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NIMASA begs NLNG to fly Nigerian flag on its vessels.

Eyewitness reporter
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has appealed to the management of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, (NLNG) to consider the Nigerian Flag as the first option for her vessels.
Dr Jamoh made this appeal while playing host to the Managing Director of the Gas Company, Dr. Philip Mshelbila and his team.
He noted that having the Nigerian flag hoisted by the NLNG vessels would boost  Nigerian tonnage and accord the Nigerian ship registry international recognition and respect.
“NIMASA needs the NLNG, we desire to have vessels of the NLNG fly the Nigerian Flag.
”Just imagine that vessels of the NLNG are on the Nigerian Registry, our tonnage will increase exponentially, the Nigerian flag will earn much more respect globally and we will get better recognition”, he said.
Despite the controlling shares held by the Nigerian government in the NLNG, none of the tanker vessels of the company flies the Nigerian flag, instead preferring to fly foreign flags such as the Liberian flag which has an international reputation.
However, the two bodies have agreed to set up a working committee that will be meeting regularly to ensure improved liaison between both organizations in the interest of Nigeria.

Dr Bashir Jamoh noted that a better working relationship between NIMASA and the NLNG would greatly enhance operations in the maritime sector of the country.

He assured the NLNG management that NIMASA would extend the already existing working relationship the agency has with the NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML) to the parent body.

“This is a new beginning; our focus should be what is best for Nigeria and not just for the NLNG or NIMASA”

While commending the NLNG for providing platforms for Sea time to train Nigerian Seafarers, the NIMASA DG noted that the Agency is committed to attaining best global practices, so that Certificates issued by Nigeria will be recognized globally.

“We are working to ensure that the Certificates of Competency issued by the Nigerian Maritime Administration are of international standard.

“This will make it easy for the NLNG and other international organizations to accept them”.

The Managing Director of NLNG, Dr. Philip Mshelbila noted that the management of the NLNG is committed to the deliberate indigenization of the human component of its operation, adding that they are ready to partner with NIMASA to enhance the safety and security of lives and assets in the Nigerian maritime domain.

He noted that they are on the same page with NIMASA regarding capacity development and the quest to ensure Nigeria attains internationally acceptable standards in her operations in the maritime sector.

“We at NLNG have realized that to fulfill one of our key vision elements, which is helping to build a better Nigeria, it is important for us to work with all our stakeholders, including NIMASA.

“We are aware that NIMASA and our subsidiary, NMSL are working hand in hand for the progress of this country and we desire that same spirit of partnership and collaboration should be extended to the NLNG”.

“I believe that for NLNG to fulfill its mission as a business, it needs to partner with NIMASA.

“NIMASA is an important stakeholder for us; we don’t just see it as a regulator only.

“I know we have various training programs, working closely with NIMASA, being explored by NMSL to provide sea time training for Seafarers, which has enabled the seafarers to fulfill their qualifications and get certifications”.

He expressed appreciation to NIMASA for the active management of the activities in the Gulf of Guinea.

“We can certainly testify from the report that we get both locally and from international bodies that there has been a huge success in the war against criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea and we know that the Deep Blue Project is instrumental in attaining this success”

“Based on the information at our disposal; I don’t think there has been any case of abduction since this year and that’s a testament to the success of the Deep Blue Project initiative that NIMASA has driven and this has been in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, Regional and non-regional bodies”, he said.

NIMASA and the NLNG have agreed to urgently look into areas including Port Charges and how best to make Nigerian Ports competitive, effective implementation of the Cabotage Law, Stevedoring charges, CoC recognition, and Registration of NLNG Vessels on the Nigerian Ship Registry amongst others.

The Nigeria LNG Limited is jointly owned, as the Federal Government owns 49 percent; Shell gas B.V owns 25.6 percent; Total LNG Nigeria Limited owns 15 percent; and Eni International 10.4 percent, culminating in 51 percent ownership by the NLNG.

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Headlines

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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Headlines

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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Customs

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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