Ease of doing business: Port concessionaire raises doubt

One of the concessionaires of Tincan Island Port, SIFAX Group, has said that lack of critical infrastructure may hinder the success of the Federal Government’s drive at improving the ease of doing business in the country. The company’s Group Executive Vice Chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, said this in a statement made available to New Telegraph in Lagos. He explained that the Ease of Doing Business initiated by the government was a good development due to the needless bottleneck encountered in the service delivery process. According to him, there is no…

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New role: Challenges before Shippers’ council

The preferred agency suitable to transform into the National Transport Commission (NTC), needs about 1,500 personnel to effectively discharge its responsibilities. In its new task of regulating the transport industry, it was gathered that NTC would cover maritime, land and rail transportation system. Its assignment shall also cover all the 36 states in the country. Power The power of the Commission shall include licensing operators, users, shippers and consumers or any other person involved in the regulated transport industry; implement government’s economic regulatory policies on transport; examine and resolve complaints;…

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Customs patrol vessels idle

Inadequate armoury and skilled crew are hindering the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Western Marine Command, from discharging its responsibilities on Nigeria waters. It was learnt that the service has been unable to deploy its two sea going vessels- MV Group of Nine and MV Customs Pride to commence operations at sea. It was gathered that smugglers have taken advantage of this weakness to smuggle contraband through the sea and creeks. The Controller of the command, Comptroller Sarkin Kebbi, said in Lagos that its vessels moored at the Marina waterfront would…

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Duties’ duplication hampers port growth

Lack of unique port pricing mechanism and unfriendly government policies are affecting cost of doing business in Nigerian ports. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports For the port system to be efficient, Shippers’ Association of Lagos State (SALS) has advised the Federal Government to repeal some unfriendly import policies in order to achieve the 48- hour cargo clearance target in Nigerian ports. Similarly, customs agents under the umbrella of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said that extortion by police, customs and other security operatives at the port, has become a…

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Decayed infrastructure stunts maritime growth

Despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s foot print, the last two years in the maritime industry have been very challenging as many indigenous shipping companies have either collapsed or battling to survive. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports In the last two years of this administration, unfavourable government policies have led to unjustified bureaucracy, monopoly and corrupt practices, decayed infrastructure, high costs of doing business and lack of affordable distribution system in the maritime industry. The policies have also affected the government financially, with less capacity to invest in infrastructure, job creation, traffic gridlock, security…

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NPA, BPE agree on seamless collaboration

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have agreed to collaborate to sustain maritime industry development. Director-General, BPE, Mr. Alex A. Okoh, and Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, made the joint resolution in Abuja during a courtesy visit by NPA management to his office. Okoh said that the collaboration was necessary in order to enhance efficiency and service delivery at Nigerian ports. A statement by the bureau’s Head of Public Communications, Chukuma Nwokoh, said that the chief executives reviewed the maritime industry…

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Ebola: NPA to scan seafarers

The Nigerian Ports Authority’s Port Health Services (PHS) has put up measures to ensure that the deadly virus, Ebola, does not find its way back into Nigeria through the seaports. According to the Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, all hands were on deck at the port to screen seafarers coming into the country through the waterways and also ensure appropriate screening at all entry points into the port. She said that NPA would give necessary support to the PHS to ensure there were no loopholes in carrying…

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Port users allege extortion by Lagos State officials

Exporters and Customs agents have drawn a battle line with the Lagos State Wharf Landing Authority over extortion and harassment. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports The wharf landing fees introduced in 2009 by Lagos State government to shore up revenue profile for councils hosting ports has been severely criticised by importers, clearing agents and truckers using the seaports. The fees were introduced by the state under Wharf Landing Fees Law No. 5 of 2009 to check the harmful consequences of trucking activities in the port areas. However, stakeholders said that the N500…

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New govt policy to create 200,000 jobs

Port concessionaires have said that the policy review, which gives importers power to choose the port where their cargoes could be discharged will create over 200,000 jobs. The new policy introduced by the Federal Government guarantees the right of importers to choose terminals of their choice provided the concessionaires have expertise to handle cargoes, such as bulk, containerised and multipurpose cargoes The operators, under the umbrella of Seaport Terminal Operators of Nigeria (STOAN), also explained in Lagos that the policy would make the sector number one foreign currency revenue earner…

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FG to sanction liners without advanced manifest

A new guideline to facilitate import and export trade at the seaport is being considered by Federal Government as shipping lines, which fail to transmit their advanced cargo manifest, may be denied berthing rights. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports As the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is making efforts to collaborate with other stakeholders to further reform the import and export processes in the port industry, terminal operators now have only 12-hour notice to place cargo for examination. The guideline is part of Federal Government’s decision to reduce the time taken to import…

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