NIMASA Confirms Fire Incident On Britania U Vessel,Says All Crew Members Rescued

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA),has disclosed that a fire Incident was reportedly recorded Friday on a drilling vessel platform, Britania U, at Ajakpa Field, (OML 90), 10.77 nautical miles South of Forcadoes Terminal in Delta State.

It added that all 19 crew members onboard the ill-fated Britania U drilling platform were successfully rescued from the Vessel.

Osagie Edward,Head,Public Relations NIMASA,who disclosed this in a statement, said the Agency collaborated with other responding Agencies and first responders to ensure the safe rescue and evacuation of the crew and other exposed persons during the incident.

“The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA on Thursday, 18th July, 2024 received signals from the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordinating Center (RMRCC) Lagos, that Britania U, a drilling platform was under distress at Ajakpa Field, (OML 90), 10.77 nautical miles South of Forcadoes Terminal in Delta State, Nigeria

“All nineteen crew members onboard the ill-fated Britania U drilling platform were successfully rescued from the Vessel.

“The agency collaborated with other responding Agencies and first responders to ensure the safe rescue and evacuation of the crew and other exposed persons during the incident.

“The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dayo Mobereola has set up an incident command center in the office of the Agency’s Executive Director Operations, to prepare an effective situation-based response plan against oil spillage or other incidents affecting the marine environment and safety of navigation.

“Furthermore, in line with its mandate under the Merchant Shipping Act 2007, the Agency’s Marine Accident Investigation Unit has launched an investigation into the direct and remote causes of this unfortunate mishap. The outcome of the investigation will be published and recommendations arising therefrom implemented” reads the statement in parts.

Tinubu Appoints Dantsoho As New NPA MD

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Tinubu,has pproved the appointment of Dr. Abubakar Dantsoho as the new Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)

He also approved the appointment of Senator Adedayo Adeyeye as Chairman of the Board of NPA, a statement said.

Dantsoho holds a Doctorate degree in Maritime Technology from Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, and a Master’s degree in International Transport from Cardiff University of Wales, United Kingdom.

Prior to his appointment, he had served in various roles in the Nigerian Ports Authority as Assistant General Manager; Technical Assistant to the Managing Director; Port Manager, Onne Port; and Principal Manager, Tariff & Billing.

Senator Adeyeye, the Board Chairman, is a seasoned lawyer, journalist, and politician.

He is a former Minister of State for Works and former Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District.

Rivers:Customs Intercepts 9 Containers Of Arms,Drugs Worth N14bn

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted nine containers ladened with 844 assorted guns, 112,500 live bullets or ammunition, illicit drugs and used clothes worth over N13.9 billion smuggled into the country through Onne ports in Rivers State.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi,said the consignments originated from Turkey.

He disclosed this while briefing journalists on Monday at the Customs Port Harcourt Area two Command in Onne, on the recent achievements of the service.

He emphasised that the rifles and ammunition were concealed in containers with various items such as doors, furniture, plumbing fittings, and leather bags.

He noted that three suspects were arrested in the operation in connection with the intercepted containers, noted that the feat was possible as a result of synergy, collaboration, and intelligence sharing with sister security agencies.

He said:”It was the case with this 1 by 40 foot container MAEU165396, which originated from Turkey, and based on a number of risk factors, became a subject of interest. We had followed its sail across the continents, as we benefited immensely from credible information produced through our collaboration with the intelligence communities, both at the local, national and international levels.

“Working within our local structures, we followed diligently as the importer attempted to circumvent our procedure through the outlet of a Private Bonded Terminal.

“Consequently, on Friday, 21 June 2024, the suspicious container was subjected to thorough physical examination. The examination result revealed the following alarming contents: Eight Hundred and Forty-Four (844) units of rifles,one Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred (112,500) pieces of live ammunition.”

Giving details of the weapons, he said the container had, “764 units of Tomahawk Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Rifles, 10 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmakers Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action Rifles, 50 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Double Barrel Rifles, 20 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Single Barrel Rifles, Exclusive Series, Sterling High-Quality Live Ammunition 34g – 25 Plastic Shotgun Shells (70MM).

“The duty-paid value of the container is Four Billion, One Hundred and Seventy-One Million, Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira (₦4,171,710,000.00).

“In connection with this, we have three suspects in our custody after securing a detention warrant from a competent court of justice. Furthermore, a thorough investigation is ongoing to ensure all those involved face the full wrath of the law.”

Speaking further, he said, “Last Saturday, our officers intercepted another eight 40 foot containers with numbers as; TCKU6879285, CMAU5985012, CMAU7515384, CMAU4297020, SEKU5488437, BMOU4363156, MRKU4616024, and MRSU3068928, on transit to a bonded warehouse from Onne Port.”

He said six of the containers were ladened with; one million bottles of CSC Cough Syrup with Codeine (100ml), 3,500,000 tablets of Tramadol Benzhexol Tablets (5mg) with duty-paid value of ₦9,600,000,000, while the other two containers had 720 bales of used clothes with duty-paid value of ₦144,000,000.

“The total duty-paid value of the nine displayed containers is Thirteen Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifteen Million, Seven Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira (₦13,915,710,000.00).”

He clarified that the seized items would be handed over to the Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, under the office of the National Security Adviser for diligent investigation and prosecution.

The Customs Comptroller General warned that any Customs Officers found complicit in the perpetration of nefarious acts would be heavily sanctioned, adding that his leadership will not tolerate any action that compromises the economy and security of the country.

Adeniyi, assured that officers who kept faith with their Oath of allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and refused to be bribed into releasing seized containers will be adequately rewarded in a manner provided by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

The CGC,however, commended the professional commitment of the Customs Area Comptroller of Onne Port, Mohammed Babandede and his Officers and Men, for the meticulous approach deployed in the operation.

On his part, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, represented by Major General A. G. Lala, commended the Nigeria Customs for the achievements, describing it as a great feat, stressing that it underscores the Federal Government’s efforts in ridding the country of illicit weapons exacerbating insecurity in many parts of the nation.

Ribadu said: “Research and experience has shown that there is a nexus between drug trafficking, smuggling of small arms, money laundering and human trafficking. These has necessitated the need for synergy between security agencies to combat these menaces.

“The successful interception of this weapons and drugs is a further proof of the agency’s determination to frustrate the activities of arms smugglers and drugs traffickers.

“It is pertinent to state that the reoccurring proliferation of small arms and light weapons across the country continues to fuel various activities of criminal elements as currently being witnessed in many parts of the country with the resultant negative implications on national security and national developments. We’ll not be able to reap dividends of democracy if there is no security.

He added, “In view of the forgoing, I wish to use this opportunity to urge other security agencies to improve on efforts at checkmating the activities of criminals undermining the federal government of Nigeria’s effort at improving security across the country.

“Therefore, I assure all Nigerians that we will not relent in our commitment to improve the security situation in the country without which no meaningful development can take place.”

NSML,Temile Development Company Limited Ink Agreement On New LPG Vessel

Mohammed Shosanya

NLNG Shipping and Marine Services Limited (NSML) ,and Temile Development Company Limited,have signed a Vessel Management Agreement (VMA) to provide comprehensive vessel technical management services for the new 23,000 cubic metre LPG vessel, LPG Alfred Temile 10, owned by Temile Development Company Limited.

NSML’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abdulkadir Ahmed, and Temile’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Alfred Temile, signed the VMA at a ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday,a statement quoted.

Present at the signing ceremony were Adegboyega Oyetola, Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, represented by Mrs Ekanem Ogegere Celia, Deputy Director, Cabotage and Shipping; Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board; Mr. Andy Odeh, General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development; Dr. Salihu Jamari, Chief Investment Officer, NNPC Gas & Power Investment Services, among others.

Speaking, NSML’s MD, Mr. Ahmed, emphasised that NSML will leverage its expertise and resources to ensure the safe, reliable, and efficient operation of the Alfred Temile 10. He stated that the relationship with Temile Development Company started with the delivery of the first LPG vessel – LPG Alfred Temile – to NLNG in 2020.

“The relationship grew and continued with the construction, supervision and delivery of the 2nd LPG Vessel – Alfred Temile 10 – to Nigeria in March 2024. This momentous occasion represents our shared commitment to excellence, safety, and innovation in the maritime industry. It also represents the tenacious can-do-spirit of Mr Alfred Temile who has grown his LPG vessel fleet within a span of four (4) years. The Alfed Temile 10 is a testament to our dedication to operating a modern, efficient, and environmentally responsible fleet. With its cutting-edge design and technology, this vessel will set a new standard for LPG transportation in Nigeria and the West Africa,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Mr. Temile, stressed that the new vessel will play a critical role in gas transportation in Nigeria, enhancing the company’s capacity to deliver high-quality services while adhering to the highest standards of safety and environmental stewardship.

“We are confident that this partnership will set a new benchmark in the industry, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. As we embark on this new chapter, we also anticipate further strategic investment decisions including a third gas carrier later this year, demonstrating our commitment to deliver sustainable growth and value to our shareholders and Nigeria,” he added.

The keynote speaker, Engr. Felix Ogbe, commended NSML and Temile Development Company for partnering together. He stressed that there was ample human capacity, resources and tenacity in-country to achieve great feats, calling for increased colloboration and cooperation in the maritime industry.

CGC Adeniyi Tasks Officers On Propagation Of Values

Mohammed Shosanya
The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, has charged newly promoted Course 1 ASC II 2024 officers who have completed their training to propagate the values and principles of the service.
He gave the charge at the Passing Out Parade (POP) ceremony, held at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, on Monday,a statement said.
CGC Adeniyi,who was represented by DCG Suleiman Bomai in charge of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), stated that event was borne out of the effort to change the narrative of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said, “Today, we acknowledge not just your successful completion of training but also your readiness to take up new responsibilities that are crucial to the mission and vision of the service.
“As you step into your new role, you will be entrusted with greater responsibilities that play a vital role in our national security, economic growth and protection of our borders.”
He advised the new promoted officers to propagate the values and principles of the esteemed organisation and be excellent role models for their peers and subordinates.
He expressed gratitude to the Commandant Customs Training College Ikeja, Rural Border Patrol Operations, tactical teams, trainers, mentors and all those who contributed to the program’s success, stating, “Your dedication and hard work in imparting knowledge and skills to our officers are commendable.”
The Commandant of the training college, DC Haniel Hadison, stated that the training started on 5 May 2024 for 348 officers. “During the program, the officers were taught Customs Service administration, rules of engagement, import and export procedures, classification, valuation, community engagement, tactical decision making, and time management, among others,” he added.
He appreciated the CGC and his management team, whose aspiration has been to build a well-trained, efficient, and very effective system for service personnel to meet global standards and competitiveness.

 

Collaboration Key To Safeguard Nigeria’s Maritime Domain-Comptroller Dim

Mohammed Shosanya
The Customs Area Controller, Eastern Marine Command, Comptroller Chika Dim, has emphasized the need for collaboration within the maritime sector to fortify marine security operations in the South-South region of Nigeria.
The CAC,who embarked on an official working visit recently,visited some maritime outstations, including Onne, Akwa Ibom, and Calabar, with stops at key strategic points along the way.
According to a press statement signed by the command Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Emmanuel Tangwa, on 3 June 2024, the primary objective of Comptroller Dim’s visit was to strengthen collaboration amongst agencies and evaluate the operational readiness of the Nigeria Customs Service in safeguarding the maritime domain.
“This endeavour shows the commitment of the Eastern Marine Command to ensuring effective operations and enhancing partnerships within its Area of Responsibility (AOR),” the statement reads.
At the Onne Outstation, where the tour kicked off,  Comptroller Dim engaged officers in discussions regarding their pivotal role in maritime security.
During the meeting, he inspected the condition of their gunboat, emphasising the necessity for proper maintenance to optimise performance. “We’ve invested significantly in these assets, and we must uphold the highest standards of care,” he observed.
He stopped at the Onne Area II Command, where Comptroller Mohammed Babandede warmly received him. Both discussed ways to enhance collaboration between the two commands.
In a meeting at the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base in Ibaka, Comptroller Dim met with Captain Uche Aneke to explore avenues for deepening collaboration in the maritime domain.
He commended the efforts of the commanding officer and his team in maintaining security, as well as stressed the need for continuous partnership to ensure a safe and efficient maritime environment.
The tour ended with a visit to Comptroller Chukwudi Ogbonna of Akwa Ibom FTZ Calabar Command, where discussions centred on enhancing the presence and operations of the Eastern Marine Command in the Calabar area.
There,he inspected the Calabar EMC Jetty and revealed areas for improvement to optimise regional customs operations.
House Committee Advocates Alternate Funding For Deep Blue Project

Mohammed Shosanya

Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, has called for seeking alternate sources of funding for the Federal Government Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure Project, also known as the Deep Blue Project, which is domiciled under the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and currently funded by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dayo Mobereola, noted that the Agency is committed to the sustainability of the project.

According to a statement by Osagie Edward, NIMASA’s Assistant Director/Head, Public Relations, shortly after witnessing the Maritime Security Unit (MSU) Operational Maritime Capability Demonstration in Lagos alongside the NIMASA Director General and the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Honorable Uduak Odudoh acknowledged that the Deep Blue Project has played a significant role in maintaining peace in Nigerian waters in recent years.

He added that the achievements of the NIMASA-Nigerian Navy partnership have elevated the country to a high international standing in maritime security. He noted that to sustain the project, it is time to seek additional sources of funding.

He said:“At the IMO Conference last year, Nigeria was greatly commended for the fact that there has not been any pirate attack on our waters in two years. That feat was achieved through the efforts of the Deep Blue Project. When I looked at the budget, I saw provisions for Deep Blue Project management and sustainability. I want to commend NIMASA for this. However, it is pitiful that only NIMASA is funding this project. If a project like this is taken seriously, the issue of oil theft in the Niger Delta would be reduced to zero.”

“We have no option than to look at the budget, if they require more funds, we would approve it for the benefit of suppression of security challenges in Nigeria. If maritime security is guaranteed, the revenue of NIMASA would increase, and by extension, that of NPA and others, this means more money for Nigeria”.

Speaking,the NIMASA DG Dr Dayo Mobereola restated the Agency’s commitment to the sustainability of the Project while addressing the men and officers of the Maritime Security Unit.

“This project has earned Nigeria International recognition by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and we have been taken off from the Piracy list. The aim is to continue to sustain it and we will continue to encourage the personnel of the Deep Blue Project. Keep it up, and we on our own side would continue to support you as much as humanly possible.

“Please don’t reduce your efforts as we count on you to make the maritime space more secure, the President of Nigeria is counting on you, the Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola is also in support of this project” he said.

The Acting Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Uduak Odudoh unveiled the aircrew accommodation renovated by the Deep Blue Project, while the NIMASA DG, Dr Dayo Mobereola, commissioned the interceptors’ marine workshop.

The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, and Executive Directors of NIMASA, among others, witnessed the demonstrations, which included various tactics such as boat formations, vessel boarding and overtaking with interceptor boats, rappelling and fast rope descents from helicopters, as well as hoist rescues.

Haulage Fare Hike: Stakeholders Kick, Issue 7 Days Ultimatum

Mohammed Shosanya

Importers/exporters,shippers and F
freight forwarders operating in the Eastern ports of the country have unanimously rejected an alleged 200 percent increase in haulage fare by the Nigerian Shippers council (NSC) in connivance with the transport unions, Maritime flat and cargo and the Freight Forwarding transport, lamenting its impending inflationary effect should the alleged hike is allowed to stand.

The body threatened operational shot down as they declared a 7 day ultimatum during which the NSC is expected to return to status quo ante by reversing the hiked rate.

They conveyed their position on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital while analyzing impending inflationary effects on the masses if the hike is not moderated and allowed to stand.

Mr Joshua Ahuama, Zonal Coordinator, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) noted that the meeting became necessary to enable the body collectively reject the new rate as it contravened the provisions of the NSC, Act.

According to him,stakeholders consultation was an integral provision of the agency’s Act, wondering why the agency did not utilize such, as he noted that several protest letters have been written to the Nigerian Shippers council rejecting the hiked fare.

“Recently, the NSC had approved a 200 percent increment on haulage rate for transport owners and drivers operating under the maritime union of Nigeria.”

“To this end,Importers and Freight forwarders association in the Eastern zone have unanimously disputed the new rate because it is outrageous, arbitrary and unacceptable to all stakeholders in the zone.”

“We have however, resolved to adopt all peaceful efforts, we started this move on March 14, 2024, by calling on the NSC to ensure proper stakeholders engagement and renegotiation”

“These measures are also expected to help all parties reach a benchmark that would be in the interest of all stakeholders in the maritime value chain.

“We also urge the NSC to return to status quo ante by suspending implementation of the disputed rate pending proper renegotiation covering the interest of all stakeholders.

“We are not on a selfish course, our demands are in the interest of Nigerians because any slight increase in haulage rate will reflect on prices of goods in the open market, a businessman incorporates total logistics cost into prices of goods.,” he said.

But,the Nigerian Shippers council has said that the newly approved rate took into consideration the cost, moderation and other cargo transport issues.

The group,however, noted that they may be constrained to take drastic measures that may include suspension on all declaration of goods and payment of Customs duties which could negatively affect national revenue and economic output.

Some members of the Import and Export association who were present at the meeting included; Nigeria Shippers Association, Aba International Traders Association, Ultimate Importers Association, POP Importers Association, Nnewi Importers Association and Onitsha Importers Association.

Others were African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), RF Transportation Incorporated, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, amongst others

Customs Begins Auction Of Seized Food Items

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday commenced sale of seized food items to vulnerable Nigerians to address hunger across the country.

The Comptroller General of the Service, Adewale Adeniyi stated this on Tuesday on the floor of the House of Representatives during the sectoral debate series which also had in attendance the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari.

According to him,President Bola Tinubu has directed that food items produced in Nigeria and seized at the Nigerian land borders, be sold directly to vulnerable Nigerians to ease the challenge of hunger in the country.

He said: “Mr President has directed that we sell directly to needy Nigerians food items produced locally but which were seized. This is one of the ways to address hunger and food scarcity we are facing. We have started this in Lagos.

He also said, the President has directed that imported food items seized by the Nigeria Customs Service should be sold back to the local markets for resale to Nigerians”

NIMASA To Install Modular Floating Dock

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration NIMASA has commenced preparations to deploy the Modular Floating Dock.

On Tuesday,the agency moved the Floating Dock to a jetty at the Standard Flour Mills in Apapa in preparation of its movement to the scheduled operational base at the Continental Shipyard, Apapa.

Osagie Edward, Assistant Director, Public Relations of NIMASA,who disclosed this in a statement,said the heavy 50-ton cylindrical spuds, which are for anchoring the dock, are being prepared for installation.

“We are moving slowly but steadily to our destination. Today, we are lifting out the cylindrical studs to be prepared for piling at the Continental Shipyard where the Floating Dock is scheduled to commence operations. These spuds have to be firmly installed before we can tow the Floating Dock there. We assure stakeholders that very soon, Nigeria will save foreign earnings with the commencement of operations of our Dock”, the agency stated.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),had leased designated areas at the Continental Shipyard for the operations of the Modular Floating Dock last year.

The areas include; the Dolphin Jetty, waterfront of the jetty adjourning the slipway, an administrative block, a construction, welding and mechanical workshop and a civil maintenance workshop, among others.