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



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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NIMASA: Board Appoints 3 New Directors, Promotes 469 Others



… 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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NIMS To Hold 2022 Summit In July



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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Maritime Transport Unions Threaten To Sue NPA Over Extortion




Olushola Okunlade Writes

Transporters, under the aegis of the Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA), have threatened to institute legal actions against the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over extortion and breach of agreement on the electronic call-up system.

The group made the threat in a notice issued through its counsel Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa to the Managing Director of NPA, titled, “Notice of intention to commence a suit against the NPA pursuant to Section 92 (1) of the NPA Act CAP 126, LFN 2004.”

The notice reads in part: “Our client reliably informed us of certain developments and unfair activities in the maritime sector for which countless letters of complaint have been written but serially ignored by your office and other concerned offices such as the office of the Lagos State Government.

“Some of the disturbing facts, which were reliably disclosed to us are as follows: That there have been reported cases of discrepancies and misrepresentation of facts and figures emanating from the electronic call-up regime (ETO/TTP program) created by Truck Transit Park Ltd on the instruction and directives of your office, the Nigerian Port Authority. Our client is vehemently disputing the cost and value of the services being rendered by ETO/TTP as there have been cases of extortions and breach of agreement on the part of your office,” the notice stated.

According to the notice, it was mutually agreed that the sum of N10, 000 was payable for the booking process as an entry permit into the terminal but TTP now extorts a whooping sum of N31, 250.

The notice informed that contrary to the intent and purpose of TTP, which was meant to eradicate payment checkpoints, there has been a proliferation of illegal checkpoints along the terminal routes with attendant extortion of the sum of N5000 per checkpoint.

“That despite assurances to the contrary, members of our client now pay outrageous sums ranging from N50, 000 to N150, 000 to return empty containers at the authorized holding bay. That there have been cases of connivance and abuse of office by the Holding Bay operators and some agencies of the government who would arrest and impound our client’s members’ truck so as to illegally extort money from them.

“The continuous harassment and extortion of our client often lead to further arrests and detention of our client’s members by clearing agents on container demurrage. That the initial arrangements that trucks would move from the satellite parks to the pre-gate and then into the terminal within the period of two days have not been realized as trucks take more than weeks to move into the terminal from the satellite parks,” the notice added.

The group also alleged that the initial arrangement to install Close-Circuit Television (CCTV) to monitor the movement of trucks into the terminal to ensure speedy movement of vehicles and other purposes has not been affected by TTP.“ That there has been a consistent violation of movement procedures and illegal parking of trucks on the express road by some preferred truck drivers of which modus operandi are antithetical to the aim and purpose of the Electronic Call Up Regime.

“That the effort and intervention of the Minister of Transportation in setting up of the Ministerial Steering and Implementation Committee to proffer solutions associated with the ease of doing business at the Apapa/Tincan Island Port have been defeated with attendant cases of greed, extortions, harassment of truck drivers, robberies and total collapse of the accessible road networks.

“That there is an existing Presidential Executive Order vesting economic regulation of the Nigerian Ports in the hands of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council thereby making economic activities of your office illegal.

“On the other hand, the involvement and activities of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) and the Lagos State Committee on Abandoned and Disused Vehicles headed by the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government on Transport, Mr. Toyin Fayinka is regrettably inimical to the legitimate activities of the truck drivers.

That there have been cases of extortion; creation of illegal garages; indiscriminate and illegal tagging of vehicles as abandoned vehicles; compromise and selective enforcement of the law against perceived enemies and truck drivers are being extorted on a daily basis without the issuance of receipts,” the notice stated.

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