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Nimasa, Isan Sign MoU on Cabotage Enforcement

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Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Nimasa) and Indigenous Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (Isan), have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to check the activities of foreign vessels that contravene the Nigeria cabotage act.
This new partnership will further boost current efforts to ensure effective implementation of the cabotage regime in the country.
In the almost seven years of the cabotage law in Nigeria, the nation and indigenous ship owners are still deprived of the needed revenue from haulage of petroleum products which ordinarily should help drive the country’s economy forward.
The cabotage act was passed into law on April 30, 2003 with the release of guidelines for the implementation of the provisions on June 7, 2004. However, the inability of Federal Government to implement the act gives foreigners the leeway to invade the country’s waterways to carry out all sorts of illegal shipping activities, which have in turn impoverished Nigerian ship owners.
Vessels owned by indigenous ship operators are considered substandard with poorly trained crew. This provides the ready-made excuse for the oil majors to ignore indigenous operators. In the past when the cargo allocation and reservation principle worked well, a lot of indigenous operators could charter vessels to carry petroleum cargo, but now, most of them simply serve as agents or representatives to foreign shipping companies in Nigeria.
The foreign shipping lines carry petroleum products while the indigenous shippers beg to be given the crumbs. Indigenous operators account for less than 10 percent of the total domestic crude cargo moved through the nation’s coastline of more than 2,000 km, dotted with eight ports.
The discrimination has placed the indigenous shippers at a massive disadvantage to every other flag in the world. Although the indigenous shippers are being over-taken by the better capitalized foreign shipping companies, the contention is that the cabotage laws reserve the haulage of crude oil within the nation’s territorial waterways to indigenous operators.
According to the act, foreign vessels are not allowed to partake in any domestic coastal trade as obtainable in other developed countries of the world, while it will at the same time, promote the development of indigenous tonnage and establish a Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) and for related matters.
The law stipulates that Nigerians should carry goods, passengers by vessel, or any other mode of transport, from one place to the other, either directly or via a place outside the country. It further stipulates that only vessels wholly owned, manned, built and registered by Nigerian citizens, shall be engaged in the domestic coastal carriage of cargo and passengers within the coastal territorial inland waters or any point within the waters of the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria; except a foreign vessel is given waiver by the Minister of Transport to carry out such job.
But seven years after the law was enacted, none of the provisions of the Law has been fully implemented by the supervising agency. Rather, waivers have been granted to foreign shipping companies to do jobs which Nigerians could do.
Temisan Omatseye, director general of Nimasa, who spoke at the signing ceremony noted that there cannot be an effective implementation of cabotage in the country without collaboration between Nimasa and Isan.
Omatseye, assured Isan members that their interest will be well represented by Nimasa, and disclosed that the agency is presently negotiating with a Malaysian finance group to help indigenous operators access long term loan through alternate source of funding.
Also speaking, Isaac Jolapomo, Isan chairman, commended the initiative and noted that the arrangement would curtail the excesses of foreign ship-owners.
However, Jolapomo called on Nigeria ship-owners to always work in conjunction with Nimasa for effective implementation of the cabotage act.

 

 


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CWG Plc Empowers Small Businesses in Nigeria with SME Solution

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Pan-African Information and Communications Technology Company, CWG Plc has said the essence of its Enterprise Resource Planning Solution (SMERP) that runs on the cloud is to empower small and medium enterprises in Nigeria and offer them the required tools to manage their entire business.

Mr. Dolapo Orogbemi, Product Manager for SMERP, who disclosed this recently to the media, noted that with SMEs contributing massively to Nigeria’s economy and creating both direct and indirect jobs, SMERP was designed intentionally to help SMEs thrive.

“Since inception, it has been the number one goal for us here at CWG because we have always identified the potential for SMEs once they are provided with the right support.

Thus, SMERP was designed to make available enabling tools for all SMEs across Africa at a relatively affordable price and to also make their business operations lean where they can save more resources to increase profitability,” he said.

Dolapo explained that in support of SMEs, SMERP has provided an effective ERP tailored to the SME market, providing services such as Inventory Management, E-commerce platform, Accounting, Point of Sale and Customer Relationship Management tool.

He argued that one of the major reasons SMEs don’t survive beyond the early stage of their business is due to inadequate funding to scale the business and this has become a default gap in the SME sector.

But with the CWG’s SMERP solution, SMEs can take proper records of their day-to-day business transactions to present to financial institutions as proof of profitability and project business growth for them.

According to him, SMERP’s competitive edge is based on value to the SMEs where they can have access to a complete ERP solution at an affordable price, stressing that the solution enables each SME with special requirements to execute their business needs.

For more information on SMERP kindly visit www.smerp.ng to start a 14-days free trial.


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ALTON, Medallion, CloudFlex Back NITRA’s Innovation Forum

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More companies have indicated interest in partnering with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), as the national umbrella body of ICT reporters accelerates plans towards hosting its annual Innovation Forum in Lagos.

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Medallion Communication and CloudFlex have now joined the telecoms regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Digital Encode as partners to the event scheduled to hold as a Webinar on October 15, 2020.

Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman ALTON, while accepting to support the event reiterated how telecommunications operators are helping in the realization of financial inclusion initiative of the central bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Engr. Adebayo, at the event, will also throw more light on other ways the sector is supporting organisations outside of ICT to reposition post pandemic.

The event will discuss the need for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era. It will also test the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of post-pandemic economy.

This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.

The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.

Remi Adejumo, managing director, CloudFlex, will share insight into how cloud computing could assist organizations to navigate through the business challenges that have arisen due to the pandemic.

According to him, “Cloud computing offers scalability and reliability that cannot be matched by a single enterprise. Scalability with regards to expanding of the infrastructure which can be done immediately while in most organisations, this would take a 4-12 weeks endeavour.

“You can scale up or down as required. It is more reliable as the infrastructure tends to be bigger with more redundancy and it has the ability to swap out faulty parts quicker or to move away from a faulty platform smoothly with no interruption.”

CloudFlex Computing Limited, formerly Comercio Cloud Limited is Nigeria’s’ leading Enterprise local cloud service Provider. The firm is one of the top choices for Cloud Solutions and managed data services for local and global businesses with great ambitions.

The company offers Information Technology as a service (Cloud services, Co-location, Managed solutions, Backup services, Disaster Recovery etc.), and support for diverse infrastructure need by providing Industry-specific Solutions.

Medallion Communications Limited, one of Nigeria’s Interconnect exchange clearinghouses and data center operator, offering telecommunications infrastructure development and Value Added Services in Mobile Banking, Number Portability and Emergency Communications Services, will also play a big role as it gives direction to the future at the Webinar event.

A statement from the company notes that while most interconnect operators focus on only transiting of calls, Medallion’s model offers full financial settlement and reconciliation of interconnect traffic. This, it says, greatly eliminates interconnect indebtedness in the industry and leads to accurate and timely processing of interconnect charges.

The company also deploys a robust and efficient billing and settlement infrastructure that is transparent in the resolution of interconnect related billing issues, which will be one of the needs as the country expects heavy traffic both in data and call services occasioned by the need to go digital and online following the pandemic effects.


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NCC Board Chairman Alleges Threat to His life by Agents of DG

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Tonye Jaja, chairman, Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has raised the alarm over alleged threat to his life by agents of John Asein, director general of the agency.

NCC Board Chairman Alleges Threat to His life by Agents of DG

He disclosed that an unnamed member of the NCC Governing Board had threatened his life through phone calls and SMS messages.

The Board Chairman, who made the claim in a statement, titled: “Notification of threats to my life and reputation in the line of duty as chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission,” ‎said the development followed statements he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission as part of ongoing investigations into allegations against Asein. ‎

According to Jaja, Asein is being investigated over alleged conflict of interest and abuse of office, among other offences.

The chairman of the NCC Governing Board also alleged that Asein and his agents have vowed to destroy his reputation through publications in the media.

The statement read: “Yesterday, I received a verbal threat during a telephone call and an SMS from one member of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright (NCC).‎

“In a nutshell, he threatened that he will use online newspapers and other means to disgrace me and rubbish my reputation.

“His annoyance and threats is not an isolated incident, it is part of a coordinated onslaught of threats, publications of propaganda and other acts of reprisal targetted against me in my capacity as the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

“The persons behind this have gone to the illegal extent of forging certain documents and leaking government official documents to Online newspapers in their desperate attempts at smearing my hard earned reputation.

“The Office of the Inspector-General of Police is currently investigating one of such incidences.

“All this smear campaign is because I ‎was invited by the Code of Conduct Bureau and the ICPC as part of their investigation of Mr John Asein the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) whom they are investigating for allegations of conflict of interest and abuse of office, etc.

“‎As a responsible and law-abiding citizen,  who could not disobey the invitation of the ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau, I went to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and deposed to an affidavit to confirm the veracity of the written and oral statements that I submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“Instead of these persons to apply the same steps of going before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or any other court of Justice in Nigeria to swear an affidavit and oath on the pain of perjury, in support of any statements they are making, they have resorted to peddling fake news, falsehood and false, unsubstantiated allegations through the pages of online newspapers and other social media platforms.

“In recent times, their anger and onslaught has intensified because their attempts to “kill” and “bury” the investigations proved abortive considering that the ICPC, the EFCC and the Code of Conduct Bureau continued with the investigations which they had previously in an online newspaper described as the petition against Mr. John Asein as jokers.’”

The Governing Board Chairman added that anybody who is sincerely interested in knowing and verifying the truth of the allegations against Asein can make Freedom of Information requests to the Department of State Services, ‎Chairman of the ICPC,‎ Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Inspector-General of Police through the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Charge of the Federal Investigations Bureau.

 


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