Year: 2018

NPA Assures of Improved Operational Efficiency, Future Gains at Ports

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has assured stakeholders in the maritime industry of management’s renewed vigour and determination at improving on its operational efficiency and accomplishments recorded especially in the new year.
Usman assured terminal operators and port users that the authority would further open its doors for all players to surmount various bottlenecks with a view to providing a healthy and smooth environment for all stakeholders.
In a statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, she assured of renewed efforts towards the swift evacuation of cargoes from the Nigerian Ports to the hinterlands and our land locked neighbours.
Part of the statement reads “She recalled that with the Ease Of Doing Business introduced by the Federal Government, Management wishes to inform all that it has partnered with notable organizations and the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing at the reconstruction of dilapidated roads within the Ports axis for efficient Port Services across board.
“Management has also assured all that it would sustain and step up in the culture of efficiency and transparency. It reiterates that it has put in place structures to drive this dream through the launch of the Revenue Income Management System (RIMS), which is a web based billing and revenue collection application fully automated for the entire billing circle of the NPA amongst others.
“The Authority wishes to inform all, of its desire at improved collaboration with Sister Agencies towards a more seamless operation in the Ports environments with intent to reduce human contact. In this regard, it is partnering with the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS) for the quick facilitation of the Single Window platform aimed at simplifying and harmonizing formalities, procedures and the related exchange of information which will be a major priority in the coming year.
“Management further assures all willing investors of its renewed determination at attracting investments to the Ports across the country through infrastructural development. Management wishes to stress that there has been constant dredging of the Channels to attain the expected draught level for incoming vessels at our Ports. This is expected to lead an unprecedented revenue generation and with the expectation that this effort would further be surpassed in the new-year.
“Management assures all of its unflinching support in building on the successes of the Sector towards the growth and Development of the nation especially in the area of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic rebound in the near future.
“Meanwhile, cargo owners are advised to take advantage of the recent regime of incentives including the downward review of charges to ameliorate their financial burden, these include a regime of three (3) free days to twenty one (21) free days, for the next four months. The demurrage free period on the return of the empty containers has been increased from the current five (5) days period to fifteen (15) days as well.
“Finally, the Authority appreciates the unflinching support, collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders in its drive towards greater service delivery and customer satisfaction”.

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N’Delta Militants Threaten to Resume Hostilities, Call off Ceasefire Agreement

*We shall fight against all forms of criminality, militancy – JTF
Militants from the Niger Delta Sunday threatened to resume hostilities if within two weeks, the federal government failed to meet their seven days ultimatum.
The militants under the name of Niger Delta Creek Warriors which is a coalition of groups called off the ceasefire agreement on the claim that the federal government has failed to implement the demands of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF.
In a statement issued by the spokesman identified as General Christ, the groups made up of Niger Delta Creek Warriors, Ogunuma Camp of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Republic Seekers and Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders said they can no longer be fooled.
Part of the statement reads:
“It has come to our notice that President Muhammadu Buhari and his subordinates do not want the relative peace we’re having in the country. Having waited for long without implementing the demands by Pan-Niger Delta Elders Forum, a demand on behalf of the people of Niger Delta, we have no option than to withdraw our ceasefire deal with Federal Government. Demands
“We, therefore, give the Federal Government seven days ultimatum to address the following demands immediately as we cannot continue to be continuously deceived.
“We are aware that Shell Petroleum Development Company applied for renewal of oil blocks in Niger Delta and we have not seen what they have done before now (for our people). Let them go offshore.
“The Federal Government should immediately resettle Bakassi communities and implement every other sector of British, Germany, America and EU Green Tree Agreement. “Ogoni clean-up and entire Niger Delta region; Immediate take-off of Brass LNG; adequate funding of Okerenkoko Maritime University; upgrading of Maritime Academy, Oron to university status; immediate take-off of Gelegele seaport in Edo State; budgetary allocation for Strategic Work, Implementation Plan, SWIP, for Niger Delta.
“Immediate award/construction of the following roads in Niger Delta: Bonny, Bodo, Abonny, Idamo Abissa, Kula Road to Soku, Edem Sanga, Nembe Brass road to Akasa, Warri/Escravos, Warri to Ogulagha. “Finally, the seaport in Ekeremor Local Government Area in Bayelsa State, which will open the Izon nationwide to business, should be implemented immediately.
“Finally, the Federal Government, in the person of President Buhari should immediately make a categorical statement on restructuring the nation in order to bring the nation under one roof. Else, the Federal Government will leave us with no choice than to use Bonny, Membe and Forcados trunk lines, two weeks from now as a notice of resuming hostility in Niger Delta.”

But in a swift reaction, the Joint Task Force, JTF said the militants cannot threaten the federal government.
In a statement, the spokesman, Major Ibrahim Abubakar, said JTF was determined to fight against all forms of criminality and militancy in the Niger Delta.

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Check Point: Four Policemen Dismissed for Dispossessing, Sharing Businessman’s 350,000CFA

Four policemen who dispossessed a Nigerian businessman, Mr. Theodore Ifunnaya,
based in Togo of his 350,000CFA when he was travelling to Imo State for Christmas celebration on December 17, have been dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force.
The four officers, identified as Inspector Victor Amiete, Sergeant Gbemunu Samuel, Sergeant Afolabi Oluwaseun and Corporal Adigun Omotayo, had allegedly stopped Ifunnaya at a Iyana-Era, along Mile/ Badagry Expressway searched his car and took him to the station, Ijaniki Division.
On reaching the station, the policeman had accused him of being a robber with the money found on him.
The victim said they beat him, took photos and video after stripping him naked before threatening to post it to social media.
As if pretending to be doing him a favour, they decided to change the money and gave him only N2,000 before ordering him to leave the station.
However, the relatives of the man had on getting the information decided to petition the Police authorities which brought the information to the attention of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Imohimi Edgal.
The four policemen were later summoned and subjected to room trial where they were found guilty.
In a statement Sunday, the Police spokesman, Chike Oti said the Command’s Provost Section who tried the four policemen attached to Ijanikin Division found them guilty and recommended them for dismissal from the Force.
Oti said the punishment was to serve as serve as a deterrent to other corrupt officers.

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ATM Stampede: Police Sergeant Kills Airforce Officer in Calabar

A mobile police officer Wednesday shot dead an air force officer in Calabar, Cross River State.
Sources said the shooting occurred during a rowdy session at Unity Bank branch, Marian Road, Calabar by customers who had come to use ATM.
The police officer identified as Williams Inah, Sergeant, was said to have rushed out to find out what was happening when he was attacked by customers forcing him to release a shot in self defence.
It was during this that the bullet hit the air force officer who was among the customers in plain clothes.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Cross River , Irene Ugbo, said the officer acted in self defence.
He also disclosed that the air force officer was rushed to hospital where he was confirmed dead.
Ugbo added that the State Commissioner of Police and the Air Force Commander in the state had met to discuss the issue.
He said that the police officer was currently in custody and will be subjected to room trial.

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INEC to Check Vote Buying with App

An application to check vote-buying and other irregularities have been introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
With the application, Nigerians can also be election observers and report events live from the polling booths/stations.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Board of The Electoral Institute, Mustapha Leeky explained that the application can be downloaded from the Commission’s website or from Google Play Store.
The application, he said, can also help INEC in identifying areas where there are challenges.
Lecky said the new application was introduced to check the issue of vote buying by politicians witnessed during the last governorship elections in some states.
The Commissioners who spoke during a workshop on electoral security training in Abuja said:
“We have deployed something that most of you media men are paying little regards to; and that is the fact, as at today, if you go to INEC website or Google Play Store, you can download an INEC i-reporter which is something that INEC has spent a lot of money in developing.
“It allows every Nigerian to be an observer and a reporter of events as it happens. This, you can download freely, and have it on your smart phones. So, you can take pictures, you can also take a short video and send it to us.
“It is geo-reference, so we know exactly where that issue is taking place and we can easily draw the attention of police or other security agencies to make sure that the matter is actually addressed.”
He added that other measures have been introduced by the Commission to address the issue of vote buying in 2019 election.

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Checkpoint: Four Police Officers Face Trial for Dispossessing, Sharing of Businessman’s 350,000 CFA Cash

Four police officers are currently facing room trial after dispossessing a business man, Mr. Theodore Ifunnaya, based in Togo of 350,000 CFA.
Ifunaya was returning home with his car on December 17, when he was stopped at Iyana- Era, along Badagry expressway by four policemen for a search.
The four officers identified as Inspector Victor Amiete, Sergeant Gbemunu Samuel, Sergeant Afolabi Oluwaseun and Corporal Adigun Omotayo had found the money and immediately arrested the victim for interrogation.
They had beat, stripped him naked and asked him to explain where he got his money.
Not satisfied, they had seized the money, took the photograph of the man naked and threatened to post it on social media on the allegation that he is a robber.
Apparently satisfied that they had dealt a big blow to the man, the officers were also said to have changed the money and gave the man N2,000 to leave.
But on getting the information, Ifunaya’s relations were said to have petitioned the Area ‘K’ commander, ACP Hope Okafor, who ordered that the officers be produced.
The four officers were later paraded during which the victim identified them.
The Area Commander who was said to have alerted the Commissioner of Police ordered that the money be refunded to the victim.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos, CSP Chike Oti
, who confirmed the incident to newsmen said the CP has ordered for arrest and room trial of the officers involved.
He said this was after Ifunaya was cleared of the allegations against him.
The CP had also queried the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Ijanikin.

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Cargo Vessel Sinks after Colliding with CMA CGM Ship

WMN..Chinese-flagged general cargo vessel YuSheng 366 sank following a collision with Post Panamax containership CMA CGM Norma, Chinese media reported.
As informed, the ship’s crew has been rescued and there are no signs of maritime pollution at the moment.
The incident took place on December 24 in the Pearl River Estuary.
The Chinese Maritime and Safety Administration has confirmed that the general cargo vessel had sunk and has issued navigation warning to the nearby vessels.
World Maritime News is yet to receive a comment from CMA CGM, the owner of the 9,415 TEU boxship, on the incident.
Based on the containership’s AIS track from Maritime Traffic, the French-flagged CMA CGM Norma is anchored in the waters South-West of Hong Kong, near the collision site, as investigation into the incident is underway.
The 2006-built containership was underway from Nansha, China to Singapore when the incident occurred. Reports World Maritime News.

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Asia to Mediterranean Trade Facing Choppy Waters?

Wmn..The Asia to Mediterranean headhaul market has experienced notable improvements in the second half of 2018, according to UK-based shipping consultancy Drewry.
After a flat second quarter, westbound Asia to Mediterranean volumes in the period July-September rose by 3.4%, and returns for October yielded a growth rate of 5.6%, Drewry said citing CTS data.
The year-to-date rise in headhaul demand was by the end of October reading 3.5% , much better when compared to 1.2% improvement recorded for the North Europe trade.
The recovery was mainly driven by increases of imports by Spain that rose by 4.8% with those to Italy and France pushing ahead by 5.9% and 8.8% respectively from July to October.
The recovery in North African volumes continued apace, propelled chiefly by Egypt’s reviving economy. Asian boxes discharged in the five countries bordering the Mediterranean increased by almost 11% in the ten-month period from January to October. As informed, traffic into Egypt rose by 17.5% and continues to gather momentum; between July and October the year-on-year increase was touching 29%.
According to Drewry, the East Mediterranean sector is this year’s laggard in the trade, with volumes dropping in the ten-month period by 4.7%. Israeli imports retreated 2.4% and Lebanese traffic gave up almost 11%. Greece, on the other hand, has marked its exit from an eight-year financial rescue program by allowing its imports from Asia to rise by 11%.
However, the major casualty in the East Med has been the Turkish market where imports fell by 10%, equating to some 75,000 TEU.
The damage started in the second half of the year when a currency crisis fueled record inflation rates and stunted consumer demand. In the first six months of 2018, Asian exports entering Turkey were marginally up by just over 1%, but in the subsequent four months they collapsed by 27%.
“Although the lira has made a partial recovery from the depths it touched in August, it has still lost 40% of its value this year. Households have to contend with inflation rates which reached 25% in October, and higher interest rates have put the cost of borrowing well beyond the reach of the average consumer,” the shipping consultancy explained.
“It is likely then that Turkish imports will not show any gains until after the first half of next year and, having now ceded the second largest import country ranking in the Mediterranean to Spain; Turkey is unlikely to challenge that placing in the immediate future.”
Due to the expected absence of demand growth in the Turkish inbound market in the first half of 2019 and only weak expansion in the West Mediterranean sector, Drewry believes headhaul volumes may struggle to match this year’s growth rate.
What is more, should cascading of ships from the North Europe trade into the Mediterranean continue, freight rates could well come under pressure in 2019, reports World Maritime News.

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Police Arrest Boko Haram Leader in Lagos

The Nigeria Police Thursday arrested a Boko Haram leader in Lagos.
Identified as simply Umar, the suspect was arrested by the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IGRT).
The news about the arrest of Umar was broken by one of the members of the Intelligence Response team in his Instagram.
The suspect was said to be among the most wanted on police watch list as he had taken part in the bombings in Kuje and Nyanya, Abuja in 2015.
He was also said to have been involved in the Galadimawa Roundabout attack in which seven police officers were killed; Lugbe police officers killer; Gwagwalada area police killings in Abuja.
Umar whose arrest was confirmed by the Police spokesman, Mr Jimoh Moshood, was also said to be the commander of the multiple bank robberies, several killings in Okene, Kogi, Edo and Ondo states.
Umar was said to have been involved in jail break in Niger State early this year during which he lost one of his eyes.
During the jail break, about 100 people were said to have escaped from the prison.
He was also said to have escaped from Abuja three weeks ago during which four members of his gang were arrested with four AK rifles.

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Pirate Skiffs Surround Crude Oil Tanker in Arabian Sea

WMN..A number of pirate skiffs have surrounded a crude oil tanker in a latest incident reported in the Arabian Sea, according to piracy watchdog ReCAAP.
The incident, which involved the 2017-built tanker Nord Lavender, occurred southeast of Bab Al Mendeb Strait on December 13, 2018.
ReCAAP ISC informed that about 15-20 skiffs approached the Philippines-flagged tanker at high speed and surrounded the vessel.
There were about four to five persons in each skiff. The 74,260 dwt tanker fired warning shots and the skiffs dispersed.
There were no reports of injuries to the ship’s crew members, and no items were stolen in the incident, ReCAAP noted….reported by World Maritime News.

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