of any successful organisation as it is essential for a company or organisation to achieve its objectives, drive improvement, and maintain successful relations.

“Governance in decision-making is not an exclusive concern for large companies, but for any business or organisation of any shape and size including civil society organisations because it can be a deal maker or breaker. It is for this reason that we commend our partners, Access Bank, for their longstanding commitment to supporting the C-PET project and advancing sustainable development.’’

Access Bank’s Head of Sustainability, Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, reiterated the bank’s commitment to building the value chain of businesses and the nation through facilitating shared value.

She said: “At Access Bank, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) performance is at the top of our corporate agenda. This is because we are aware that effective corporate governance is essential to the sustainable growth of the bank.”

“We understand that our positive social and environmental impact will establish us as good corporate citizens in the communities we serve. Sound corporate governance practice, which includes excellent risk management processes, is the basis for our outstanding business performance now and in the long-term,” she added.

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TUC–NLC: Not the best of time



TUC–NLC: Not the best of time

Organised labour under the aegis of Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called on Nigerians to be united and patient in the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir as the current developments in the country is not the best of time for the citizens.

TUC, in a statement to felicitate with Muslims for the celebration, said the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir should afford everyone the opportunity to work to fulfill their allegiance to God, which the very essence of the celebration.

The statement signed by Comrade Quadri A. Olaleye, President, and Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi, Secretary General, said: “It takes self-discipline to love and remain faithfulness. It is a sacrifice”

“Though TUC admitted this is not the best of times for us as a country, a spiritual exercise such as this is central to reconnect us to Allah.

“It is imperative at this stage to submit ourselves to the will of Allah and give our total allegiance to the country. We can only overcome our prevailing challenges if we consider it very necessary. Yes we have a role to play. We expect the celebration to humble every Muslim in particular and Nigerians in general in their service to Allah, and humanity.

The congress, while attesting to the fact that Nigerians are a religious people, said the same religion was a cardinal factor and instrumental to some major crises that have so far claimed thousands of lives.

“This makes us look unserious and hypocritical before the international community. There is scarcely any person in position of leadership today in the country who is neither a Christian, Muslim nor traditional worshipper. No religion preaches hatred, killings, thuggery, embezzlement, etc. and these are things that have threatened our collective existence. If our narrative must change, politicians, traditional rulers, youths, religious leaders have a role to play.

On its part, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), while congratulating the Muslims faithful said: We believe that this Eid-el-Kabir has come at time of great challenges, both economic and social that threatens our common bond and values that holds us together.

According to the President, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, “it, therefore, offers us a great opportunity for deep reflection and rededication of our lives.

“Let us reflect and allow this year’s Eid-el-kabir to impact us. We must understand that our purpose in life is to do our Creator’s Will and impact lives. Let us take advantage of the celebration to tolerate ourselves and chart a new course for the country.”

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Labour seeks workers’ cooperation with govt



Labour seeks workers’ cooperation with govt

The Osun State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on workers to be committed to their duties as they look forward to the governor’s fulfillment of his promises.

Giving the admonition as part of his Sallah message, the chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Adekomi Jacob Tunde, assured the workers that their efforts and sacrifice would not be in vain.

Adekomi felicitated with all workers in the state as they joined other Muslim faithful worldwide to celebrate this year’s Sallah.

He said: “The congress wish our numerous members a peaceful and joyous celebration in times like this.

“Your past sacrifice and perseverance for the growth and upliftment of the state can never be forgotten in a hurry. “History will never forget our sweats and roles in infrastructural development of the state. Our efforts shall not be in vain.”

The chairman called on the workers to keep supporting the state government and be more committed to their work.

According to him, “as we look forward to the fulfilment of the promises of Governor Gboyega Oyetola in improving the welfare of workers and paying our arrears among other dues of workers, let’s keep supporting the government and do our jobs diligently.

“The congress is also using this medium to appreciate Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola for every efforts being made to make Osun workers live better. “We congratulate and felicitate with Mr Governor and his cabinet on this Ileya festival. Almighty God will grant you the wherewithal to take Osun to an enviable heights.”

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Wema Bank embraces fintechs to boost operations



Wema Bank embraces fintechs to boost operations

Wema Bank Plc has embraced several fintechs and startups within the tech-space to solve problems in banking.

The bank, following the launch of its experiential banking platform ALAT, completed Hackaholics, a hackathon that attracted over 200 entries from various start-ups.

The three-day competitive event eventually had 19 shortlisted contestants focus on solving specific problems across the bank.

The bank in a statement noted that among several front-line solutions from the participating teams, EazyChange, a solution that solves the problem of lower denominations for public transportation, won top honours, receiving a $10,000 funding.

“Wema Bank has continually engaged other startups as it gradually repositions itself in the mind of the public as a disruptor and collaborator in the fintech and startups space.

“With Team Lendse, the bank is working on an alternative credit scoring algorithm that rides on data science and machine learning to profile lenders and make credible credit decisions more efficient. A betting solution which helps agents remit risk-free funds conveniently using mobile app and USSD is currently being developed by Cashy.

Wema Bank’s Innovation Unit and internal tech team are working with Team Ace, another startup to build an offline version of its app such that users will leverage on alternate technology to use the app without requiring data,” the bank said.

It explained that as part of its post-Hackaholics activities, the bank will work with other five startups in a 10-week incubation and acceleration Bootcamp.

“The program is designed to thoroughly explore the potentials of the solutions from these startups using innovative tools to make their solution scale from a raw idea state to a robust and market-ready product/service. The program will be hosted at the bank’s innovation lab, Wema Codeville, in August 2019.

“For Wema Bank, the Bootcamp is a strategic partnership that will help stimulate and promote the in and outflow of new ideas, staying ahead of the curve and multiplying revenue streams in the long run.

“Beyond solving problems within the financial industry, the bank is partnering academic institutions by training the students on market, industry and field relevant skills that the school curriculum(s) does not cover and most importantly providing an environment to help them translate their ideas into reality,” the bank noted.

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NSE: ETI, Unilever lead losers to extend decline



NSE: ETI, Unilever lead losers to extend decline

Trading activities on the floor of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday witnessed another drop in share prices as bears sustained their grip on the local bourse following sell- off that has pervaded the market recently.

The local bourse recorded nine gainers against 23 losers led by ETI Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc. 

Consequently, the All-Share Index dipped 30.18 basis points or 0.11 per cent to close at 27,052.93 index points as against 27,083.11 recorded the previous day while market capitalisation of equities depreciated by N15 billion from N13.198 trillion the previous day to N13.183 trillion as market sentiments remained negative.

Meanwhile, a turnover of 233.2 million shares exchanged in 4,331 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.

The banking sub-sector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 74 million shares exchanged by investors in 1,352 deals.

Volume in the sub-sector was largely driven by activities in the shares of GTBank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc.

Also, the premium sub-sector, boosted by activities in the shares of Access Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, followed with a turnover of 68 million shares in 1,253 deals.

Further analysis of the day’s trading showed that CCNN Plc topped the day’s gainers’ table with 9.43 per cent to close at N14.50 per share while Unity Bank Plc followed with 7.81 per cent to close at 69 kobo per share. Livestock Feeds Plc added 7.32 per cent to close at 44 kobo per share.

On the flip side, ETI Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc led the losers with a drop of 10 per cent each to close at N6.30 and N28.80 per share respectively, while Red Star Express Plc shed 9.98 per cent to close at N4.24 per share. Stanbic IBTC Plc trailed with 9.97 per cent to close at N34.30 per share.

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Naira remains stable at parallel market



Naira remains stable at parallel market

Although it is currently under pressure at the Investors and Exporters’ (I&E) foreign exchange window, the naira continues to remain stable at the parallel market, findings by New Telegraph show.

Yesterday, the local currency exchanged at N360 to the dollar, the same rate it had largely traded at over the last 12 months. It traded against the pound sterling and the euro at N448 and N398, respectively.

A dollar shortage initially triggered by a slowdown of foreign inflows after local debt market yields declined, coupled with falling oil prices, had put the naira under pressure on the I&E window in recent weeks.

Last Friday, the naira eased to 364 per dollar, from a quote of 363.50. It also traded at 364/$ yesterday on thin liquidity.

A forex trader in Lagos told New Telegraph that the volatility on I&E window had not affected exchange rate stability on other segments of the forex market.

According to him, forex supply continues to exceed demand due to Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) frequent interventions in the interbank forex market.

The trader said: “We have heard that the naira is under pressure at the I&E window, but the exchange rate is stable both at the Bureaux de Change (BDC) and parallel markets segments of the foreign exchange market. The stability is the result of the regular interventions in the market by the CBN.”

However, in a recent note, analysts at Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited predicted that the decline in oil prices would eventually lead to a depreciation of the naira.

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Nigeria to save $3.42bn from vessel import embargo



Nigeria to save $3.42bn from vessel import embargo

Plans by the Federal Government to ban certain categories of vessels from 2020 will save Nigeria from spending $3.42billion annually on importation from five major ship suppliers.

The major exporters of vessels to the country are Republic of Korea, United States, Singapore, Malaysia, China and The Netherlands.

According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), a trade portal on imports, Republic of Korea, the largest exporter of vessel to Nigeria, supplied   some vessels and spare parts valued at $3.2billion.

The trade portal added that  Malaysia supplied $64.2million; China, $33.59million; Singapore, 19million; United States of America, $14.25million and Netherlands $13.9million.

Nigerian ship owners import heavy floating cranes, heavy crane badge, survey salvage vessels, seismic survey vessels, geophysical survey vessels, jack up rigs, semi submersible rig, deepwater drill ships, tender assist rigs and swamp barge rigs from the countries.

Government had explained that the ban was to grow local shipyards in the country.

However, it is feared that the shipyards lack technology to boost the ship building in the country.

The Federal Government had said that under schedule one of the ban, fishing trawlers of all sizes would no longer be allowed into the country from December, 2020, while the importation of barges and tug boats would cease from December, 2021.

Similarly, offshore supply vessels, houses boats, tankers below 10,000 gross registered tonnage and security patrol boats were also affected and would not be allowed into the country from December, 2022.

Schedule two affects offshore support vessels namely anchor handling tug larger than 5,000bnp with dynamic positioning Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) and offshore construction vessels, derrick crane vessels, pipe/cable laying vessels, surf laying vessels, and dive support vessels.

The vessels are banned from December, 2023 while the drag head suction hopper, dredger suction hopper and trailing suction hopper dredger would be restricted from coming into the country by December, 2024.

Also banned from December 2024, are heavy floating cranes, heavy crane badge, survey salvage vessels, seismic survey vessels, geophysical survey vessels, jack up rigs, semi submersible rig, deepwater drill ships, tender assist rigs and swamp barge rigs.

Already, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had approached the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on behalf of the ship owners to enable them import vessels at special interest rate at single digit.

However, the shipowners have accused the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of sabotage in the implementation of the Inland and Coastal Shipping Act 2003 for demanding huge taxes as duty payment on imported cabotage vessels.

They noted that NCS had snubbed ship owners over calls for a downward review of Customs duty on vessel importation, a situation they said had placed them at a disadvantage in competing with foreign counterparts.

It was learnt that government fiscal policy mandates Customs to impose a 14 per cent duty on vessels imported into the country, which subsequently raises the cost of importing vessels into the country.

The law also allows Customs to grant waivers to foreign owned vessels in line with the provisions of the Cabotage Act.

According to an  executive member of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) and General Manager, C& 1 Leasing PLC, Engr. Wisdom Nwagwu,  lack of inter agency collaboration was the biggest challenge hindering the effective implementation of the Cabotage Act.

He said that apart from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which had the responsibility of enforcing the Cabotage law, other government agencies in the shipping industry that should encourage indigenous ship owners in the implementation of the law were not giving necessary support.

Nwagwu said:  “Because the agencies are not working together, the Nigerian ship owners do not see the immediate benefit of importing a Cabotage vessel.”

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Rewane: Insecurity fuelling expenses for corporates



Rewane: Insecurity fuelling expenses for corporates

Political insecurity is fueling increased logistics costs in the country, New Telegraph has learnt.

Analysts at Bismark Rewane-led Financial Derivative Companies (FDC),while counting the economic cost of political insecurity in the country, said it had fuelled increased logistics costs, and also reduced profitability for corporates.

In its latest report, the analysts said the security challenges ranged from communal/tribal clashes to kidnapping and armed robbery, among others, adding that insecurity had increased the possibility of businesses passing the cost burden to consumers.

They noted that logistics costs as percentage of total costs had risen to 53 per cent, adding that the cost emanated partly from diesel price and higher insurance premium on kidnapping risks.

People’s response to security challenges, FDC’s analysts said, had led to increase in air travel relative to road travel.

For business owners, they said some of the businesses had been shutdown, while other relocated their office premises.

“Farmers have fled their farms, resulting in wastage and losses,” the analysts said.

For this purpose, they stated that policy makers had increased security checkpoints.

On what would be the impact of Brexit on Nigeria, the analysts said it would increase capital flows into emerging economies such as Nigeria, while the interest rate cut in the United States (US) would boost US economic growth and reduce unemployment.

Still on impact of Brexit, they said: “Higher employment suggests a possible increase in remittances from Nigerians that reside in the US,” and cocoa and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) prices would reduce government’s revenues.

The experts said the impact could be limited by the fall in import prices of wheat, corn and sugar, while widening trade imbalance between Nigeria and China.

Presently, they stated that China accounted for 21.3 per cent of Nigeria’s imports and 0.2 per cent exports, adding that currency depreciation would make Chinese goods cheaper.

Besides, they said it would lower import bill to at least five per cent, encourage dumping, but that it was negative for infant domestic industries and that Nigeria’s reserves held in yuan would lose value in US dollar terms.

It has been held that a hard-Brexit would be detrimental to both the UK and global economy.

On Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth for 2019/2020, the analysts are of the opinion that growth would remain lackluster.

They listed major risks to growth to include power shortages, tight credit conditions and huge infrastructural deficit, which is in the tune of $300billion.

The analysts decried rising unemployment rate, which they said has been trended upwards since 2015, adding that it has been projected to increase further.

They stated that youth unemployment has mirrored the trend, adding that reduction in discretionary income has dampened consumer spending.

On Forex market outlook, analysts from FDC foresaw naira depreciate to N362/dollar – N363/dollar due to increased liquidity.

According to them, demand pressures would increase in August/September due to payment of tuition by international students.

They disclosed that volatility in oil prices could have a negative impact on external reserves.

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Nigeria’s seed bill passage to rouse quality seed uptake



Nigeria’s seed bill passage to rouse quality seed uptake

Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the seed bill policy into law in Abuja; a development the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) affirmed would attract investments into the seed sub-sector. Taiwo Hassan reports


Indeed, the non-passage of the seed bill policy by the 8th National Assembly lawmakers was a tropical issue in Nigeria’s agric sector space, as stakeholders insisted that this could affect food productivity and security in the country.

Nigeria’s seed sector had been infested by fake or adulterated seeds, which affects farmers’ crops harvests and investments in farming.

Notwithstanding, the National Agricultural Seed Council, the seed regulatory body in the country, has been at the vanguard of regulating the spreading of fake seeds in circulation by middlemen who specialize in selling them to many innocent farmers in the country, shortchanging them in the process.

Speaking on this development, the Director-General, NASC, Philip Ojo explained that he has been intensifying campaigns on the need to eradicate and stop fake seeds in the circulation by re-positioning NASC to make sure that it effectively regulates the country’s seed industry in line with section 22, subsection 1, which states, “no person other than a person registered and accredited by NASC shall produce or be engaged in the production, processing and marketing of seeds for commercial purpose in Nigeria”.

Indeed, there is nothing very important to Nigerian farmers than having access to quality and right variety of seeds that will ensure that their expectations for enhanced yields and bumper harvest is not truncated during the harvesting period.

Also, merchant farmers understand the role of quality seeds in boosting farm productivity and therefore attach high premium to it.

Nigeria’s seed industry

No doubt, there are lots of challenges facing the country’s seed sector. But one of the biggest of these trials is fake seed in circulation, which has contributed negatively to the country’s quest to achieve food productivity and security.

Because of the multiplier effect of these fake seeds on the country’s agriculture, the Federal Government has been parleying with renowned seeds’ countries in the world to explore areas of collaboration for the development of the agricultural sector in anticipation to changing the country from being a food importer to a food exporter.

There is no gainsaying that the country’s economy has lost fortunes of foreign exchange to the importation of various seeds from abroad for farmers’ use to address seed deficit in the country.

In one of the fora in Abuja, the immediate past minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh bemoaned the threat the menace portends to farmers and food security, acknowledging that he was a victim of fake seeds.

Statistics from the office of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) showed that over 70 per cent of people who had no business with seeds jump into the business and sell junk to farmers without getting certified by the Council in a bid to make quick money.

In fact, the menace of fake seeds has been a concern for President Muhammadu Buhari.

NASC’s stance on seed bill    

The National Agricultural Seed Council said the seed bill policy signed by the president on the 24th of June has enhanced crucial areas in the sector.

The Director-General’s Special Adviser on Technical Matters, Mr. Dahiru Rabiu, said the approval of the seed bill had not only given room for private sector participation but also attracted investments into the seed sub-sector as well as stimulated the uptake of quality seeds.

According to him, the signing of the bill has allowed the council to provide a temporary measure to introduce a plant variety protection.

Similarly, the seed bill has also provided a temporary measure for the private sector research companies to come up with their own varieties.

In addition, the bill has the ability to provide third party certification and the council can now license someone from the private sector to execute some of its functions where he does not have capacity.

He stated that the third party certification would also reduce the overhead cost of the federal government and provide employment opportunities from the side of the private sector while offering a third party guaranteed service.

Rabiu explained that the seed bill, promoted by the National Agricultural Seeds Council, would provide an opportunity to align Nigerian seeds system with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) seed regulatory framework.

It will also ensure regulation of foreign-bred varieties before release into the Nigerian market

Seed companies’ licences

In a move to bring sanity to the seed sector, the National Agricultural Seed Council issued 158 seed companies of different categories, including four large-scale, nine medium scale and about 67 small-scale seed companies licenses to commence production of quality seeds in the country to address the problem of inaccessibility and lack of quality seedling.

Last line

With the Presidential assent on the seed bill policy, agric stakeholders are watching keenly if it will reduce to the barest minimum fake and adulterated seeds in circulation.

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ICAO faces pressure on air safety licensing



ICAO faces pressure on air safety licensing
  • Licensing will enhance safety–NAMA


The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is considering inclusion of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) licensing in its Annex1 to the Chicago Convention following pressure the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

The airspace management agency said the situation would place the responsibility to ensure safety on the holder because a licence is the confirmation of competence in a specific safety related area.

Standards and Recommended Practices for the licensing of flight crew members (pilots, flight engineers and flight navigators), air traffic controllers, aeronautical station operators, maintenance technicians and flight dispatchers , are provided by Annex 1 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

Related training manuals provide guidance to states for the scope and depth of training curricula, which will ensure that the confidence in safe air navigation, as intended by the Convention and Annex 1, is maintained.

These training manuals also provide guidance for the training of other aviation personnel such as aerodrome emergency crews, flight operations officers, radio operators and individuals involved in other related disciplines.

Speaking on the sidelines at the just concluded 9th International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) hosted by the National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE) in Abuja, the Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said although the demand for the licensing of ATSEPs had been a recurring issue in the ICAO General Assembly yearly due to efforts of IFATSEA to give it a loud voice, stakeholders in the industry have the onerous duty to ensure that this message resonates globally given the safety-critical role  ATSEPs play in the aviation sector.

Akinkuotu said as an agency with the largest concentration of ATSEPs in Nigeria, NAMA would continue to support the advocacy for the inclusion of ATSEP licensing in ICAO Annex 1 as this would give them a sense of accountability and commitment to duty.

“Licensing of critical personnel in the aviation industry is fundamental to safety. We are demanding for license so that we can hold people responsible for their actions. The fact that a license unlike a university degree can be withdrawn makes the holder extremely responsible and careful in taking safety-critical decisions,” he said.   

The NAMA boss said in recognition of the immense contribution of ATSEPs to safety in the nation’s aviation sector, Nigeria has an operating ATSEP licensing and rating programme included in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR) which NAMA is vigorously implementing as required, stressing that the programme had gone a long way in increasing the competency of ATSEPS in the country.

His words: “NAMA engineers have proved that they can stand their own in every situation and they have continued to ensure that our navigational equipment propagate accurate and reliable signals  thereby ensuring safety of air travel in the country.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, said the professionalisation of ATSEP has become indispensable as it would create the link between air traffic controllers and pilots as is the practice globally.

Zakari who was represented by the Director of Human resources, Nkeiru Ejiofor said Nigeria had been a significant affiliate of IFATSEA and a flagship of safety in the region.

He tasked participants to churn out realizable and realistic strategies and modalities to enhance safety in the African airspace and the entire global aviation environment.

In his welcome address, President, National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE),  Ishaya Dung, lamented that in spite of concerted efforts by members over the years, ATSEPs were yet to be recognized by ICAO Annex 1, saying this development had impacted negatively on the psychology of members worldwide, making it a safety concern. He therefore called on stakeholders to back the association in its plan to represent the “safety case” in the forthcoming ICAO General assembly in September, 2019.

This year’s conference with the theme “Aviation Safety and Licensing of ATSEP,” was attended by 131 participants drawn from 9 countries – Burkina Faso, Gambia, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania, Germany and Nigeria as well as representatives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and  Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA).   

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