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NSC, NPA at War with PTOL over Rate Increment

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From all indications, a confrontation may be brewing between the management of  Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the Nigerian Ports Authority, and  terminal operator, Port and Terminal Operators Limited, over increment in terminal handling charges.

The NSC and NPA had, in a meeting on Thursday in Lagos, asked the PTOL to reverse its recent rates increase or face sanctions.

In the meeting, the NSC – as the economic regulator – noted that the increment was arbitrary and without due consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the regulatory authorities.

Both agencies advised PTOL to present its proposed increases for negotiation through official channels as soon as possible, a statement by the NSC’s Head of Public Relations, Rakiya Zubairu, noted.

According to NSC’s Ag Executive Secretary, Ms Ifeoma Ezedinma, who convened the meeting, such act will attract sanctions because the agency, through public notices, visits and correspondences, always advises regulated service providers to adhere to the law.

Citing breach of Clause 5:5 of her agency’s lease agreement with PTOL, the NPA General Manager (Monitoring and Regulatory Service), Mrs Ugo Madubuike, reminded the terminal operator that “the lessee shall not make any increase in the operation rate unless agreed to in writing by the parties and any required persons or governmental authority.”

Also, the NSC Director, Consumer Affairs, Cajetan Agu, asked the terminal operator to revert to its old rates until due process is followed, as its actions contravened its lease contract and violated the NSC Act.

Likewise, the Director, Legal Services Department of NSC, Tahir Idris, advised PTOL to obtain documents on the agency’s legal framework to acquaint itself with the regulatory procedures of tariff increase and to be guided on right protocol.

Meanwhile, PTOL General Manager, Macpherson Nwaukoni, has apologised for the oversight in implementing the new tariff regime, stating that the company took the decision because it was incurring much operational losses.

He attributed the losses to the country’s ban on certain import items, making the company unable to meet its obligations, especially rental debt to the lessor. He appealed for leniency, as PTOL had not increased charges in 16 years and was currently running at a loss.

Nwaukoni explained that in comparison, his company’s rates are much lower than the charges by other terminals, and all these factors have made their operations difficult and prompted the 15-30 per cent raise in tariff.

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Maritime

Nigeria’s First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion

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Nigeria's First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Following the successful delivery of the first set of Super Post Panamax State-of-the-art Ship to Shore (STS) Cranes and ten (10) Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) on the 1st of July, 2022 and the delivery of the second batch shipment critical to the commencement of operations comprising of two (2) STS Cranes with 115 packages of accessories and five (5) RTGs with 270 packages of accessories on 5th of August, 2022, the Lekki Deep Seaport is set to be completed on the schedule ahead commencement of operations before the end of the year 2022.

Speaking during his first official visit to the Lekki Deep Seaport on Saturday, 13th August 2022, the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mr. Muazu Jaji Sambo, expressed delight at the pace and quality of work at the Port site. Sambo commended the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority for the tremendous support provided to Lekki Port in meeting the project timelines.

Nigeria's First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion
Left-Right: Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Alhaji Mohammed Bello-Koko; the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lekki Port, Mr. Du Ruogang; the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mallam Muazu Sambo and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani during the first official visit of the Honourable Minister to Lekki Deep Sea Port in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Sambo tasked Nigerian Railway Corporation, NPA, and Lekki Port to take urgent steps toward ensuring the Deep Seaport is linked by rail.

In his remarks, Managing Director Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello Koko said, “the very fact the letter of intent between Lekki Deep Seaport and its financial partners was signed in April 2019, and by 2022 we are close to operationalization; this project symbolizes the possibilities that tenacity of purpose can actualize”. He added that NPA remains unwavering in providing every support and facilitation necessary to ensure that the timelines for take-off are met.

The Managing Director of Lekki Deep Seaport, Mr. Du Ruogang, while making a presentation to the Minister and his entourage, disclosed that the construction works for phase 1 are nearing completion and are currently at about 96% complete. The Lekki Port team, together with the Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT), are working hard to ensure that construction is completed in September 2022, and thereafter, port operations will start before the end of this year 2022.

He commended the Lagos State Government for their immense support, especially in resolving the road infrastructure situation, which is critical for the success of a port of this magnitude. He acknowledged that work has commenced on the road but urged the government to help expedite the construction works so the evacuation of cargo from the Port will be efficient.

Nigeria's First Deep Seaport, First Full Automated Port Set For Completion
Left-Right: Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Emmanuel Jime; the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mallam Muazu Sambo; the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lekki Port, Mr. Du Ruogang; the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Alhaji Mohammed Bello-Koko during the first official visit of the Honourable Minister to Lekki Deep Sea Port in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Highlighting the game-changing features, Ruogang stated that the port, upon completion, will have three (3) container berths, three (3) liquid berths, and a storage yard with over 15,000 ground slots terminal designed to support a throughput of 2.7 million TEUs annually, a Dry Bulk Terminal with an available quay length of about 300m amongst other distinctive attributes.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had in the first week of August secured through the Federal Ministry of Transportation an expedited presidential approval for the gazette of Lekki Deep Seaport as a Customs Port and an Approved Wharf in line with the requirements of the law. This development is another important step forward for the start of operations at the Port.

The Lekki Deep Seaport places Nigeria on the global list of nations with Deep Seaports and positions the country to maximize the comparative advantages that its maritime endowments and littoral assets confer.

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Maritime

NIMASA: Board Appoints 3 New Directors, Promotes 469 Others

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… Jamoh emphasizes rededication, to Agency Core Values

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Board of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has approved the appointment of three new Directors, namely, Mr. Otonye Obom, Captain Umoren Sunday Michael, and Mr. Kazir Abubakar Musa, alongside the promotion of 469 others.

The Directors were promoted along with 18 Deputy Directors and 20 Assistant Directors; in a list which also contains 431 other staff elevated to their next grade levels.

The promotions were ratified at a meeting of the Governing Board of the Agency held at the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

Congratulating the beneficiaries, the Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, charged them to remain committed to the Agency’s vision of making Nigeria great through the sustainable harnessing of its huge maritime potential.

“Congratulations to the 472 staff of the Agency whose promotions have been ratified by the NIMASA Governing Board.

It is my expectation that this development will serve as a morale booster as you collectively rededicate yourselves to the delivery of our core mandates”, Dr. Jamoh stated.

“We remain dedicated to ensuring staff welfare is at the forefront in order to encourage the hard work and dedication that our staff is known for to is maintained and built upon going forward.

Suffice to say that the promotional exercise was rigorous to ensure our high standards are maintained.

“On our part as Executive Management, we will continue to ensure that staff promotions are conducted as and when due as part of our commitment to human capacity development in the Agency thereby ensuring positive contributions to the nation’s economic diversification drive”.

The Governing Board enjoined the newly promoted staff to be more dedicated to their duties, saying that promotions come with responsibilities”.

The Agency Head of Public Relations, Osagie Edward noted that the promotion exercise is the third, under the Dr. Jamoh-led management since he assumed office in March 2020.

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Maritime

NIMS To Hold 2022 Summit In July

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Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS)

The Governing Board of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) has announced that the 2022 edition of the summit will hold from 5th to 6th July 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to the secretariat, the 2022 summit will sustain the massive acclaim achieved by the first edition held in 2021, and to further consolidate on the event’s foothold as the go-to location for maritime business in Nigeria.

A statement from the secretariat described the Nigeria International Maritime Summit as a whole-of-value-chain event aimed at leveraging the Nigerian maritime industry’s diverse strengths to unlock economic potential through collaboration.

“NIMS aims at setting an agenda and offering solutions for maritime business, policy, and operations in Nigeria. It also promotes a strategic and practical approach to policy implementation and decision-maker accountability,” the secretariat stated.

The secretariat further stated that the 2022 event will incorporate all the highlights that elevated the inaugural event as a key maritime industry fixture.

“Apart from the high-level sessions that will touch on the most important issues affecting operations and policy, NIMS 2022 will feature a maritime industry exhibition dedicated to the promotion of Nigerian and international maritime and related businesses. Networking events will also feature strongly to boost business-to-business and business-to-government interactions and deals,” the secretariat added.

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