” I feel highly humbled to be the Chairman of this occasion,”” Shittu said.
He urged MARAN not to lose focus, adding that he would join hands with the leadership of MARAN in lifting the association higher.
“We must guard the maritime sector jealously by exposing the rot in the industry,” he added.
Shittu also urged the leadership of MARAN to carry others along to overcome the tasks ahead.
The event was also spiced with lectures by guest speakers.
The first lecture which had its theme: “National Development: The Challenges and the prospects for the proper implementation of the freedom of Information Act in Nigeria”, was delivered by Mr. Emeka Okoroanyanwu, Editor Xpress Newspaper.
“Freedom of Information is the fundamental right of every Nigerian. Information is critical to national development and good governance.
“It is the lifewire of a democratic society. Without freedom of information, the people’s right to know would be infringed upon and suffers.
“The press has a constitutional responsibility to inform, educate and entertain, ” the former MARAN President said.
A former General Manager of LagosTraffic Radio, Mr. Olayinka Adagun, also gave a lecture on the Freedom of Information Act and Maritime Reporting.
“The maritime sector today faces challenges of operational inefficiencies, unpredictable operational time lag, unnecessary delays of shipment, even as stakeholders themselves find it difficult to collaborate to address these challenges through global best practices.
“It must be said that the effective implementation of the FOI Act 2011 holds the prospect of accelerated development of the Maritime industry and enhances the process of cargo clearance at the ports,” Adagun said.
A Panel of discussants comprising Dr George Ayoade, Director-General, Chartered Institute of Environmental and Public Health Management of Nigeria, Dr. Tajudeen Alao, President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners and the Representative of the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Wale Akodu, threw more light on the topics.
The event was attended by past Presidents of MARAN which included Barrister Valentino Buoro, Emmanuel Adegbe, Asu Beks, Ray Ugochukwu, and Sesan Onilemo.
Others present at the event were Mr. Olusina Thorpe, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and strategy represented by Mr Wale Akodu, Mr Muyiwa Akande, Corporate Affairs Manager of SIFAX, Mrs. Nike Sodipo, an Assistant Director, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, NUJ Lagos Council Executive Members.
Others are Mr. Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council represented by Mr Emeka Okereke, Assistant Director Legal Services, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Okey Ibeke, Publisher, Business and Maritime West Africa, and many more.
The President of MARAN Mr Anya Njoku described the event as timely.
“I am the happiest person on earth that this event is happening under my regime,” he said.
“With Leye Ajayi as the Chairman of NUJ Lagos Council, we can be sure that our voices will be heard,” Njoku said.
He tasked journalists in Lagos to support Mr. Adeleye Ajayi, describing him as a peacemaker and the fastest writer in MARAN.
On his part, Ajayi thanked dignitaries present at the occasion, describing MARAN as a big and united family.
“I can tell you that MARAN is intact in spite of the five factions of maritime journalists’ bodies.
“NUJ Lagos Council will look for a way of having an umbrella body for maritime journalists’ associations in order to be on the same page, ” he said.
Ajayi thanked MARAN for finding him worthy of the honour which he confessed caught him unawares.
The Lagos Council Chairman equally acknowledged the support of stakeholders in the industry for him to win the election.
“I thank everybody and I wish you all a safe journey back to your various homes,” .he concluded.
I was never in charge of maritime industry —Saraki
It could also be recalled that Amaechi had made a couple of visits to the Lekki deep seaport, even on a Sunday, before the presidential visit, none of which Saraki attended.
” Gbemi is also made of sterner stuff given her role in the “Otoge” political tsunami in Kwara which eventually swept off Bukola Saraki, her blood brother, from the political dominance in Kwara politics, a role which earned her the present position in the present dispensation.
“Today is my fifth week of assuming the leadership of the Ministry of Transportation”, she declared last week Friday in Lagos.
“We came to take stock of the sector. We had taken the stock of the Road sector,” she said.
Giving her summation of her findings at the end of the tour, she declared” Apapa and Tin Can ports are in terrible need of repairs.
“We will go and come back for repairs.
“We have the short, medium, and long-term plans for this. We need to start with rehabilitation here. Another problem here is power”
The Minister met various groups who are stakeholders in the industry.
Among them are women groups in maritime, terminal operators, stevedores, maritime workers union groups, haulage, and transport operators, maritime lawyers, freight forwarders, and maritime press.
We have political will to ensure CVFF is disbursed—-Saraki
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Rukayyat Gbemisola Saraki has expressed willingness to muster the necessary political will to ensure the controversial Cabotage Vessels Financing Funds (CVFF) are disbursed before she leaves office.
“In the course of this visit, I have also interacted with so many stakeholders, including the indigenous ship owners.
“It is really a shame that this fund has not been disbursed, I learnt the value is $350 million now and I am not sure any part of it is missing.
She added that the disbursement would follow the approval by the National Assembly after beneficiaries must have been shortlisted.
P&ID fraud : Court convicts, winds up Marqott Nigeria Limited.
Justice D.U Okorowo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has convicted and wound up Marqott Nigeria Limited, one of the 30 companies associated with the Process and Industrial Development Limited, P & ID, for money laundering.
The company was convicted on Thursday, June 16, 2022, after being found guilty of four-count charges bordering on money laundering preferred against it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Count one of the charges read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to comply with the requirements of submitting to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, a declaration of activities of Marqott Nigeria Limited contrary to Section 16(1) (f) read together with Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011(as amended and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
Count two read: “That you, Marqott Nigeria Limited, being a designated Non-financial Institution; and Giovanni Beccarelli, Valentina Fantoli, and Dimitri Duca, being directors of and signatories to the bank account of Marqott Nigeria Limited, sometime in September 2014, in Abuja, within the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, failed to develop programs to combat money laundering and other illegal acts, to wit: failure to designate at management level a compliance officer within any strata of Marqott Nigeria Limited, contrary to Section 16(1)(f) read together with Section 9(1)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act”.
At the point of the first arraignment on February 7, 2022, the defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, setting the stage for a full trial.
In the course of the trial, the EFCC presented many witnesses and tendered many documents as exhibits.
In his judgment, Justice Okorowo found Marqott Nigeria Limited guilty of all the four-count charges and convicted it accordingly. He also ordered that the company be wound up and its entire assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Marqott was first arraigned on Monday, February 7, 2022, for being an accomplice in the $9.6bn Gas Supply and Processing Agreement between the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and P&ID.
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