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FG plans to designate inland dry port as port of origin – Jime

From left: Mr Leonard Ogamba President, Lagos State Shippers Association, Mr Victor Ewache, Deputy Director, Inland Container Depot, FMOT, Mr Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary NSC, Mr Ajibola Odusanya of customs
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’Council (NSC) Mr. Emmanuel Jime, has revealed that the Federal Ministry of Transportation is in the process of designating all dry ports to be port of origin and destination.

Jime made this known at a stakeholders sensitisation programme/launch of Operational Manual for Inland Dry Ports in Nigeria while allaying stakeholders’ fears on the efficiency of the ports.

The programme was organised by the NSC under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of transportation in Lagos State.

According to Jime, the inland dry ports were conceived to operate in the same way as the seaport, the only difference is that there is no sea where the dry port is established.

“This implies that all the agencies of government that are concerned with cargo clearance in the seaport like the Nigeria Customs Service will be present in the dry port.

“Also the Federal Ministry of transportation designating all the dry ports to be port of origin and destination, clearly indicates that the ports are made effectively to function the same way as the seaports.

“So stakeholders will not experience any constraints as they are learning from mistakes experienced at the seaport.

“Also, two months ago, I had the privilege of sitting with the Comptroller General of Customs and we instituted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Customs to provide an enabling environment to ensure the efficacy of the dry port,” he said.

Jime said the strategic importance of producing the manual which articulated the step-by-step procedures for receiving, storing, handling and delivery of cargoes as well as highlighting the operations, responsibilities of agencies and timelines for discharging such tasks was sine- qua non.

“The operators and regulators are compelled to abide by the operational processes as contained in the manual.

“ The manual describes functions and activities of the dry ports and specifies layout designs, outlines the activities that are to be performed, laying down the sequence of operations, address operations’ procedures as it relates to export and import activities and others,” he said.

He noted that the manual was based on best international practices adapted to suit the Nigerian context.

He added that each dry port would have its own specialties, organisational implementation, layout constraints, and services offered and would therefore amend aspects of the manual on a case-by-case basis.

“It may be pertinent to state that this manual will be used as a measure of performance by the regulator (NSC) and will be subjected to future review to be in tandem with obtainable best practices, upon agreement of the two parties (operator and regulator),” he said.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Muazu Sambo while unveiling the manual, observed with joy the collaboration the ministry, and NSC were forming with the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Nigerian Ports Authority, Customs and other stakeholders to ensure its implementation.

“Equally appreciate state governments where these inland dry ports are located. It is indeed worthy of note that these governments donate land free from all encumbrances, pay compensations where necessary, and provide infrastructure.

“I urge participants to take full advantage of this sensitisation workshop for full implementation of the operational manual as a workable policy document that will drive the operations of the Inland dry ports in Nigeria,” he said.

Muazu represented by Mr. Victor Ewache, Deputy Director, Inland Container Depot of the ministry of transportation, noted that the operational manual would guide inland dry ports in Nigeria.

Also, Mr. Leonard Ogamba, President, of Lagos State Shippers Association noted that the manual was a document that would bring pressure to bear on government agencies when they failed to do the needful.

Mr. Remi Ogungbemi, President, the Association of Maritime Truck Owners(AMATO) urged the ministry to remove all difficulties that hindered cargo evacuation at the port so that the manual would work effectively.

Mr. Ayodele Durowaiye, Assistant General Manager of Operations, NPA, noted that the country”s ports were operating way beyond its capacity and so the need to introduce the inland dry ports.

“The only way to optimise the port is to have facilities like this, it will provide options for shippers and consignees if they function effectively,” he said.

Ajibola Odusanya, the Customs Deputy Controller in charge of Administration at the Apapa port, noted that Customs was ready to collaborate and cooperate to make the vision to come true.

“To ensure decongestion at the port, customs have introduced scanners for smooth operations and they will ensure that officers escort containers to the inland depot at any given time,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports (NAN) that other stakeholders present at the programme are: the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Costco shipping, Cross Marine Services, TinCan Island Container Terminal and others.

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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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