ANCLA Seeks Establishment Of Maritime Ministry

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Association of Nigeria Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), has called on the federal government to establish the federal ministry of Maritime as a bold step towards

revamping the maritime industry in Nigeria.

Vice President of the Association Dr. Collins Farinto, who made the call at the 3rd Annual Conference/Awards of the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), themed ” Seamless Port Operations in Nigeria.

 He also commended the acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Bello Koko Mohammed, for his efforts so far in clearing bottlenecks around the Lagos ports and its environs.

 Farinto, who represented the national President of the association, Chief Tony Iju Nwabunike at the event, presented a paper on the Roles of Customs Brokers/Freight Forwarders in Seamless Port Operations in Nigeria.

According to the paper, he noted that “there are a lot of factors militating against the maritime industry in Nigeria, including. Lack of infrastructure like scanners to speed up cargo examination by Customs and other Government Agencies.

“Numerous agencies of governments at the seaport carrying out similar functions. Perennial traffic gridlock hindering easy access to the seaport. Poor road network within the port vicinity”.

Others, according to him, are lack of functional railway system for immediate evacuation of containers out of the port, activities of miscreants within the port corridors, corruption and sabotage in the system.

To this end, other stakeholders also made similar calls insisting that the establishment of Maritime Ministry would mitigate the current charade in the industry.

The Maritime sector’ under the Transportation ministry is an aberration in today’s world.

Presentations were also made by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Overview of Crew, Cargoes and Vessels Security under the Deep Blue project and the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) on Achieving Seamless Port Operations through Customs Modernisation project.

In his welcome speech, the President of AMJON, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri, said the “this year’s edition which is coming a year late was delayed by the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which interrupted all economic, social and cultural activities across the world.

“The Nigerian maritime industry, and by extension the maritime media was not spared; as aside the health of the humankind which came under very serious threat by Covid-19, the Transport and Logics chain industry was put on pause mode to save humanity from the rapid transmission of the highly contagious disease from person to person,” he said.

The event also witnessed the presentation of awards to some deserving persons by AMJON.

Some of those recognized include National President of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Adewale Adeyanju as Labour Leader of the year; Hajia Bola Muse; Dr. Collins Farinto; and Head of Lagos Office, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Sarah Braimoh among others

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