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Nigeria is ready to reclaim category C status at IMO-Jamoh

Eyewitness reporter
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr.Bashir Jamoh has declared the readiness of Nigeria to reclaim the Category C status at the International Maritime Organisation(IMO).
It could be recalled that the country has become a serial loser in its attempts to clinch the coveted seat in Category  C at the IMO, losing the seat narrowly in December 2019, making it the fifth time the country will miss the prized seat.
The last time the country sat in that revered group of maritime nations at the IMO was in 2009 during the administration of Dr. Ade Dosunmu as the DG of NIMASA then.
But Jamoh has vowed to break this cycle of electoral defeats of Nigeria at the IMO by ensuring that the country clinches the coveted seat in November when the elections come up.
He made this pledge on Wednesday when he played host to  Executive Members of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council led by the Chairman, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi at the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.
Jamoh hinged his optimism on the successes recorded by NIMASA in degrading the dreaded pirates on the Nigerian waters.
According to him, the activities of pirates have declined drastically by 80 percent on Nigeria’s territorial waters.
“We have recorded a drastic reduction in piracy and this is enough for us to beat our chest and that we are ready to return to the category ‘C’ of membership of International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“However, the year 2021 has witnessed a significant turnaround under my leadership as insecurity on Nigerian waters had reduced by 80 percent,” he said.
He said that the last time the country had a drop in piracy attack in the nation’s waterways was in 1994, saying that Nigerian waterways were one of the top 10 safest waters in the world.
He noted that this achievement was enough reason to sensitise and inform the international community that the Nigerian waterways are now safe than ever before, as Nigeria must take its rightful position among the comity of nations globally.
“We want the cost of Insurance Premium paid by Nigerians as a result of insecurity to be reconsidered as insecurity in the country’s waterways had drastically reduced, ” Jamoh said.
He lauded the agency for working toward the actualisation of the Blue Economy, adding that the aim and target of the agency were to see that the Blue economy was harnessed to the maximum.
“We have eight coastal states in the country and we want these states to develop their potentials in order to contribute to the country’s revenue,” Jamoh added.
Jamoh however said 783 million dollars had been lost to pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.
In the area of professional reportage, the Director-General appealed to journalists to be mindful of what information they release to the public.
“Our priority as a nation should be striving to project positive reports that will project Nigeria in better light to the international community as done in advanced countries,” the NIMASA boss said.
Jamoh said that journalists, especially those covering maritime beats, should always hear both sides of a story before going to town with information.
“We cannot achieve much without the media, especially in the area of educating people.
“The role of the media in any society cannot be overemphasized as no agency or society can function effectively without the press because the media helps in shaping public opinion.
“Another election in the Global Maritime Industry (IMO) will hold in November 2021 and I urge the media to showcase achievements of Nigeria to the world before then in order to put Nigeria at the forefront globally.
Jamoh lauded the efforts of other 19 African countries including Nigeria at tackling social vices in the Gulf of Guinea.
He happily received the Executive members of Lagos NUJ and described the visit as a homecoming for Ajayi who served as President of the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) between 2009 and 2011.
On his part, the NUJ Chairman assured NIMASA of regular publicity as well as a robust relationship between the Lagos Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists and NIMASA.
He lauded NIMASA for the giant strides it had achieved in the Maritime sector which included safeguarding of Nigeria’s waterways, collaboration with sister agencies of government as well as donations worth millions of naira to the Internally Displaced Persons and victims of disaster in the country.
Ajayi also presented pressing issues of the union before the management of the agency, not forgetting to seek sponsorship for its fast-approaching Press Week scheduled to hold in October 2021.
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IMO tasks Mobereola to sustain NIMASA’s leadership role in regional maritime industry

—– hails his appointment as DG
The Eyewitness Reporter
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has lauded the leadership role of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the maritime industry within the West African sub-region which it said has stabilized maritime administration in the region.
In his congratulatory letter to Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the new NIMASA DG, the Secretary General of IMO Arsenio Dominguez, observed with satisfaction the collaborative efforts of NIMASA that have brought relative peace to the troubled Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
He therefore charged Mobereola to sustain the tempo of activities that will keep the momentum going in the areas of safety, security and building of strong maritime institutions.
In a conveyance letter personally signed by him, the IMO Secretary-General recognized the strides of the Agency in building a robust maritime sector in Nigeria, adding that the IMO commends the significant effort, initiatives, and investment that Nigeria has made in strengthening its maritime institutions.

In the words of Dominguez, “The focus on strengthening maritime law enforcement and security architecture has been welcomed by seafarers and flag States.

“The Deep Blue project and the C4i Centre as well as maritime piracy laws under the SPOMO Act are just some of the many investments that have set a new gold standard in the region in maritime security capacity building”.

“IMO has long supported the regional role of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and its Member States in strengthening maritime security and law enforcement.

” In this respect, we have been greatly encouraged with the continuation of this regional ownership with the formation and work of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GoG-MCF/SHADE) in 2021”.

He commended the Agency’s partnership with the various regional bodies and expressed the readiness of the IMO to work with Nigeria and other member states on many maritime issues with the aim of jointly tackling these issues.

“NIMASA’s partnership with the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) and the collaboration with the shipping industry, navies and the Yaoundé architecture has been instrumental in suppressing the threat of piracy to merchant vessels and seafarers in line with UN Security Council resolution 2634 (2022) on piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea and IMO Assembly resolution A.1159 (32)”.

” I look forward to working with you and your colleagues on many of the maritime issues that we are jointly tackling and hope to welcome you in person at the IMO, he said.

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Eastern shippers, freight forwarders on collision course with Shippers’ Council over increase in haulage rate

Akutah Pius Ukeyima, ES, NSC
The Eyewitness Reporter
Importers, Exporters and freight forwarders playing their trade in the South East region of the country have rejected the recent 200 percent hike in haulage rate by the Nigerian Shippers’Council.
They described the increase as “outrageous, arbitrary, and unacceptable.”
In a press conference called by the aggrieved shippers in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, they claimed that if the hike was not reversed, it would bring them on a collision course with the Shippers’ Council.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the aggrieved group, Joshua Ahuama, Zonal Coordinator of the Association of Nigerian Customs Licenced Agents (ANLCA), claimed that the rate will not only lead to spiral inflation but also in contravention of the provisions of the NSC Act.
He disclosed that the group shall give the Shippers’Council a seven-day ultimatum to reverse to status quo or face withdrawal of their services at the Eastern ports.
He accused the council of not consulting concerned stakeholders before arriving at the decision, saying consultations are an integral part of the NSC Act.
 “Recently, the NSC approved a 200 percent increment in haulage rate for transport owners and drivers operating under the Maritime Union of Nigeria.
“To this end, importers and freight forwarders associations in the eastern zone have unanimously disputed the new rate because it is outrageous, arbitrary, and unacceptable to all stakeholders in the zone.
“We have, however, resolved to adopt all peaceful efforts. We started this move on March 14 by calling on the NSC to ensure proper stakeholder engagement and renegotiation.

” These measures are also expected to help all parties to reach a benchmark that would be in the interest of all stakeholders in the maritime value chain,” Ahuama noted.

 “We also urge the NSC to return to the status quo by suspending the implementation of the disputed rate, pending proper renegotiation covering the interest of all stakeholders.

“We are not on a selfish course. Our demands are in the interest of Nigerians because any slight increase in the haulage rate will reflect on the prices of goods in the open market.

“A businessman incorporates total logistic costs into the prices of goods.”

However, the group said they might be constrained to take drastic measures, including suspending all declarations of goods and payments of customs duties, which could negatively affect national revenue and economic output.

Some members of the import and export associations present at the meeting included the Nigeria Shippers Association, the Aba International Traders Association, the Ultimate Importers Association, the POP Importers Association, the Nnewi Importers Association, and the Onitsha Importers Association.

However, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has said that the new approved rate took into consideration the cost, moderation and other cargo transport issues.
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Performance of Apapa Customs scanning officers excites Comptroller Jaiyeoba

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Area Controller of Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba has lauded the uncompromising attitude of the officers of the Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology Unit (NIITU) which he said has been invaluable to the overall success of the command.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba, who was on an unscheduled visit to the scanner site, reminded the officers of the importance of teamwork as a strong basis to sustain the gains of compliance and revenue collection recently recorded by the command.
He thanked Deputy Comptroller Salamatu Atuluku, the Officer in charge of the scanning site and encouraged the unit not to be deterred by complaints coming from persons who were made to pay accurate duties to the government after issuance of demand notices
According to him, no business person who is made to part with money will be happy with officers who refused to compromise the ethics of their job
” The main reason for me coming here is to appreciate you. I may not see you but I have seen your work and I won’t keep quiet about what I have seen about your work.
“You are doing very well. I just want to encourage you to work as a team. If you don’t work as a team, you give room for outsiders to come in and when they come in, they divide you and when they divide you,  achieving success will be very difficult
” Do your work without blemish. Once you keep your arm straight, you can stand before anybody. Your work as a customs officer is to ensure that you do the correct thing
” For those of you doing an intervention in the form of Demand Notice(DN), there is no body who part with money that will be happy with you.
“They will want to play intelligent by hiding somewhere. When you fetch them from their hiding place, they become your enemy. Whatever they write about anybody here will still come down to me and if anybody works well, the onus on me is to defend such a person.
“Just have it at the back of your mind that you owe yourself the duty of doing your work diligently whether anyone comes around as a friend or enemy.
“It is not enough for you to rest. The reward for hard work is more work. These demands require sacrifice so that you can maintain the status” he said.
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