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IMO expresses concerns as more seafarers come under attack in Russia- Ukraine war

Stranded seafarers

 

Alarmed by the escalation of the ongoing war in Ukraine in which many seafarers have become targets of the attack, the International Maritime Organization (IMO),  has said it will convene an extraordinary council session to address the impacts on shipping and seafarers of the situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The move came as fear grows for the safety of seafarers trapped in the region and especially near Odesa, which analysts believe may be the target of an imminent amphibious and land assault.

This week has seen the first merchant ship sunk during the conflict and the first confirmed death of a seafarer killed by a missile attack while he was on watch aboard a ship anchored off Ukraine.

There is a long list of dangers for the IMO member states to discuss.
 Ukraine closed its seaports effectively trapping merchant ships without the services such as tugs and harbor pilots to depart and straining the ability to the ships.
 NATO has warned that the waters around Ukraine may well be mined while security analysts have urged ships capable of departing to move outside the newly declared “warlike area” in the northern Black Sea.

 Equally concerning are the thousands of Ukrainian and Russian seafarers away from home working at sea as well as seafarers in the combat zone that will not be able to reach their jobs on ships.

After the Russian assault on Ukraine began on February 24, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said he was “gravely concerned about the spillover effects of the military action in Ukraine on global shipping.”

Then as the humanitarian crisis continued to unfold, Lim issued a statement saying “I fully support and stand with UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for hostilities to cease immediately,” but the IMO like the UN can only comment and make resolutions for the safety of seafarers.

The IMO’s session will be held on March 10 and 11 as a remote session.

The council consists of 40 countries elected to represent the global maritime community but other nations including Ukraine will be able to submit statements to the IMO Council.

News of the session comes as an analysis by Bloomberg estimates that there are 140 vessels currently stranded in or near Ukrainian ports.

 The German Shipowners’ Association estimated a similar number of around 100 cargo ships unable to depart from their ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

Bloomberg calculates each of the large, ocean-going ships has an average of 20 crew members “implying well over 1,000 seafarers would be stuck.”

 It is unclear if they also included the smaller, coastal and regional cargo ships, such as the Helt sunk yesterday with a crew of six aboard.

 Estonian officials reported that all the ship’s crew was rescued.

The German Shipowners’ Association (VDR), like many global organizations, condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, calling on Russia to protect merchant ships and seafarers.

President of the VDR Gaby Bornheim said “We demand that all ships and their crews be allowed to leave the conflict zone unharmed.

” Russia must respect the freedom of navigation. Uninvolved merchant vessels must not be attacked.”

Some countries and shipping companies have taken action.

 There had been calls for Bangladesh to get its seafarers out of the war zone.
After the third engineer aboard the Banglar Samriddhi was killed in the missile attack on Wednesday, the country’s Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Shipping acted.
The 28 crew members and the body of the engineer were removed from the vessel, abandoning the ship, and taken to a safe location.

 They were making arrangements to take the seafarers to Moldova or another neighboring country and to move them to Romania to repatriate them.

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Freight Monitor

President Buhari to commission multi-billion naira Dala Inland dry port Monday –Ahmad Rabiu

The Eyewitness reporter
All is set for the commissioning of the Dala International inland dry port on Monday 31st January 2023 by President Muhammad Buhari at Zawachiki in Kumbotso local government area of Kano state.
The Managing Director of the international inland dry port Ahmad Rabiu, stated this while addressing newsmen on the preparation for the inauguration of the port at its headquarters in Kano.
Ahmad Rabiu, who was joined by the chairman of the inland dry port, Alhaji Abubakar Sahabu Bawuro, said its the first international inland dry port where cargoes will go anywhere in the world from Kano state without follow up to any sea ports across Nigeria.
Ahmad Rabiu told newsmen that the federal government under President Muhammad Buhari has given all the support required for the take-up, noting that they have met the requirement on infrastructure and other critical amenities.
The MD said the stacking area has the capacity of containing 20 thousand units of containers before moving anywhere at any time, noting that the area covers six hectares of land and the management is willing to add more.
According to Ahmad Rabiu, all the requirements needed for clearance by businessmen, and customs duty will be done right from Kano without follow-up to any seaport in Nigeria.
On his part, the chairman of Dala Inland Dry Port, Alhaji Abubakar Sahabu Bawuro said the management of the port is prepared technically, and physically with interested partners and is going to boost businesses in Kano, Nigeria and Africa in general and urged members of the press to partner with the management in ensuring efficiency, emphasizing that the place is not a monument but a business venture.
The chairman said Dala Inland Dry Port is now a solution to the problems brought about by the seaports and they will introduce cargo tracking and door-to-door delivery of goods and services.
He said the success of the inland dry port is a joint venture between the state government, the business community, regulatory agencies and the Federal Government of Nigeria and to make business in Kano and its neighborhood more competitive.
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Freight Monitor

CRFFN rejects re-appointment bid of ousted Sam Nwakohu

Ousted CRFFN Registrar, Nwakohu
— appoints Uromta as Acting Registrar
—-shops for substantive Registrar.
The Eyewitness reporter
The Council for the Registration of Freight forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN) has thrown out the re-election bid of the outgoing Registrar of the Council, Sam Nwakohu.
In an emergency meeting of the council Thursday at its Abuja liaison office, the Council appointed Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, the Director of Regulations and Enforcement, as an acting Registrar pending the time a substantive registrar will be appointed.
The decision of the council to reject the reelection bid of the ousted Registrar was based on the recommendations of its ad hoc committee to look into the request of Nwakohu for a second term tenure.
The outgoing registrar, last year, at the December meeting of the council, submitted a letter, requesting to be considered for a second term shot at the lucrative position.
Consequently, the Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni set up an ad-hoc committee, headed by Efeanyi Isikaku, to look into the request of Nwakohu and submit its report in two weeks.
“Following the completion of its assignment and submission of its report, the council, therefore, convened today (Thursday)in Abuja to deliberate on the next line of action to be taken in respect of the committee’s recommendations.
” The AdHoc committee made important recommendations with reference to the provisions of Public Service Rules as well as the council’s Act.
“The committee however, recommended that in order to avoid a vacuum after the expiration of the Registrar’s tenure, the council shall start making arrangements for a handover of the Registrar’s office to the most senior management staff of the council.
“Similarly, the committee also recommended that the Appointment Promotion and Discipline committee of the council be directed to start making preparations for reappointment or appointment of substantive Registrar”  Muftahu Ya’u, the chairman Committee on Media and Publicity of the governing council,  declared in a statement he sent to our reporter.
 “Finally, the council’s chairman soon after the adoption, approval, and ratification of the committee’s recommendations by members of the council directed the followings:
that arrangement for the Registrar’s handover to Mrs. Chinyere Uromta  Director, Regulations and Enforcement on 31st of January 2023.
“That committee on Appointment Promotion and Discipline go ahead to start preparations for reappointment/appointment of a new Registrar” the head of media and publicity of the council concluded.
It could be recalled that soon after Nwakohu made his ambition known to succeed himself as the Registrar of the council, he went on a lobbying spree, trying to woo the council members to buy into his ambition.
But sources close to the council whispered to our reporter that the second term bid of Nwakohu was dead on arrival due to lots of baggage he carries.
“There was no way he could have succeeded in his obnoxious bid to succeed himself.
Firstly, it was a general consensus among the freight forwarding confraternity that Nwakohu failed woefully as the registrar.
“He is incompetent, arrogant and someone not ready to learn,” a highly placed source said.
“Also, several allegations of financial sleaze against him have not been cleared.
“Similarly, the council members were not happy at the way Nwakohu handled the purchase of the CRFFN Abuja liaison office which cost they felt was inflated.
“All these and other uncharitable behavior of the outgoing registrar are enough reasons not to reappoint him as the Council registrar” the source claimed.
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Headlines

Transportation ministry inaugurates project committee for Ondo, Benin seaports

 

The Eyewitness reporter
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, has inaugurated
a Project Steering Committee for the proposed Ondo Deep & Benin Seaports.
Dr. Magdalene Ajani, while inaugurating the Committee on behalf of the Nigerian government at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja Wednesday,  stated that the Committee is saddled with providing guidance and direction on the projects.
She also charged the members of the committee to also facilitate necessary permits, clearance & approvals for the projects.
The permanent secretary said it is also the responsibility of the committee to prepare the transaction for the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Muazu Sambo, to obtain the approval of tte Federal Executive Council.
She charged them to hit the ground running immediately.
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