Shippers’ Council moves to cut freight rates

New freight rates are being considered by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to reduce the cost of doing business in the ports. Earlier, transporters had advised the Council to consider community extortions and poor state of roads in the country. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports Following series of complaints, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has informed truckers under the umbrellas of West Africa Road Transport Union (WARTU), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) among others, to fashion a new freight rates that will reduce the…

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Piracy: Nigerian maritime leads with 31 abductions

No fewer than 41 crew members have been kidnapped by pirates from merchant vessels globally since the beginning of the year. Out of this number, Nigeria accounts for 31 or 75.6 per cent of the crime. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports Recognising the need to get rid of sea robbery in the Gulf of Guinea, especially in Nigeria, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), in partnership with Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), recently proposed the idea of a ‘Community of Reporting’, a project aimed at encouraging all stakeholders to share reports of piracy and…

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Liner groups launch cyber security to block hackers

Considering the risk cybercrime may further pose on their ships and operations, the joint industrial groups of shipping associations has rolled out cyber security onboard ships to stop the menace of hackers. The joint industry working group members are Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (Intercargo), International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), International Union of Maritime Insurance (IUMI) and Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). The guidelines on cyber security onboard ships have…

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Seafarers at crossroads over competence

Nigerian seafarers are no longer finding it easy to renew their mandatory Certificate of Competency (COC), medical certificate and relevant documents in order to retain their jobs due to the high renewal fees charged by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). National President of Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, Matthew Alalade, said that the agency was lacking behind in providing the all important Seafarers Identity Document (SID) to members of the union. He said in Onne that lack of necessary documents had hampered seafarers’…

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Maritime industry defies ease of doing business

Despite the presidential order on ease of doing business, some challenges such as gridlock, illegal imports, bad roads and corruption have inhibited positive developments in the maritime industry in the first half of the year. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports In the last six months, business activities in the maritime industry have remained low despite moves by the Federal Government to boost trade facilitation through import and export. Challenges It was gathered that the volume of inward and outward cargoes at the sea ports has reduced. The promise given by government to…

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Deficient scanners obstruct inspection

Despite the 24-hour operations embarked by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), lack of scanners to inspect containers has hindered trade facilitation in all the port terminals. It was learnt that the personnel of NCS were left with no other option than to do 100 per cent physical examination of cargoes riddled with difficulties. The Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, complained that the process had impeded quality and efficient service delivery that the Ease of Doing Business executive order was trying to address. He explained that…

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ISPS Code: NIMASA lauds Onne Port investors

Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that the United States Coast Guard has rated Nigeria above 80 per cent compliance on port security. The agency’s Director General, Dr Dakuku Peterside, made this known in a statement. He noted that the compliance with provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) and the Nigerian Local Content Law was achievable because of the cooperation secured from INTELS and other terminal operators, at the last rating, the US Coast Guard. He stressed that the present administration…

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Low bridge headroom may hinder exports

As Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) lists Ikorodu Lighter terminal (IKLT) among the export terminals in the western ports, there are fears that low headroom of three bridges across the lagoon may hinder smooth transfer export. It was gathered that the headroom of the Third Mainland, Eko and Cater bridges were too low for movement of exports by water from Ikorudu terminal to the two main ports in Lagos. Also, the moribund Lilypond Container Terminal at Ijora and that of Ikoroan will be designated as part of Federal Government’s plans to…

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Operators flay pre-shipment inspection

A section of a Bill to repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) of 1958 has been opposed by stakeholders who insisted that the re-introduction of pre-shipment inspection scheme would have an adverse effect on Nigerian economy. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports There is an on-going fear among importers and customs agents that the re-introduction of pre-shipment inspection scheme in the new Customs and Excise Management Act will further worsen the economy. The scheme was dropped 11 years ago by the Federal Government for Destination Inspection. Currently, it has been reintroduced…

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‘Maritime Academy lacks capacity to compete’

Thirty eight years after, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, is still battling with training equipment and other necessary infrastructure to compete with other maritime institutions in line with international standards. The Conference of Oron Youth Leaders (COYL), Akwa Ibom State, made this known. They explained that the academy, which was established over 40 years ago, had been struggling to achieve the purpose for which it was set up. The President of the group, Etifit Nkereuwem, called on the Federal Government to urgently equip the academy with the needed facilities.…

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