Nwabunike Calls For Increased Cohesiveness Of Freight Forwarding Associations At MAJAN Q1 Maritime Sector Review

(R-L)Hon. Tony Nwabunike, President, ANLCA; Francis Use Aniezechukwu, DG, Sea Empowerment and Research Centre; Boniface Okoye, CEO, Bontex Nigeria ltd.; Nura Wagani, MD/ CEO, NURAWAGD Int'l Services ltd. at MAJAN first quarter maritime sector review on Thursday in Lagos
(R-L)Hon. Tony Nwabunike, President, ANLCA; Francis Use Aniezechukwu, DG, Sea Empowerment and Research Centre; Boniface Okoye, CEO, Bontex Nigeria ltd.; Nura Wagani, MD/ CEO, NURAWAGD Int’l Services ltd. at MAJAN first quarter maritime sector review on Thursday in Lagos

The President of the Association of Nigerian Custom’s Licensed Agents, ANLCA, Hon. Tony Nwabunike has called fo increased cohesiveness and better working relations between various freight forwarding associations operating the maritime sector of the nations economy.

Speaking on Thursday in Lagos at the Maritime Journalists Association  of Nigeria, (MAJAN) first quarter review of the Maritime sector,, Hon. Nwabunike berated the unnecessary rivalry between freight forwarders and agents associations in the sector.

He lamented that while these agent sassociations are busy fighting themselves, the foreigners and foreign shipping companies are taking up their jobs and employing their citizens to do jobs that should have been handled by Nigerians. He posited that there may be no jobs to do after the fight since the foreigners and foreign shipping companies would have taken over the entire job.
He blamed regulatory lapse for this ugly development which he maintained further compounds the unemployment situation in the country

Nwabunike further said that with all the charges freight forwarders pay, they do not get fair deal due to inadequate infrastructure at the ports.

According to him, ” if well managed with required infrastructure, the Maritime sector can become the economic mainstay of the country”.

He advocated a regular government and stakeholders dialogue where issues are holistically dissected and resolved in the interest of the Maritime sector and the economy in general.

” I want a proper planning in the Maritime sector by the Government and also want. operators to act with integrity at all times. Operators especially freight forwarders should not cut corners. And mind you it is only when we as agents/ freight forwarders put our acts together that we would be respected”, he said.

The ANLCA helmsman while commending MAJAN for the concerted efforts at ensuring an efficient Maritime sector, said events such as this have a way of shaping both government, regulators and operators conduct.

Managing Director and CEO of NURWAGS International Services Limited, Mr Nura Wagani, also speaking harped on the need for adequate safety equipment and measures to be put in place to respond to distress calls.

According to him barge operation has been an early means of transporting goods, but that the current trend of barging started when in 2018, the former managing director of the Nigeria Ports Authority flagged off barging operation from the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal. He noted that the operation has had its ups and downs as he revealed that most of the barges deployed were those used as local content materials in the oil communities in the Niger Delta area.

He criticized the multiple taxation by the authorities which he said have negatively impacted their operations.

He raised the issiue wreckages and wastes that have been dumped inside water which have impede navigation through the channels and needed to be cleared through dredging.

Wagani advocated for the setting up of a Maritime bank to cater for the needs of the industry, noting that the government should come to their aid to sustain jobs in that subsector.

Director-General of the Sea Empowerment And Research Centre, Mr. Francis Ude Aniezechukwu who spoke on Blue Economy said Nigeria stands to gain a lot should it decide to support and develop the maritime sector.

He said records, show the United States of America made an estimated $373 billion from its Marine economy in 2018 and that the sub-sector grows faster than the general economy as a whole.

Aso, the European Union report of 2018 shows that the marine economy is a driver of growth, jobs and innovation and had a turn over of over €565 billion plus the €174 billion worth of value added and also providing jobs for 3 million people.

He said for the country to benefit from the Blue Economy, it must among others develop and research in the area while decrng the dearth of data in the Maritime and other sectors of the nation’s economy.