“But it would be unfair for the world to sidestep such huge investment and commitment to maritime security and retain the high war risk insurance premium on ships bound for our waters.”
He said continuing the war risk insurance would be a disservice to Nigeria and investors in the country’s maritime environment.
Jamoh stated, “Since the world now acknowledges our commitment to maritime security and the recent improvements in security, it is only fair that relevant stakeholders should begin to rethink the charges that predated such efforts by Nigeria.
“The poor masses of this country should not be made to pay for the actions of a few individuals bent on tarnishing Nigeria’s image.”
The Minister extolled seafarers in Nigeria and the world over for their enormous contributions to global commerce and economy, generally, saying seafarers “contend with perils of the seas and sometimes put their lives on the line just to ensure that goods are safely delivered at designated ports.
“As we celebrate the seafarers’ day, let us further identify and proffer workable solutions to the issues that will still be relevant to the seafarers after the pandemic, such as fair treatment, living and working conditions of the seafarers, etc.,” Amaechi told maritime stakeholders.
He highlighted the harrowing experiences seafarers endured in the course of their job, especially at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“I am, however, glad to inform you that Nigeria, as a member state of the IMO, was one of the first countries to declare seafarers essential workers in order to ease their sufferings,” the Minister stated.
He added, “The nation through the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its Agencies will continue to ensure that government policies are tailored towards improving the welfare and working conditions of the seafarers in line with international standard and statutory conventions.”
Amaechi reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian government to ensuring that the country’s maritime domain remained safe and secure for seafarers working on ships transiting through the waterways.
He identified the Deep Blue Project launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 10 as a major effort by the government to curb the hazards of seafaring.
He said the provision of the integrated maritime security architecture was “to help combat these maritime criminalities that hinder the security of crew members.”
Besides, the Minister said Nigeria now has an antipiracy law, the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019, to prosecute maritime offenders.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of Certificates of Competency (COC) to cadets of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) who recently graduated from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandra, Egypt, by the NIMASA Director-General.
June 25 every year is designated as the Day of the Seafarer by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to celebrate seafarers and their contributions to human progress.
There was impressive participation by maritime stakeholders in this year’s event.
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
News Alert: Wale Adeniyi revives CG conference, holds 2023 edition December 13-15 in Lagos.
Ukraine blocks Russia’s reelection bid at IMO council elections
The outcome is another blow for Russia after it failed in its bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body in October, in an election seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow isolated.
Last year, Moscow also failed to win enough votes for re-election to the UN aviation agency’s governing council.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) is responsible for regulating the safety and security of international shipping and preventing pollution and comprises 175 member state countries.
Russia has been a member since 1958 and has been consistently re-elected to the IMO Council.
With voting on Friday, 40 countries were elected by secret ballot to the IMO Council, which supervises the work of the body.
In October, Russia said the IMO was departing from its impartial role due to “external pressure” which it said was impacting the fair treatment of all member countries.
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