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Maritime security: Nigeria, Pakistan Navy to strengthen bilateral relationship



Maritime security: Nigeria, Pakistan Navy to strengthen bilateral relationship


Abuja, The Pakistan Navy has expressed readiness to strengthen bilateral relationship with the Nigerian Navy (NN) on maritime security.

The Pakistan Chief of Naval Staff (PCNS), Adm. Zafar Abbasi, disclosed this when he visited the Chief of the Naval Staff, (CNS), Vice-Admiral Ibok- Ete Ibas, on Monday in Abuja.

Abbasi said he was in Nigeria to hold bilateral talks with Ibas on how the two countries could strengthen their relationships.

He said the Pakistan government valued the long standing relationship that had existed between Nigeria and Pakistan.

“I am happy with the warm reception I received today by the Nigerian Navy, we value our relationship with Nigeria,’’ he said.

The PCNS said that although the relationship between the two countries dated back to history, he added however that there was the need to “further enhance this bilateral relationship’’.

He said the relationship could be strengthened economically, politically, among others.

“This visit is a step in that direction, I am confident that we will have a tangible discussion to further strengthen our bilateral relationship,’’ he said.

Ibas in his remarks reaffirmed that Nigeria and Pakistan have had a long standing relationship.

The CNS said that he had also benefited from the bilateral ties between the two countries.

“I have also benefited from this relationship, being a product of Pakistan Naval College,’’ Ibas said.

He said the countries had a history in strategically tackling same challenges in their maritime domains.

The CNS said: “ I think now the time is apt to synergise and re-strategise to surmount some of the challenges.’’

Earlier, the Pakistan naval chief had visited the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, and reiterated that his visit was to further strengthen the relationship between the two Navy.

Responding, Olonisakin recalled that the relationship between Nigeria and Pakistan dated back to the colonial days and expressed optimism that it would be sustained.


FG dissolves governing councils of UNIPORT, Maritime University



The Federal Government on Thursday dissolved the Governing Councils of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State and the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Bayelsa State.

A statement by Mr Ben Goong, a director in the Office of the Honourable Minister of Education, made this known in Abuja.

Goong quoted the Minister, Adamu Adamu as saying the dissolution of the Governing Councils was with immediate effect.

Adamu thanked members of the Governing Councils for their service to the institutions and wished them success in their future endeavours.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the University of Port Harcourt governing council was inaugurated by the minister of education on Jan. 18, 2017 while that of Maritime University, Okerenkoko was inaugurated on March 22, 2018.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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Maritime industry can create more jobs in post-COVID-19 era – ANLCA



The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) on Wednesday, said the maritime industry could create more jobs if well harnessed.

The National President of the association, Mr Tony Nwabunike, said that there should not be any fear of job loss in the maritime industry.

According to him, we have watched the shocking and ongoing devastating impact of the coronavirus disease on various sectors of the economy leading to massive job losses and general quake in the global economy.

Nwabunike noted that though not completely insulated from effects of the pandemic, the Nigerian maritime industry held potential to serve as the country’s low hanging fruits for economic growth, stability and survival

He said that unlike the aviation industry where government agencies including airlines were either mulling salary slash, workers lay-off, shrinking human capital needs, the maritime industry still held the ace as an indispensable mode of global trade and commerce

“Rather than worry over likelihood of job loss, customs brokers, freight forwarders, truck owners, chandlers and other ancillary service providers in the industry should gravitate toward keeping themselves abreast with virtual presence and operations in the ports.

“At ANLCA, we have always advocated for a modern port regime with lesser amount of persons coming into port areas.

“This will now be a fast track drive because persons and businesses can meet virtually, submit, process and receive documents online without leaving the comfort of our homes and offices.

“While the port cannot be virtual, our presence can be. We have been partaking in Webinars where we communicate effectively, take business and corporate decisions without travelling.

“The haulage section will always be there; it cannot be taken over virtually. We only foresee a regime of improved rail services,” he said in a statement.

Nwabunike said that the best way to harvest postCOVID-19 benefits from the ports was through exports, cutting unnecessary imports, avoiding waste and the need for private investment in rail coaches.

He pointed out that for exports, Nigeria as a matter of urgency must develop non-oil exports to keep jobs up, saying that much more was needed to be done in the agricultural sector.

Nwabunike said that as a country, we should identify products for which we had comparative advantage, as Nigerian-made electric cables had been noted for being of higher quality than most imported ones. Government should be the number one buyer.

He called for urgent steps to be taken to refine crude oil locally and stop the importation of refined petroleum products.

“That we have cotton but still depend on other countries to produce our clothing needs is a result of a fall in the local textile industry.

“The industry is dying partly due to lack of power as it was discovered that it was cheaper to manufacture textiles outside Nigeria than doing it in the country.

“Our textile industry alone can produce jobs running into millions for 200 million people and exporting to other countries. Rice self-sufficiency is still a struggle even after its removal from Foreign Exchange and ban from importation through land borders.

“Whereas the railway is government-owned. There is need to allow private investment in ownership of coaches to move cargoes from dry ports to the seaports and vice versa.

“This mode of transport if encouraged and opened for the private sector, will bring about cheaper and safer mode of cargo movement within the country,’’ Nwabunike said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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Lockdown: Group urges Rivers govt. to ease measures, save maritime sector



The Initiative for Youth Empowerment and Welfare Creation, an NGO, has urged the Rivers Government to reconsider easing the total lockdown of the state to save critical sectors of the economy, especially the maritime industry.

The group claimed that the decision to place a total lockdown on the state was crippling the maritime sector.

The group’s Executive Director, Abiye George, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Monday, therefore, urged the state government to grant movement permit to maritime workers.

George advised the state government to recognise maritime workers as essential service providers and to protect them amid restrictions occasioned by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He recalled that during times of crises, maritime workers played an essential role in moving, not only food and household goods, but also fuel, medicine, equipment, and critical supplies to places in need.

“So, I urge the Rivers government to recognise the contributions of maritime workers towards keeping vital supply chains open.

“The state government should partner with agencies under the maritime industry to put precautionary measures in place to check the spread of COVID-19 in the sector,” he said.

According to George, there is need for the state to partner with the Federal Government, especially at a time when it was making huge investments in Eastern Ports.

“We think it is only proper that the Rivers government partner with the Federal Government to keep ports in the state operational.

“Closing down the ports will ultimately lead to huge job cuts and loss of huge revenue of the state,” he noted.

George pleaded with Gov. Nyesom Wike, to consider the letter issued by the International Maritime Organisation.

The circular, he said, advised governments to prioritise easing restrictions on shipping services, and on maritime workers, to deliver essential services, including medical supplies and foodstuffs, which were central to COVID-19 response and defeat.

The executive director also called on the state government to set up an Economic Advisory Team, saying, “inputs from the team will help the governor make sound decisions based on rigorous evaluation.

“Convening experts in an advisory role, will inform government’s future decisions and shape policies and methodology.”

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)

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Shippers’ Council conducts COVID-19 sensitisation for maritime community



Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has rounded up the first phase of its COVID-19 sensitisation for the maritime community.

Mrs Rakiya Zubairu, Head, Public Relations, NSC said this in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.

According to her, the 3-day programme, which started on May 13, kicked off at the headquarters of the council with the Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, presenting hand gloves, sanitisers and masks to the leaders of seven trucking associations.

Zubairu said that he was joined by the Council’s Directors of Regulatory Services and Consumer Affairs, Ms Ifeoma Ezedinma and Chief Cajetan Agu respectively.

“The sensitisation programme moved to the terminals and shipping companies where the NCDC hygienist, Moji Ayorinde under the direction of Dr Everistus Aniaku, head of Emergency Operations and National Response Team on COVID-19 in Lagos State, gave talks on how to protect oneself from contracting COVID-19.

“She demonstrated the correct method to wear a mask, hand washing, hand sanitisation and physical distancing among others.

“The attentive audiences at the various locations engaged the NCDC team with questions as well as seeking clarifications.

“Over 100 stakeholders attended this first phase of the programme. Participants were made up of freight forwarders and staff of the shipping companies and terminals.

“Participants are expected to cascade the lessons as the dictates of physical distancing could not allow for all stakeholders within the different terminals and shipping companies to attend the sessions.

“Participants received masks and sanitisers courtesy of Nigerian Shippers’ Council,” she said.

Bello, at the occasion, said NSC considered it part of its responsibility to ensure the safety of truckers as they are silent facilitators of Nigeria’s economy.

He commended them for their cooperation in acceding to NSC’s request to reduce their fees during the period of the lockdown.

Bello reminded them that they are primarily responsible for their own well-being and urged them to do everything to stay safe as their families and the nation needed them.

Responding on behalf of the trucking associations, Mr Stephen Okafor, Coordinator of Committee of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations, COMTUA, commended Bello, describing him as a partner in progress.

Okafor assured him of their cooperation in resetting Nigeria’s postCOVID-19 economy.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)


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Maritime Law Association inaugurates 16-member committee to review Admiralty law



The Nigerian Maritime Law Association has inaugurated a 16-member committee to ensure review of procedural rules and substantive laws in boosting industry confidence in dispute resolution and efficiency of Admiralty law and practice in Nigeria.

The President of the Association, Chidi Ilogu, (SAN), made this known in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.

He said the proposed review also aimed at fast tracking speed in filing, assignment, hearing and determination of admiralty matters in Nigeria.

Ilogu said that the association had observed the steady decline in admiralty law and practice over the years, as a result of sub-optimal procedural rules and poor judicial interpretation of substantive laws.

According to him, judicial decisions have not been consistent with standard global expectations while speed, which is the heart of functional admiralty litigations, had taken a back-seat.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) explained that as a result, a number of significant maritime interests were no longer keen on having Nigeria as a jurisdiction for adjudication of their disputes.

According to him, the Nigerian Maritime Law Association is leading efforts toward the reform of key procedural rules and substantive laws in boosting industry confidence in dispute resolution and efficiency of Admiralty law and practice in Nigeria.

“To achieve this goal, the association has, therefore, constituted the Nigeria Admiralty Law and Procedure Reform Committee to contribute to this effort.

“The Advisory members of the committee include: Prof. Gbolahan Elias, SAN; Mr Dolapo Akinrele, SAN; Dr Wale Olawoyin, SAN; and Mr Olumide Sofowora, SAN,” Ilogu said.

He, however, said that the committee was expected to propose initiatives and implementation strategies toward repositioning admiralty law practice in the country and the report be submitted on or before May 26, 2020. .

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Felix Ajide (NAN)


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Olonisakin lauds Navy on production of second maritime chart



The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, has commended the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic Office (NNHO) for the production of second locally-produced chart of some parts of Nigerian territorial waters.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said that Olonisakin gave the commendation in a congratulatory message to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, on Thursday in Abuja.

Olonisakin expressed profound delight that the recent products of the NNHO harbour and operational charts were certified and recognised by international institutions.

He said that the achievement had come at a time when the need to utilise indigenous resources had been underscored by recent global events.

“It could be recalled that the NN recorded a significant operational milestone with the production of the second indigenous navigational chart of some parts of Nigerian waters by the NNHO,’’ he said.

Olonisakin disclosed that the new chart covered parts of Badagry Creek, from Ogunkobo, through Navy Town and Mile 2 to Tin-Can Island on Lagos waters.

He added that with the completion of the chart which started in 2019, the NNHO had also commenced work on its electronic version that would be forwarded to the International Centre for Electronic Navigational Charts for validation and release.

According to him, in the last one year, the NNHO has produced a number of nautical products which are currently used by Nigerian Navy ships and establishments.

“These include harbour chart of Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT and Nigerian Naval Dockyard Limited water fronts, port guide of Lagos harbour and operations charts of the entire Eastern Naval Command.

“Others are maneuvering sheets for tactical navigation and a number of training charts, among others.

“The International Hydrographic Community, particularly the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), has acknowledged the strides made by the NN in chart production.

“Consequently, the UKHO has accepted gradual hand over of the survey data covering Nigerian waters which are held in their archive and also to adopt NNHO’s charts rather than producing new ones.

“This is a confirmation that NNHO’s nautical products meet international (IHO) standards.

“The NNHO wishes to maintain this standard to facilitate safety of navigation within Nigerian waters and seamless takeover of the charting functions of Nigerian waters from UKHO.

“In line with the coordination role of the NN in Hydrography, the NNHO is also currently developing harmonised Standard Operating Procedures to guide all hydrographic survey activities conducted in Nigerian waters by private survey companies and sister government agencies.

“This would ensure that data received from any of these survey companies/government agencies are accurate enough to be included in a chart,” he added.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Workers’ Day: Maritime workers move to resist pay cut



Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) says its members will not accept pay cut from the management of any maritime company.

Its President-General, Mr Adewale Adeyanju, made this known in his May Day speech in Lagos on Friday.

Adeyanju said members of the union would not also accept the lockdown period as their annual leave.

According to him, workers cannot be made to pay for a problem they did not create.

“Comrades, most disheartening is the attempt by some management to cut the salaries, wages and allowances of our members without any probable cause.

“On this matter, we stand with the Nigeria Labour Congress who has acknowledged that in spite of the known fact that workers produce capital, they are always relegated and at the receiving end,’’ he said.

According to him, any move to deduct the salaries, wages, allowances and downsizing of Nigerian workers at this time is illogical and illegal and, therefore, must be resisted.

”We also wish to bring to the public space, the attempt by some management to cheat our members by forcing them to convert this lockdown period occasioned to their annual leave.

“The union has been informed that some managements have issued internal memo to this effect.

“We condemn this attempt without recourse to normal consideration and processes.

“We find it strange that workers will be subjected to punishment for a situation that is entirely out of their control and this we will resist within the ambit of law,” the MWUN leader said.

Adeyanju said the union had stood in support of the industry in spite of it being hard-hit by the pandemic, saying the union  would continue to protect the interest of the workers.

He added that the union’s goal had always been to support and assist its members to attain a high degree of livelihood.

“Comrades, I can assure you that we will continue to fight for the benefit of all and stand by our watchword that `an injury to one is an injury to all’.

“As labour leaders, we promise to remain on guard and jealously protect jobs, wages, income and livelihood of our members at this trying time.

“Our efforts will be focused on maintaining, respecting and improving upon existing collective bargaining agreements and all such sundry matters of job welfare,” Adeyanju said.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Workers day: Maritime expert lauds seafarers for sustaining international trade



Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, Chairman/ Chief Executive,  Genesis Worldwide Shipping Company, on Friday, lauded seaferers for sustaining international trade.

Iheanacho, a ship owner, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said seafarers deserved commendation for sustaining the economies of many countries, by moving essential commodities across the world.

He also pointed out the need to appreciate seafarers as the world celebrated workers day.

Iheanacho, also a master mariner, noted that seafarers made huge sacrifices while  working and staying for long periods away from their loved ones, even at such times as the COVID-19 pandemic when families stayed together.

“Ultimately, those who work on ships are the ones who are sustaining the world economy and so we need to recognise the sacrifice that seafarers are making.

“Without them contributing to the economy, we will not have the welfare that people strive to have.

“So, by working on ships, transporting the world’s international trade and making sure that economies stay oiled, they should be commended.

“The world owes them a lot, but unfortunately, their toil is not readily recognised, because just looking at it, you make an assumption that ships are moving and how can ships move if not for the people who work on them?” he asked.

He said seafarers who survived this difficult times with the transit of the pandemic all over the world, should be recognised, appreciated for the sacrifices they are making.

“Most of the times they make these sacrifices away from their families and loved ones, and so the need to ensure that we put in place the necessary facilities to ensure that their stay on board ships is made as comfortable as possible,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Iran says U.S. should respect int’l maritime regulation




The Iranian Armed Forces on Monday said that the vessels of the United States and its allies should respect international regulations while passing through Iran’s southern waters in the Sea of Oman and the Gulf, Tehran Times daily reported.

The Iranian Armed Forces said in a statement that those vessels should avoid creating any tension or conflict in the region.

Any “illegal and provocative move” will face crushing response of the Iranian Armed Forces, it said.

Last week, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) called for full withdrawal of all American forces from the West Asia after naval disputes erupted between both sides in the Gulf.

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