Month: November 2018

Freight Forwarding: Aniebonam Charges CRFFN Board on Professionalism, Illegal Collections by Terminal Operator

By Francis Ugwoke
*Birth of NAGAFF opened doors for freight forwarders in Nigeria – President
Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Boniface Aniebonam Thursday called on the Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to do everything to take the freight forwarding practice to greater heights in Nigeria in terms of professionalism.
Aniebonam who noted that there were so many things going wrong in the ports said it was left for the CRFFN Board to address them for the best interest of the profession and the national economy.
Speaking on the occasion of the Freight Forwarders Day which also marked the 20th Anniversary of NAGAFF, the founder announced he was quitting the association to give others a free hand to run it.
He said his exit is coming at a time when the CRFFN Board has Rtd Col. Tsan Abubakar and Chief Henry Njoku at the helm of affairs of the Council, adding that the two were best suited for the job.
Aniebonam said though Abubakar does not belong to either NAGAFF or Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), he will no doubt add a lot of value to the freight forwarding industry.
He said that this is even moreso with the likes of Chief Henry Njoku and other professionals as Council members of CRFFN Board.
He called on them to address the issue of a terminal operator, PTML stopping agents from going into the ports to do their job except they pay a registration fee.
Describing the practice as illegal, he said government agencies cannot be in the port system and allow PTML management to constitute themselves into an obstacle to other people’s business.
Disclosing that NAGAFF has written letters to the management of the company to stop such collections without avail, the NAGAFF founder urged the CRFFN Board to take the issue up for the best interest of freight forwarders.
He urged the CRFFN Board to put in place an enforcement unit manned by the Police to address issues of non-compliance or illegalities in the system, adding that this was the case for the Standard Organisation (SON).
“There has to be action against those who choose to circumvent the laws. We are not living in Banana Republic”, he said.
In his speech, Abubakar who represented the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi commended Aniebonam for his contribution to the development of freight forwarding in Nigeria.
Abubakar promised that his Board was all out to address all the challenges facing freight forwarding as a profession.
He solicited the support of the stakeholders to move the profession forward.
President of NAGAFF, Chief Increase Uche in his address said it was to the credit of the Association that its motto which is “ushering in sustainable freight forwarding practice” has become a big success.
Uche said it was the birth of NAGAFF that gave rise to the establishment of a government regulatory agency in the name of CRFFN to represent the interest of freight forwarders.
“Before the advent of NAGAFF there was no existing association or platform recognized by the government as representing all or majority of the freight forwarding practitioners operating in the country. What existed were sub element associations such that tend to represent Customs Licensed Agents and few other cultural and ethnic affiliations. The existing arrangements as at then clearly showed lack of proper identity by the various groupings. Coupled with the risk that the practitioners ignorantly adored, by clustering around a particular function with limited knowledge of what the entire profession should be and what the proper nomenclature to adopt as the industry was fast evolving”, he said.
He said that NAGAFF has continued to grow from strength to strength since its inception with the agenda of setting the pace as the foremost umbrella body of professional freight forwarders in Nigeria.

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Allegation of N177 billion Operating Surplus Not True, Says NPA

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Thursday said it was not true that it recorded an operating surplus of N177 billion last year as claimed by a member Senator Mohammed Hassan who is a member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport.
In a statement, the Authority said the figure was fictitious that it failed to remit an operating surplus of N177 billion to the Consolidated Federation Account.
The statement reads: “The fact of the situation are as follows: Total revenue generated by the Authority in the year 2017 stood at N303.9 billion; total expenditure (inclusive of recurrent and capital) amounted to N205.8 billion. Of the N303.9 billion generated revenue, the sum of N60.12 billion represents uncollectable revenue from concessionaires attributed to clauses in the concession agreements, which the authority is currently reviewing.
“Consequently, the operating surplus for the authority in 2017 was the sum of N38 billion. Therefore, the sum of N30.4 billion, which represents 80 per cent of the operating surplus that the Authority is required to remit to the CRF in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, has been duly paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund by the Authority with receipt of payment already issued by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

“It is pertinent to also note that the Authority has already remitted the sum of N11.3 billion for 2018 CRF contribution into the Consolidated Revenue Fund with the use of Authority’s management account ahead of auditing for 2018. The Authority wishes to state its readiness to present all documents needed to provide clarification to the Senate Committee on Marine Transport and the Senate.
“On a final note, while we appreciate the constitutional oversight role of distinguished senators on the operations of the NPA, we suggest greater restraint on issues that deal with the integrity of national institutions even as we assure of our respect for the Senate, “

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Igbo-Eze North PDP Leaders Declare Support for APC Gubernatorial Candidate, Senator Ayogu Eze

Key members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from Igbo-Eze North Local Government in Enugu State on Thursday blessed the gubernatorial ambition of their son, Senator Ayogu Eze, who is the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, offering to work for his victory during the 2019 general elections.

In a meeting with the candidate in Abuja on Thursday the leaders which included Hon. Dennis Agbo, PDP member, House of Representatives, representing Igbo Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency, Dr. Serah Adukwu-Bolujoko, Managing Director, Titsall Global Schools, National President, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Nigeria (NAPPS) and former President and Chairman of Council, Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM) as well as H. E. Amb. Fidel Ayogu, former APP Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, former Nigerian ambassador to Uganda and former Commissioner for Environment in Enugu State, pledged to back Senator Eze’s candidature with all their teeming supporters.

In a very emotional chit-chat Thursday in Abuja the political gladiators embraced Senator Eze, and described him as the best candidate to take Enugu to the next level.

They further offered to provide all necessary support to ensure Eze wins the governorship election holding in March next year, their membership of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party notwithstanding.

Responding, Senator Eze assured them that Enugu under his leadership will experience unprecedented transformational development while getting its fair share of presence from the ruling party at the Federal level.

Eze added that he has designed a robust programme of action that will boost economic growth in Enugu and take development to all the nooks and cranies of the state.

He also assured workers of prompt payment of salaries, gratuities and pensions to ensure that retirees will have no cause to regret having utilized their youthful energy in the service of their State.

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COSCO Shipping Gets “All Clear” to Raise USD 2 Bn

WMN..COSCO Shipping Holdings, a subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping Company, has received regulatory approval to raise RMB 15 billion (USD 2.1 billion) intended to repay debt.
The subsidiary of China’s largest integrated shipping company said that China’s National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors (NAFMII) approved the company’s request for registration and issue of the medium-term notes amounting to RMB 5 billion and the super and short-term commercial paper amounting to RMB 10 billion.
COSCO Shipping said that the registration of its super and short-term commercial paper would be valid for a period of two years from the date of the notice.
China Merchants Bank, Agricultural Bank of China Limited and China CITIC Bank Corporation Limited have been names as joint lead underwriters.
The issuance may be split into several tranches during the said period, reports World Maritime News.

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Senators Divided over Alleged N177bn Surplus for NPA

*As NPA generates N303bn in 2017
Senators were Wednesday divided over claims that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) did not remit the sum of N177 bn operational surplus it recorded in 2017 fiscal year into the Federation Account.
Senator Mohammed Hassan who is a member of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport said the NPA had last year made the sum of N303 bn as total operational revenue, out of which it spent N125 bn as operational cost leaving a balance of N177bn.
Hassan who said that this was discovered during the budget defence argued that under the 1999 Constitution and extant laws of NPA, the sum should have been remitted into the federation account.
. According to Hassan, “This to me, and by extension the Senate, should not be condoned because the committee discovered this seven months ago and ordered the agency to do the needful, which it has not done up till now.”

However, the Senate Deputy Majority leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, in his response cautioned the Senate against relying on the allegations of Senator Hassan.
Na’Allah explained that there were three categories of income of public agencies, adding that the amount he quoted was in the category of what could be described as perceived income.
Similarly, Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima also attacked Hassan, querying why he did not make such allegations before the Committee before bringing it to the floor of the Senate.
Yerima said he and other Committee members were not aware of the allegation by Hassan.
To save the situation, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa called on the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to direct the Committee members to go and settle the issue before bringing it to the floor of the Senate.
Saraki had in his ruling directed the Chairman of the Committee and other members to meet over the allegation and bring the matter back to the Senate in two weeks.

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Ugwuanyi Awards Contracts for Multiple Community Road Projects in Enugu

The administration of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has awarded
contracts for another set of development projects across the state,
totaling over N1 billion, to deepen its noble vision to develop the
rural areas in line with the government’s four-point agenda.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting of the State Executive Council
(EXCO), the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg
Nnaji, stated that the projects duly considered and approved by the
council include the extension of the construction of Ogurute-Mkpamute
– Igogoro-Ikpamodo-Okpo-Amaja road and the Ogurute –
Umuogbo-Umuokpu-Ette road both in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area
of the state. Engr. Nnaji noted that the present administration had
constructed phase one of the two roads, adding that the newly awarded
projects were the phase two.

Also approved for rehabilitation/construction, according to the works
commissioner, were selected roads in Igbo-Etiti LGA, namely, the 9th
Mile-Makurdi expressway- Community Secondary School road, Ozalla; the
Akaibute-Ohebe Dim-Aku road and the St. Mary’s Catholic Church-Ezi
Ukehe-Afia Four-Umurusi road.

On the Ozalla community road, he explained that the council “approved
that an access road be created for the people, saying: “We are taking
the first phase of that road into the community and it is going to be
classified as a rural feeder road”.

Engr. Nnaji further explained that the Akaibute-Ohebe Dim-Aku road
will be rehabilitated while the St. Mary’s Catholic Church – Ezi
Ukehe-Afia Four-Umurusi road was classified as “a full construction
which entails site preparation, earthwork, drainages, pavement and
surfacing”.

The works commissioner added that the council equally approved the
rehabilitation/construction of the second phase of
Ugbawka-Nara-Nkerefi road in Nkanu East LGA, pointing out that the
project was an extension of the first phase of the road.

Other development projects approved by the council were the renovation
of Enugu State Library, Enugu; rehabilitation of Amechi Uwani road,
Awkunanaw, Enugu South LGA and the completion work on the Bailey
bridge across Nyama River connecting Amechi Uno/Obeagu communities in
Enugu South LGA.

In his brief remark, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ogbuagu
Anikwe announced that Enugu State emerged the best state in ICT
development in Nigeria according to the recent rating by the National
Council on Communications Technology.

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How Stray Bullet from Customs Anti-Smuggling Operatives Killed Police Officer’s Wife in Seme Border

A stray bullet fired by the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has allegedly killed a 45 year old woman in Badagry.
Sources said the woman identified as Mrs Patience Oni was hit by the stray bullet near a Filling Station in Badagry last week November 20 when the operatives of the Customs were shooting into the air to scare away people from the area where they had seized some bags of rice.
Patience, said to be the wife of a Police Officer, according to an eye witness had gone to a nearby market when she was hit by the stray bullet fired by the Customs Seme Border Command led by an officer identified as Yusuf Abu.
It was gathered that on realizing that the woman has hit by the bullet, the officers had rushed her to Badagry General Hospital where she was confirmed dead.
SHIPPING DAY also gathered that Patience was not alone as one other person, identified as Jimoh Aminu was equally hit by the stray bullet.
However, sources said Oni survived after he was taken to Hospital.
Customs Public Relations Officer, Seme Border, Mr Saidu Abdullahi, had confirmed the incident to newsmen.
The operatives of the Customs were had evaded the area to evacuate 120 bags of rice smuggled into the country by some traders when the incident occurred.

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Dakuku: Sustainable Use of Ocean Will Lift Africa Out of Poverty

… AAMA commit to champion Blue Economy.

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said that development of the blue economy is a veritable strategy for advancing African economies and lifting the people out of poverty. Dakuku stated this on Monday in Nairobi, where he led a high-powered Nigerian delegation to the opening of the first global conference on sustainable blue economy.

Dakuku stated that it was high time Africans took advantage of the continent’s enormous maritime potential to develop their countries, explaining that climes without as much opportunities are making worthy use of the ocean economy and increasing the prosperity of their people.

According to him, “It is common knowledge that among all the continents, Africa can be termed the biggest Island, and so if countries of the region can sustainably harness the blue economy it is sure that a large percentage of poverty level in the continent of Africa would have been tackled.”

The NIMASA DG, who is also Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), delivered a statement of commitment on behalf of the association during the three-day conference, which is co-sponsored by Nigeria. In it, he detailed the objectives of AAMA, the coordinating body for 38 African Maritime Administrations, to include improvement of the capacities of African maritime administrations, enhancement of member-states’ compliance with international maritime treaties, and coordination of programmes aimed at synchronising the ocean economy with other economic sectors.

Dakuku stated, “All these objectives assigned to us by AFrica Maritime Transport Charter put AAMA in a unique position to fully mobilise players in the maritime domain for optimisation of the potentials of Africa’s Blue Economy.

“We have already taken a number of steps to realize these goals as set out in our various works and activities. In our past four conferences, we focused on the preservation and protection of the Marine Environment, and are committed to driving these beyond the Sustainable Blue Economy conference, for the simple reason that there cannot be actual sustainability irrespective of the economic benefits without consideration for the health of the Seas and Oceans.

“The Blue Economy concept is perhaps the greatest sectoral shift that has capacity to unleash the growth potential of our Continent. It is thus imperative that our approach to tapping the potentials of this new sector is coordinated and accelerated.

“Finally, as a continental body, the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) is committed to working with African Union (AU) Commission and other institutions to deepen the attainment of the Blue Economy goals for the economic prosperity of our nations and the continent.”

Speaking also at the conference, Chairman of the African Union (AU), President Paul Kigame of Rwanda, said the union was committed to the growth of the blue economy in the continent. Kigame said member-states had shown commitment towards sustainable use of the ocean and AU would continue to formulate policies that would engender the development of Africa’s ocean economy.

The Prime Minister of Namibia, Saara Kuugongelwa, spoke in a similar vein, saying the Namibian government is committed to developing an integrated blue economy policy geared towards protecting the marine environment of the Southern African country. Kuugongelwa said Namibia had a special fisheries observers’ institution, which puts the country among the leaders in sustainable fisheries management.

She disclosed that in the next 12 months, Namibia would be investing a minimum of $5 million towards marine research, on purpose to advance economic inclusivity.

In his remarks, President of Seychelles Danny Faure, who was appointed to serve as the AU Champion of Blue Economy, said in his own capacity he will get more women to serve on the blue economy regime. This, he said, would ensure that the campaign for the blue economy remained all-inclusive. He also said his country would work on establishing a pan African shipping line.

Other African leaders in attendance included the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta who is the Chief Host of the conference ; President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohammed; President of Tanzania, John Magufuli; President of Zanzibar, Ali Mohamed Shein; President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni; and President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi. The Governments of Canada and Japan who are cohosting the conference were represented by their top cabinet ministers.

Also in attendance was the newly re-elected Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim, the Canadian Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and several other notable world maritime stakeholders.

The inaugural Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, which ends on Wednesday in the Kenyan capital, has over 15,000 participants from around the world. They are gathered to discuss how to build a blue economy that harnesses the potentials of oceans, seas, lakes and rivers to improve the lives of people, particularly those in developing countries.

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Russia Uses Cargo Ship to Block Ukrainian Navy Vessels

WMN.. Russia used a huge cargo ship to block Ukrainian navy vessels from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait on Sunday, November 25.
The tanker was placed under a Russian-controlled bridge linking Crimea and Southern Russia.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, ships of the Ukrainian Naval Forces consisting of two small armored artillery boats Berdyansk and Nikopol and a harbour tug Yana Kapu carried out a planned transition from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol in the Azov Sea.
The ministry said that the intention to make the transition was announced in advance, in accordance with international norms.
“At 13.42, according to Kerchtrafficcontrol information, the traffic on both sides of the bridge was blocked due to the tanker’s landing on the shore in front of the bridge from the Azov Sea side, the movement of the channel is closed on both sides,” the ministry said on Sunday.
As informed, after the Ukrainian ships started moving to exit from the Kerch Strait, Russian naval forces began following them and opened fire.
Subsequently, all three Ukrainian ships were seized and escorted by Russian forces and six Ukrainian servicemen were reported injured.
The seizure prompted Kiev to put its armed forces on combat alert and impose martial law.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the attempted transition of Ukrainian warships of Russian territorial waters as a provocation and gross violation of international law.
“The Ukrainian authorities bear full responsibility for creating yet another conflict situation and for the attendant risks. All this has been clearly done in the context of the election campaign in Ukraine,” the press office of the Russian President said in a release, World Maritime News.

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FG Cautions States on Overhead Costs

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Monday called on the state governments to be cautious in their overhead costs to be able to achieve fiscal discipline.
Speaking during the 2018 Conference of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development, NACOFED, in Kaduna, Ahmed said states should avoid unnecessary expenditure.

The Minister who was represented by her Special Adviser on Media and
Communications to the minister, Mr Paul Ella Abechi, urged the states to develop cost effective strategies to raise Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The Minister said, “Let me remind us that we need to develop cost effective strategies to increase our IGR, reduce unnecessary overhead costs, enthrone fiscal discipline and transparency so as to optimize available limited resources, while efforts are sustained to broaden our revenue base.
“On the Federal Government’s part, we will continue to strive to ensure that all federation revenues are accounted for in the most transparent manner and managed efficiently to deliver on the dividends of democracy to the citizenry.”
The Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari was supportive of the drive to explore other relevant revenue sources for the development of the country.

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