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MARAN hosts Lagos NUJ Chairman to grand reception in Lagos

Eyewitness reporter

Adeleye Ajayi, the Chairman of Lagos Council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), stood tall yesterday at the magnificent Banquet Hall of Rockview Hotels, Apapa, Lagos, as Maritime Journalists and industry stakeholders took turn to shower encomiums on the number one journalist in Lagos State.
My Ajayi, accompanied by his wife and son, was the cynosure of all eyes as his colleagues in the maritime media and appreciative industry operators extolled his virtues and sterling qualities in glowing terms.
The occasion was the grand reception and lectures organised by the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) to honour and celebrate the electoral victory of the Council Chairman.
The Chairman of the occasion, Prince  Olayiwola Shittu, a former President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) commended MARAN,  saying  it was the first time former Presidents of the association were being invited to a roundtable.

” 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.

” It is a rare priviledge and I will be grateful forever, ” he said.

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.

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As Nigerdock recants operational breaches, FG may lift suspension on the facility

The Eyewitness reporter
The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to lift the suspension order on Nigerdock following its willingness to abide by the rules and its contributions to the growth of the National economy.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, stated this recently when he visited the firm in Lagos in the company of the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye and some Management Staff of the Ministry.
Addressing the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani and other officials of the company, the Minister pointed out that the reason why they were suspended was as a result of complaints from other Terminal Operators, saying Nigerdock had operating advantages over them.
“What led to your suspension was that I received complaints from Terminal Operators, saying that you are not on the same level with them. In the sense that they pay more to the government than you do. You’re likely to attract freight at a much lower cost to the detriment of businesses”,  the Minister disclosed.
He, therefore, urged them to liaise with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work out all the operational licenses needed to enable them to operate and the latter will forward the same to the Minister of Transportation whose prerogative it is to give approvals.
Speaking further, the Minister said: “We will never do anything to undermine the things you are doing here in terms of generating wealth and jobs for Nigerians.  The only thing we are saying is that the law should be followed. We should not encourage lawlessness “.
Responding, the CEO, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani, said the firm has taken notable steps in this regard as they have been granted bonded permits by the Nigerian Customs and they are currently working with Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure all processes of getting the needed approvals are followed accordingly.
“We are seeking your support Honourable Minister and that is why we wrote a letter of appeal for your guidance and your support to see that we have followed all processes and procedures” Jarmakani stated.
Furthermore, Jarmakani informed the Minister that in the 30 years of its existence, Nigerdock has employed more Nigerians than its peers, assuring that the company will not undermine the country’s extant rules and regulations.
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APMT advocates road tax credit programme to attract investments to port industry.

L-R: Former President, Shipowners Association of Nigeria, Greg Ogbeifun; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko; President Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Funke Agbor; Executive Director ENL Consortium, Mark Walsh and Chief Financial Officer of APM Terminals Apapa, Courage Obadagbonyi at the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) 2022 in Lagos on Tuesday.
The Eyewitness reporter
The Chief Financial Officer of APM Terminals Nigeria, Courage Obadagbonyi has advised the Federal Government to replicate some of the tax laws operating in other sectors of the economy to the maritime industry in order to attract more investments.
According to him, tax programmes such as pioneer legislation, Infrastructure and Roads Tax Credit Program which companies like MTN and Dangote have used to successfully build hundreds of kilometres of roads and bridges across the country can also be replicated in the ports.
Speaking as a panelist during a session on ‘Financing Maritime Assets – Ports and Shipyards’ at the just concluded Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) 2022, Obadagbonyi said, “I am of the school of thought that funding of viable infrastructural projects is not an issue in terms of availability of cash.
“There is a lot of private equity and multilateral funding available if the projects are well positioned and investors have a line of sight to their payback.
“I think what we need to do is publicity and sell these projects to the right individuals with the right pockets. There are incentives that are available to investors in Nigeria.”
Speaking further, he said, “I think with more publicity and engagement with private stakeholders, a lot of some of these challenges that are bedeviling us with investing in port infrastructure can be fixed.
“For instance, we have great tax laws that incentivize investment in this country.
“Things like pioneer legislation, Infrastructure and Roads Tax Credit Program which companies like MTN and Dangote have used to successfully build hundreds of kilometres of roads and bridges across the country can also be replicated in the ports.
” We also have great capital allowance provisions that encourage investors.”
He advised the Federal Government to embark on a massive awareness campaign to further attract private capital to the nation’s seaports because, according to him, based on the latest data published by the Debt Management Office, the country’s debt profile currently stands at N42 trillion, which is about four times the country’s total revenue budget per annum.
This, he said, makes the cost of borrowing more expensive.
Obadagbonyi said Nigeria had to find creative ways to unleash private sector participation in port rehabilitation instead of depending on government funding through borrowing.
NIMS 2022 was declared open on Monday by the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo.
“Sustainable financing models are important to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country,” Sambo had said while declaring the summit open.
The Minister said Nigeria remained committed to the sustainability of the blue economy.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim said, “I am aware of Nigeria’s significance to the maritime sector of West and Central Africa.
” Carbonisation is the greatest challenge of our time, which IMO is working to address. The upgrading strategies shall be concluded in July 2023.
“By next year, we shall adopt the long-time strategy. However, prior to that time, we shall continue to support member countries.”
He lauded Nigeria’s role in the suppression of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea but cautioned that stakeholders must continue to remain vigilant as continuous capacity building is key to success in this regard.
APM Terminals Apapa, the largest container terminal operator in Nigeria, has invested more than $438 million at the Lagos Port Complex Apapa.
The amount was invested in developing infrastructure, acquiring equipment and improving processes at the terminal.
The terminal has also been at the forefront of digitisation of port operations in Nigeria in line with its commitment to introducing new innovations to help both shipping lines and landside customers achieve improved supply chain efficiency and flexibility in a cost-effective manner.
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NIMASA unveils N17.4 billion new highrise headquarters on Victoria Island


The Eyewitness reporter
The Director- General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh and his management team stood tall Tuesday when the tall, magnificent highrise building that will serve as the agency’s headquarters, was unveiled and commissioned.
Sharing in the moment of glory of the epoch-making event was the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim, who had the rare privilege of commissioning the edifice, and the Minister of Transportation Engr Muazu Sambo together with his permanent secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani.
Apparently awed by the N17 billion tall and ultra-modern building, Mr. Lim said that more important is human competency and capability, while leadership is the most paramount.
He however lauded the initiators of the befitting project while expressing confidence in the leadership of the transport sector of Nigeria.
 He also extolled the dynamic role of the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo and the heads of the various parastatals under the supervision of the Transportation Ministry.
“An important element is human competency and capability, with leadership being the most paramount to consider, which I have seen exhibited by the Minister.
“He is an extraordinary and rare leader. I am very confident to look forward to more prosperous opportunities and development of maritime activities of Nigeria”, he said.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo expressed gratitude to the IMO Secretary-General for making out time to visit Nigeria and also having a first-hand opinion on the developmental strides in Nigeria’s maritime sector.

 He stated that Nigeria will strive to ensure Nigerian maritime activities are in line with best practices, while also embracing new technologies in the frontier of global maritime discourse.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu commended the Dr. Bashir Jamoh-led Management of NIMASA.

She noted that NIMASA should aim higher as there is room for improvement.

The NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh  again thanked the IMO Secretary-General for his visit to Nigeria

 “Your name will remain in gold as long as Nigeria’s Maritime Administration is concerned”.

Jamoh further intimated him that NIMASA has embarked on various projects in the year, 2022, all with the aim of ensuring a robust and conducive maritime environment is attained in Nigeria.

This, he said, has been made possible with the support of stakeholders across the board.

In July 2021, the Federal Executive Council approved N17.4 billion to purchase the new highrise building that is located on Victoria Island.

The magnificent edifice is a 16- storey High rise building christened Kanti Tower which sits atop 6600sq metres of land and it is said to consist of the latest technology fittings, a helipad and a parking bay for over 100 cars.
 It was developed through a joint venture between the Lagos State Development Property Company – LSDPC and Senkay Nigeria Limited.
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