FG generates over N382.52bn import duties from Apapa, Tin-can Ports in H1

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The Federal Government has raked in approximately N382.52 billion as revenue generated by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the nation’s two major economic gateways, Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports (TICP) commands.

The revenue, which was announced recently by both Customs commands in a separate reports, represents the amount generated in Customs duties paid by Nigerian importers on their imported cargoes from the month of January to June (first six months) 2019.

As the major seaports that handle over 70 percent of Nigeria’s import cargoes, Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports, also generates over 70 percent of revenue, collected for the government from the seaports.

Ironically, the roads leading to both seaports are presently in bad shape as motorists, commuters and port users, find it increasingly difficult to access Apapa port city where both ports are located, due to the traffic gridlock that has become a daily reoccurrence, since the last five years.

The traffic situation worsened due to the failure of government to utilise a fraction of the trillions generated from the ports annually by Customs, NPA, NIMASA, SON and others, to repair the bad portions of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, the major access into Apapa.

For this singular reason, majority of the trucks and trailers going to the seaports and oil tank farms littered in all parts of Apapa city, are forced to pass through Ijora-Apapa-Wharf road, thereby creating travel difficulties for motorists and port users.

Tony Anakebe, a Lagos-based Customs Licensed Agents, said the seaports are the goose that lay the golden eggs for the Federal Government, yet the government has failed to invest in development of port infrastructure especially roads.

Meanwhile, the Customs revenue was over N33.27 billion higher than about N349.27 billion generated by both Customs commands within the first half of 2018.

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Tugboat, security patrol vessel, jargon barges, crew boats to top demand in next four years

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Tugboat, security patrol vessel, jargon barges, crew boats have been listed as vessels that would be in high demand in the Nigerian oil and gas industry over the next four years (2019-2023), the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), has said.   

The NCDMB was quoted in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), 2019 Nigeria’s Maritime Industry Forecast as saying that Nigeria can only drive local content development in the Nigerian maritime sector, if Nigerian ship owners acquire the listed vessels that can guarantee good business and return on investment.

This projection comes with high hopes and opportunities for Nigerian ship owners to regain its pride of place in the nation’s lucrative shipping business that is presently dominated by foreign ship owners.

According to the NIMASA report, these vessels will account for 66 percent of vessels demand between 2019 and 2023 while the industry spend on the above mentioned vessels is projected to be $1.6 billion, equivalent to 51 percent of the total spend. It is also projected that 519 marine contracts in Nigeria will be executed within the 4-year period.

Within the period, the volume of transaction for category one vessels would be 49 percent with projected spending of $1.65 billion as against 23 percent in category two with projected spending of $1.04 billion and 28 percent in category three vessels with expected spending of $519 million.

Comparatively, in the last four years (2014-2018), expenditure on marine vessels cost Nigeria about N1.09. Findings show that the industry spent $2.21 billion on category one marine vessels accounting for 73 percent of total funds spent on marine vessels.

Also, the category two vessels expenditure stood at $393 million, which is 13 percent while $437 million, equivalent 14 percent, was for category three vessels.… Read More...

Real reasons Nigeria struggles with establishment of National Fleet, after NNSL

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Unfavorable crude oil trade policies, high taxation and poor business practices have been identified as major impediments to the successful establishment of the long-awaited National Fleet, commissioned at the beginning of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2016.

The call for the establishment of National Fleet became essential following the need for Nigeria and Nigerians to take their pride of place in the nation’s lucrative shipping business, largely dominated by foreign-owned ships.

BusinessDay understands that since the demise of the Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) in the 90s, the country has not been able to establish shipping lines that will fly Nigerian flags, thus the domination of the business by foreigners.

For the success of the project, the Buhari’s administration in 2016 set up a National Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC), which said it is currently clearing some of the impediments that would pave way for the establishment of a sustainable National Fleet in Nigeria.

Hassan Bello, chairman of the committee and executive secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), who spoke in an interview with newsmen last week, expressed worries that a total of $9 billion in terms of freight on dry cargo was earned in Nigeria in 2015, all of which went to foreign ship owners due to the absence of a vessel on Nigeria’s fleet.

According to him, this has had serious negative implications on creating jobs for Nigerian seafarers and cadets including women, the banks, insurance companies, shipbuilding and ship repair yards and the overall economy, a development that makes it urgent for the country to have an enduring national fleet.

“At the course of the work of the committee, which is a 3-year programme, it was established that there exist some major impediments in terms of laws, policies, taxes and business … Read More...

Africa pledges to deliver Blue Economy at ABEF forum

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The international and Pan-African organisations have agreed to collaborate on initiatives that would promote the development of Blue Economy in Africa.

At the African Blue Economy Forum held in South African recently, the need for direct action to deliver the environmental, economic and social benefits for Africa, and particularly its coastal nations given that 90 percent of Africa’s trade is conducted by sea, was stressed during the two days of insight.

Speakers agreed on the urgent need for better cooperation between the ocean stakeholders, better governance and law enforcement.

They say that regional, national and local strategies are required to build a long-term plan and develop partnerships that are beyond short-term projects.

According to them, engaging with new technologies and innovative financing mechanisms are also critical to shaping a sustainable Blue Economy in Africa.

“We can no longer just dip our toe in the water; we must dive in and be decisive in making and delivering change that will serve Africa for many years to come. It is no longer business as usual. Africa must have a sustainable blue business plan which will have a positive impact on the environment, on the economy and on society,” said Leila Ben Hassen, ABEF founder and CEO of Blue Jay Communication, organisers’ of the forum.

She said a sustainable blue business plan would accelerate Africa’s transformation, create jobs, sustain livelihoods and empower communities, while offering impactful climate change measures.

This was acknowledged at ABEF2019 across a range of panels with topics that explored how governments and the private sector can collaborate; tackling ocean pollution; innovative funding solutions; enhanced food security and sustainable growth for the fishing industry; sustainable ocean energy; how to engage more women to work in the maritime value chains, and the opportunities to embrace the … Read More...

NIMASA ranks top on port, flag state control in West, Central Africa

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has topped the chart on Port and Flag State Control in the West and Central Africa Sub-Region following its consistency in reforms and availability of enforcement on vessels.

NIMASA outranked other maritime regulators in the region in the inspection of vessels calling at Nigeria’s ports, according to the latest report by the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control for West and Central Africa Region, otherwise known as Abuja MoU.

Dakuku Peterside, director-general of NIMASA, said it was part of the fruits of recent reforms initiated by the Agency and deliberate investment in enforcement equipment.

“In NIMASA, we are conscious of global best practices and determined to rid our waterways of all substandard vessels, with the ultimate aim of ensuring a safe and robust maritime domain. This will afford us the capacity to be a competitive player in the global maritime space, giving us an edge in the comity of maritime investment destinations,” Peterside said.

The Abuja MoU, led by Mfon Usoro, the secretary-general, stated in the report that Nigeria dominated in detailed inspection of vessels, with 13 exercises out of the total 14 carried out in the continent in 2018.

Signatories to the MoU are Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and Togo.

The report showed a significant rise in recorded deficiencies across the continent, as 727 vessel deficiencies were recorded in 2018 as against 587 in 2017. This was attributed to increased enforcement exercises across the various regions, with Nigeria in the lead with 339 deficiencies.

Usoro said an analysis of the MoU’s performance between