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Illegal fishing: EU to assist Nigeria, others



The European Union is to provide fund to crack down on illegal fishing in Nigeria, Benin and other West African coast. It was gathered that European countries import about $953.71 million of fish products legally each year from countries in West Africa based on quotas.

West Africa has some of the richest waters in the world, which have long been fished by local boats. However, stocks are being depleted as industrial trawlers, some of which are operating illegally comb the oceans from the seabed to the surface. Meanwhile, authorities in the region have detained eight Chinese vessels for fishing illegally and the boat owners could be subject ed to millions of dollars in fines.

According to an environmental group, Greenpeace, the vessels were found violating regulations on catching protected fish and using nets with small holes to facilitate bigger hauls. The arrest was effected after a twomonth of regional patrol by local inspectors from West African countries on a Greenpeace ship.

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NPA export plans suffer setback



Plans by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to move export containers by water from Ikorodu Lighter Terminal (ILT) to Lagos Port has suffered a setback, 12 days after it was flagged off.


It was gathered that a barge ferrying the first batch of manganese from the terminal to Lagos Port was programmed to spend six hours on the water but the barge is yet to arrive the port since it began its voyage.



Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala- Usman, had on February 7, 2018, launched the exportation of the solid mineral from Ikorodu to APM Terminal, Apapa, through badges.


However, it was learnt that the terminal is still awaiting the arrival of the vessel 12 days after the badge left Ikorodu.


A source at the terminal explained that the service provider, Connect Rail Services Limited (CRSL), had not given any reason why the consignment had not reached the port.


When contacted, the Chief Executive Officer of CRSL, Edeme Kelikume, could not offer explanation why the barge ferrying the consignments was yet to get to Apapa port.


The managing director asked for time to respond but as at the time of this report, he was yet to get back to our correspondent. It would be recalled that Usman, at the event, said the movement of the solid minerals was of huge economic advantage to the country. She noted that using barges to ferry containers of solid mineral across the waters to the AP Moller Terminal within Apapa Ports would help to elongate the life of port roads.


She called on stakeholders to key into the window of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and restated NPA management efforts at complying with the Federal Government’s directives on the ease of doing business at the nation’s seaports while the rehabilitation of the ports access roads are on-going.

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Govt’s policies hinder blue economy’s development



Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa considered to be sea-blind because of its low level of awareness of the resources, which abound underneath the sea. Also, the country is currently facing challenges of insecurity and bad government policy to tap some ocean resources estimated at $24 trillion.


Other challenges are criminal activities at sea, climate vulnerability, poor infrastructure, environmental degradation, illegal mining, marine pollution and unauthorised fishing.


Bad policies

In Nigeria, there is no fusion of policies that can bridge shipping and fisheries under a maritime economic regime.


While Nigeria’s shipping policy, which is considered obsolete, stands alone, national fisheries policy, superintended by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, operates in isolation.


For instance, Nigeria’s Sea Fisheries Act 1992 does not have provision for Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF). This, to some extent, has hindered blue economy’s development.


Blue economy


Blue economy deals with all economic activities associated with the oceans and seas.


The resources include fish, oil and gas, deep sea mining of refractory clays, iron and heavy minerals like garnet, rutite, spatile, tourmaline, hydrocarbon, gold and zircon


Others are aquaculture, biomedicine, boats and shipbuilding, cables and pipelines, coastal zone management, defence and security, water treatment, marine recreation, ocean energy and minerals, ocean science and observation, port operations, robotics and submarines, shoreline development, telecommunications, marine tourism, very large floating platforms, harbours, ports, and coastal zones, weather and climate.




For the country to create a blue economy regime, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has, therefore, stressed the need to amend its obsolete legislations to conform to the present day ocean sustainability realities.


It also noted that the maritime economic growth should be given proper attention by government to enable Nigeria take advantage of the vast resources in the seabed. Its Director General, Dr Dakuku Peterside, at a media parley in Lagos recently, said that the seas and oceans were central to the concept of blue economy and important tools to achieving sustainable development in Africa.


According to Peterside, the country’s seas and oceans are overlooked when it comes to th issue of sustainable development in Africa.


He noted that the country could benefit from the deep sea wealth by working with the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) in the area of seabed resources exploration. Peterside called for desirable blue sea economy framework, participatory engagement, agenda setting, participatory policy design and multi-sector partnership.




Already, the director general explained that the agency had sought the assistance of ISBA in the area of capacity building to survey deep sea and establish the database of mineral resources available for the benefit of all mankind. According to Peterside, “NIMASA is working with Nigerian Navy to effectively enforce the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other relevant international maritime instruments to which we are a party around our continental shelf.


Also, he said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation was developing a country blue economy policy and strategy, which will incorporate the sustainable development of the country’s deep seabed resources. In addition, he said that the agency had equally recognised the need for increased partnership and collaboration with the judiciary in the actualisation of the country’s collective vision for the sustainability of its shipping and maritime transport sector in a blue economy




Also at the media parley, Sam Omatseye, Chairman, Editorial oard, The Nation, urged maritime journalists to report the potential of the blue economy to enable Nigerians to key into the platform. According to him, studies had revealed that ocean resources could sustain an economy.


Omatseye said that journalists should be able to understand the blue economy and its relevance before they can enlighten the public on its potential. He said: “There are about $24 trillion of wealth in blue economy, which is open for humanity to tap.”


Echoing him, the Managing Director, ThisDay Newspapers, Mr Eniola Bello, also said that blue economy could assist Nigeria to improve on tourism and create jobs within the West Africa region. Bello called for the establishment of good government policies to help the blue economy initiative to flourish.




Peterside said that if government was able to tackle the maritime challenges, the country would be able to sustain the concept of the blue economy. He noted: “We need to put suitable policy in place to enable us achieve all the potential in the blue economy.”


For the blue economy to flourish, the director general said that government must maintain peace and security as well as technological innovations.


Peterside stressed the need to create an institutional framework or structure for coordinating the inter-ministerial commission for seabed resources to achieve the potentials of blue economy.


According to him, protection, conservation, preservation and sustainable use of aquatic biodiversity must be at the centre stage of the blue economy.



Last line

Government must invest in infrastructure to boost and block all loopholes in order to exploit blue economy

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NPA moves against poor container stacking



Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that shipping companies that litter the port roads with empty containers under the guise of holding bay will be sanctioned.
It said that severe sanction would be meted out to erring organisations, which refuses to obey rules guiding the directives after a one week window.
In a statement, the authority’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Abdullahi Goje, quoted the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, as saying during a quarterly stakeholders meeting in Lagos, that the management had set up a committee to liaise with representatives of terminal operators to review existing concession agreement within the shortest possible time.
She urged the stakeholders to remit outstanding payments and dues meant for NPA as quickly as possible.
Usman said that NPA would provide an enabling environment for efficient port services in view of the vital role the maritime sub sector plays.
The managing director said that machinery had been put in place to ensure a level playing field for operators doing business in the sector.

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