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Maritime journalists celebrate Lagos NUJ Chairman in grand reception

The Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria(MARAN), today hosts the newly elected Chairman of the Lagos Council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Leye Ajayi in a grant reception at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos.
Mr Ajayi was a former President of MARAN.
In what appears to be a celebration of electoral success of one of their own, the maritime journalists will converge on the prestigious Hotel to honour Ajayi in the company of maritime industry stakeholders who have been invited to witness the epoch-making event.
In a statement issued in Lagos by the association,  the creme-de-la-creme of the Nigerian maritime sector are billed to attend the event under the Chairmanship of Prince Olayiwola Shittu, former President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA)
The event is billed to hold at the Rockview Hotel in Apapa, Lagos on Thursday March, 25th 2021 by 11am prompt.
The theme of the  event is ”National  Development: The Challenges of and the Prospects for the Proper Implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act in Nigerian Maritime Industry “
“MARAN is proud of one of its own, Leye Ajayi who was a bonafide member of the association until his emergence as the Lagos NUJ Chairman”
“Mr Ajayi had served MARAN meritoriously at different times and different capacities as Secretary General and later as President”
“The Association is therefore planning a grand reception to celebrate his electoral success”, an elated  Mr Anya Njoku, the President of MARAN,  observed.
The association said the grand reception and lecture are aimed  to boost the synergy between the Maritime Press and Maritime Publics and Government Parastatals.
The lead paper would be presented by seasoned Journalist and the Editor of the XPRESS Newspaper, Mr Emeka Okoroanyawu, who was one of the founders of MARAN in 1988.
Former General Manager, Lagos Traffic FM, Mr. Layinka Adagun, a pioneer MARAN Member, would also be a panel discussant to enhance the theme’s perspectives.
The special guests of honor expected at the event includes; the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr Hassan Bello, and Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Dr George Moghalu.
Others are; Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in charge of Zone ‘A’ Lagos, ACG Kaycee Ekekezie and the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho.
The Chief Guests of Honors are; Chairperson of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) Princess Dr Vicky Haastrup, the President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and immediate past chairman of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Aare Hakeem Olanrewaju.
Others are; President of ANLCA,  Hon Tony Iju Nwabunike and the founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebonam.
In addition, all MARAN past Presidents and Executives would be on ground to grace the grand reception and lecture.
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Jamoh wears OFR diadem as Buhari confers national honour on NIMASA DG


The Eyewitness reporter 
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed deep appreciation to President Mohammed Buhari for being conferred with one of the highest national honours in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has conveyed this good news to Dr Jamoh in a letter of Award which has slated the investiture ceremony for the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October 2022.

Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years when he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.

Since that time, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994 and culminating in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.

A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve significant milestones in the sector.

One notable example of this is his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has demonstrated the positive outcomes of information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.

Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Dr Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour stating:

“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that Almighty Allah would so favour me to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

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MARAN mourns death of Afolabi’s twin brother

The Afolabi twins
The Eyewitness reporter
The Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria( MARAN) has condoled with Dr. Taiwo Afolabi over the death of his twin brother, Mr. Kehinde Afolabi who passed on at the weekend.
In its letter of condolence signed by Mr. Gboyega Oni and Mrs. Pearl Ngwama, the Chairman and Secretary respectively  of the interim executive council of the association, MARAN expressed shock at the sudden death of Mr. Kehinde Afolabi
“We express our sincere condolences and sympathy to you, the immediate family left behind and the entire illustrious Afolabi family.
“May God rest the gentle soul of the deceased and grant him eternal rest.
“Our thoughts are with you. Kindly accept our condolences” the association said in its condolence letter to the SIFAX boss.
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Why we are taking time to deploy N50 billion NIMASA floating dock —Jamoh


”We want to learn from past experiences”

The eyewitness reporter

The N50 billion modular floating dock acquired by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is still homeless and yet to be deployed four years after the gigantic national asset was procured and brought back to the country.

Built by one of the world’s largest ship building firms, Damen Shipyards, and its partner, NIRDA, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, at a cost of N50b, the NIMASA floating dock is 125 metres by 35metres, with three in-built cranes, transformers, and a number of ancillary facilities.

However, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has explained that the delay in the deployment of the treasured national asset was to avoid the mistakes of the past where similar facility by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was mismanaged.
While speaking in his office last week Thursday, Dr. Jamoh declared that the long and winding due process that the deployment of the dock has to follow as a government property was another reason why the multi-billion dollar asset has not been deployed.

“The position we want to put the modular floating dock, the same position about four years ago, NPA removed their own dead floating dock,  we came, we saw the modular floating dock working everybody knew the NPA modular floating dock was there standing, but today it’s no more due to the mismanagement of government resources.

“We came here, we had a meeting with the former NPA MD Hadiza Bala Usman, and we were contemplating whether the management that managed the NPA own can manage ours, I told her black and white, they killed your own, they can’t kill our own.

“They destroyed the NPA floating dock and we said that this cannot be killed also, we learnt from that and we said let’s go the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, that we will get a managing partner who has the experience and the technical know-how and the wherewithal to bring customers.

“It’s one thing to have a floating dock, it’s another thing to have the confidence of the people to bring their ships there,” he said.

Jamoh said he learnt from the experience of how the NPA’s own modular floating dock was mismanaged and the NIMASA management now decided to adopt Public- Private partnership (PPP) model where the dock will be handed over to experienced private individuals to manage.
According to him, this process further engendered delay in the deployment of the dock due to the procurement procedure which is long and winding.
He also explained that some installations in the floating dock were missing which necessitated NIMASA having to bring in the manufacturers as no one has the technical know-how to embark on the installation.
This, he said, was coupled with the non-availability of the requisite parts for the installation locally which had to be imported.
He explained that the dock was first considered to be taken to the Niger Delta, but due to the shallow draught of the channel and due to the commercial aspect of the floating dock, it was considered that the floating dock remains in Lagos.

He further explained that ship-owners may not have the confidence to go to the Niger Delta if the floating dock was there.

The NIMASA boss stated that it took the agency eight months to convince the authority to give the approval to commence the operation of the floating dock in Lagos, but said the agency is yet to get a location in Lagos where the floating dock can reside.

Jamoh revealed that since he assumed office, the agency has been working on how to put the floating dock to use, debunking reports that the floating dock is no longer working.

“From the time I assume office till date, we have been working on the floating dock, the floating dock was built and there is installation, so when they built and brought it here, they ought to have installed it.

“That installation part has not been done, it’s not that we are sleeping, we are doing so many things simultaneously, there are processes and procedures in putting the floating dock to use.

“If the cranes are not working, you cannot work with the floating dock, so the first thing we did, was to call Damien the manufacturers of the floating dock and tell them that you delivered this floating dock and you did not install it, we have to know the workability of the cranes, the engine because everything must be in place, and then above all, the floating dock is not a ship that is moving, you have to clip it”.

The NIMASA boss stated that the  agency had to temporarily import equipment from the Netherlands to come only to clip the floating dock

“As we are talking now, the dolphins that we are going to put for the clipping cannot be found in the country, in the whole Nigeria,you cannot get the equipment that can put that dolphin into our own sea for you to clip the floating dock, so we have to do temporary importation of the equipment from the Netherlands to come only purposely to put the dolphin and take it back to Netherland

“The second issue is the issue of location, the first thing that came was the issue of taking the floating dock to Niger Delta but we discovered that we don’t have the draft.

“Secondly, the issue of commercialization, people don’t have the confidence to go there and so many other things on this alone, we spent eight months to convince the authorities to give us the approval to commence the operation of this floating dock in Lagos.

“As we are talking, I just came back from Abuja to get the consent and agreement of the people that they will give us a location where we can place the floating dock, till now we don’t have a location.

“And remember this floating dock has been there since 2018, nobody works it, nobody starts it, nobody knows how it works, so we have to bring the Damien engineers, they came here several times from Netherland.

“We have to bring the Israelis to come here and work with it, so it’s not that we are sleeping or delaying, above all, the modular floating dock is not something you can utilize and give anybody to kill.

“So what we have is a floating dock that can repair ships, if you don’t have the integrity and the technical know-how, nobody will bring their ship there.

“So having done all that, we have to go to the ICRC because it’s a procurement process, first they have to check whether the PPP arrangement you are coming into is doable, bankable, or not.

“So we got the go ahead and they gave us certificate after that we have to go and develop a business case on that, and you have to advertise, people must bid and then you select the best after selecting,  then you develop a business case,  everybody must know its shares and responsibility.

“After that, we will now take it to the mother ministry, evaluate everything and take it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) because it’s now public property and not NIMASA floating dock again.

“The procurement cycle sometimes in this country, you have to spend one year, everybody knows that there is a problem with the procurement cycle, so we are looking for the best for the country.

“At the same time, we are working to see the modular floating dock works, working to see the appropriate place for where to put the floating dock, working hard to make sure that we have people who can handle it like a private entity, we get our profit and send to the government.

“We shouldn’t take it to our own friends and cronies. Everybody that has investment should come and invest at a later date, we will put it in the stock Exchange and it becomes public property and everybody owns shares and manages it well” he stated.

These long and winding processes and procedures have therefore stalled the timely deployment of the floating dock since 2018.
.For several months when it newly came to the country, it was left idle, floating lazily at the Marina waterfront.
Later, the Nigerian Navy came to its rescue when it tugged it into its dockyard,  still idle but gulping national resources in maintenance.

Soon after, during the current tenure of the incumbent Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), under the former leadership of Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, offered to house the idle floating dock in its derelict shipyard at the request of the NIMASA management.

That arrangement with the NPA seems hazy in view of the current position of the management of NIMASA.

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