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Importers continue to shun Eastern ports despite incentives by NPA–Koko

Eyewitness reporter

Nigerian importers have continued to shun the use of  Eastern ports despite the number of incentives that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had conceded to attract high patronage to these ports.

Lamenting the low patronage by the importers to the Eastern ports, Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Acting Managing Director of NPA, bemoaned the continued refusal of importers and shipping companies to patronise the Eastern ports.
He declared that even though the decision to ship cargoes to these ports lies entirely with importers, but the NPA has embarked on a number of incentives to attract them to these Ports without success.
“What we did first was to provide incentives for shipping lines for operations at ports of Calabar, Warri and Rivers.
“We gave most to Calabar and Delta. The idea here was to take their vessels into those locations.
“That has worked a bit, we also specified the kind of vessels that would come in and get those discounts.
“We had stakeholders’ engagement to encourage importers to take their vessels to those locations. We provided more marine services to those locations.
“But the usage of those ports depends on the importer. You cannot force an importer to take his goods to Calabar or Warri.

“For instance, a lot of the cargo coming in, the usage of the cargo is in Lagos, so there must be enough incentives for the importer to take his cargo to Warri and then bring it back to his factory in Lagos.

“Some of the issues revolve around the roads also,  one cannot import to Calabar and bringing it back to Lagos becomes difficult. We had to write to the Ministry of Works concerning Ikom bridge to encourage people to use Calabar Port”

“Calabar Port is the nearest to the Northeast of the country. So, if we encourage the use of that port, it means that all imports going to the Northeast pass through Calabar”

“The problem there is that it has the longest channel and passing through the channel is very expensive. We are encouraging the use of those ports and we are giving incentives to the shipping companies to bring in their goods to those ports.”

But despite these efforts, Koko lamented that the Eastern ports have not really attracted the kind of patronage that was commensurate with the level of Investments in these Ports.
Reacting to traffic gridlock along Lagos ports access roads, the NPA MD  said massive investment that had revitalised the Nigerian Railway Corporation was a “game-changer” in the maritime sector.
“I must commend President Muhammadu Buhari for investing so much into reviving Railway transportation.
” It is really exciting that he has focused on that key sector of the economy.
“I want to particularly thank him for the recent completion of the rail system into Apapa port. We believe it is a game-changer.
“We have been working with the Nigerian Railway Corporation to see how Cargo can be evacuated. The interest is to see how cargo can get all the way to the inland dry port.
“There are meetings taking place between the West African Container Capital in Onne and APMT; this is to assist those inland containers to ensure that it reduces double charges once the cargo comes in.
“The one in APMT, we are hoping to start moving cargo inland by train. This has started but we are working with Nigerian Railway Corporation to give the right window so that once the train comes, the cargo is loaded into the right train without delay.
“There are discussions going on as well to see that railway system gets into Tin can eventually. That is the responsibility of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. They have taken some trains to a few terminals for test run.
“The fact that the railway is already in the port has made the problem half solved. But they need to do a survey to find out what buildings need to come down to create space for the train. The ports are very old, they were not planned for a train going round all the terminals,” he said

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Headlines

IGP grieves over assault on policewoman

Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola

 

— orders prosecution of culprits
 Owolola Adebola

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba,  has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

Zainab Duke, a Mbaise-born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in the company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

The IGP also directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

The IGP has equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

It is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low as to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

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Customs

Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali

 

–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Headlines

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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