Cabotage Fund: Stakeholders Worry Over Failed Objectives

Written by  |  Monday, 28 October 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

The recent public hearing by the House of Representative Ad-hoc Committee,  investigating the alleged misappropriation of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) following a public outcry by stakeholders and members of the shipping public has thrown up several issues. Proceedings from the investigation pointed to the fact that  the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), may have been using the Fund for purposes other than what it was meant to achieve. The CVFF like the failed Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF), was meant to provide financial assistance to indigenous shipping operators through access to loan facilities with a view to building their tonnage capacity, so as to compete with the foreign shipping firms that have dominated the nation’s coastal trade. Speaking at the opening of the Public Hearing, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, decried the misappropriation of the Fund, saying that “ the purpose of establishing the Fund may have been defeated if it has not been used to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity by providing financial assistance to Nigerian operators. ”Tambuwal said that in spite of the enactment of the Cabotage Act in 2003, the Nigerian inland water ways remained “grossly a wasteland.

Council tasks stakeholders on high transaction costs at ports

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

THE Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has challenged stakeholders in the maritime sector to work out modalities on how to successfully tackle high cost of doing business at Nigerian ports.
Addressing representatives of freight forwarders and executive members of trade associations in Lagos, Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Hassan Bello, said the numbers of complaints from port users is on the increase, adding that there is a general consensus that port cost is still on the high side despite concession exercise.
 “Studies carried out also support the fact that cost has continued to escalate while patronage of neigbouring ports by Nigerian shippers continue to increase thus denying the Federal Government much needed revenue from the port industry.
 “These are challenges that must be addressed with determination and commitment on the part of all stakeholders in the industry. This interactive session seeks to re-awaken us all to the fact that the industry is dynamic,” said Bello
   Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Vicky Haastrup, had recently advised the Federal Government to beam its

Strengthening maritime security through inter-agency collaboration

Written by  |  Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

Recently, the Gulf of Guinea, which houses Nigeria’s coastline, has been under serious tension due to the growing rate of oil theft, illegal bunkering, piracy, sea robbery and other related crimes at sea. This is why most reports from international bodies including the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) rated the West African coastline as a high risk area.The security threats in the Gulf of Guinea steadily rose from 45 percent in 2010 to 64 percent in 2012. This constitutes a major threat to the nation’s over $600 million fishing business as well as the economy, which is 95 percent dependent on oil export earning that forms about 80 percent of government revenue.On oil theft, International Oil Companies (IOCs) say Nigeria loses about 49,000 barrels per day (bpd), while about 350,000bpd is shut in, meaning that the later volume is sabotaged from a particular company’s pipeline during production.
Worried by the alarming rate of these sea-related crimes in Nigerian maritime domain, the Federal Government in 2012 organised a Presidential Retreat on Maritime Security with the theme ‘Harnessing the Potential of Nigeria’s Maritime Sector for Sustainable Economic Development’, aimed at generating concrete initiatives to improve security in the sector. With this development, serious pressure was mounted on government agencies that have direct and indirect responsibility to provide security on the waterways.On its part, the nation’s apex maritime regulatory authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration

Reps seek IMO’s Assistance On Sea Time Training For Cadets

Written by  |  Wednesday, 11 September 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

The House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport has solicited the assistance of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in making sure that Nigerian cadets get sea time training after graduation from maritime institute. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, committee chairman, who made the appeal when he led the delegation of the lawmakers on a courtesy visit to Koji Sekimizu, IMO secretary general, at the IMO headquarters in London, United Kingdom, said the  request became imperative because Nigeria on its own had not been able to tackle the situation. Traveldigest checks have disclosed that lack of sea time training for cadets who graduated from Nautical Sciences, Marine Engineering and other maritime-related courses from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron (MAN), has made it impossible for Nigerian cadets to compete favorably with their counterparts in other countries, such as Philippines, etc.


Written by  |  Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

The Management of the Lagos Bar Beach said on Wednesday that it would bring positive changes that would thrill fun seekers at the beach. Mr Effiong Ekanem, the Chairman of the Tourism Committee of Lagos Bar Beach, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He said that the management of the beach, with the authority of Eti Osa Local Government had a transformation agenda in 2013 to beautify the beach to attain international standard. ``The management of Bar Beach is ready to carry out the transformation agenda of the local government to beautify the beach. ``Fun seekers should have in mind a better Bar Beach this 2013,’’ Ekanem said. He said that the management was partnering with some corporate agencies to give the beach a befitting look. ``Negotiation is ongoing with some corporate agencies to bring positive change to bar beach and to always have stage performances at the beach,’’ Ekanem said.

Getting a deal on a cruise

Written by  |  Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

The high cost of a dream cruise vacation can leave you feeling a little queasy before you even set sail. (And let's not mention the add-ons!)
Here's some sage advice about how to save big before boarding.

Book early
By reserving six to 12 months ahead of your cruise, you can lock in an early-bird rate that's 25 to 50 percent lower than the published "brochure" rate most lines advertise. You'll also have a wider selection of itineraries, dates and cabins, and possibly get better deals on airfare and hotels. If prices go down after you book, a good travel agent -- or the cruise line itself -- should help you get the new lower rate.

Maritime Union & Management Disagree

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

LAGOS: -- Comrade Anthony Emmanuel Nted, President-General of the Maritime Workers of Nigeria (MWUN) in this interview speaks on varying issues in the nation's maritime sector including move by some powerful elements to establish a parallel safety security agency in the industry. Excerpt:-

Q: Recently in a public hearing by the Senate, you said there were moves by some powerful people to establish a parallel safety security agency in the industry.

A: The issue of parallel security in the maritime industry is a clear indication that some groups of people want to milk the nation dry. We have the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, which is an organ saddled with the responsibility to man the water ways, regulate the activities of dockworkers, seafarers, the cabotage laws and so many issues that relate to maritime activities and security. The marine police are there in conjunction with the navy. You also have the navy in conjunction with NIMASA. All of them are working together to ensure security within the territorial boundary.

Port Concession: Dock Workers Flay Process

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 August 2013 00:00  |  Published in TRANSPORTATION

Dockworkers in the nation’s seaports have flayed the handover of the nation’s ports to  the terminal operators,  expressing concern over  the way and manner the concession programme was implemented by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government had during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo handed over the nation’s seaports situated at Warri, Koko, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Onne, Lagos, and Sapele to concessionaires.
The exercise which was midwifed by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) has recorded some gains, just as some stakeholders have continued to draw the attention of the authority to the ills that trailed the programme which was completed in 2006.
The former  President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Uzoijie Ukaumunna told maritime reporters in Lagos that the recent spate of detection of illegal arms importation particularly through the nation’s seaports was because private operators are now in control of most of the terminals and jetties across the country.
He  stated that his MWUN had warned against the idea of allowing absolute private control of the ports, but was ignored by government.

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