2017: Grading Transport Sector Agencies 3, How NIWA, NITT, AIB Fared

2017: Grading Transport Sector Agencies 3, How NIWA, NITT, AIB FaredBy Kenneth Jukpor, Oyeniyi Iwakun, Nkem Osuagwu

The appraisal of Transport sector agencies continues for the year 2017. The year was one loaded with activities, issues and scandals in the Nigerian Transportation sector; but what did these agencies achieve? Find Out!

For the grading system: A =90-100%, B+ = 80-89%, B =70-79%, C+ =60-69%, C =50-59%, D =40-49% and E = 30-39%, F = 0-30%. Enjoy it:


National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)

The law establishing NIWA gave it the following statutory roles:  Provide regulation for inland water navigation;  Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for a national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges; Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation. For the purpose of this report each of the core function carries 25points while the other functions carry another 25 points.

Provide regulation for inland water navigation:

Like Shippers’ Council, in 2017 NIWA also received an unfavourable Appeal Court ruling on the tussle between NIWA and the Lagos Waterways Authority (LASWA), over who has the constitutional power to control the waterways in Lagos State.

While NIWA argues that it has the sole constitutional mandate to provide regulations on the nation’s waterways and charge fees from operators and protect the stakeholders’ interest, LASWA on the other hand insists that it also has the legal right to control the natural resources (mineral deposits) in the state.

The Appeal Court in its judgment, which was delivered by Justice Hussein Mukhtar, ruled: “It is hereby held that the Lagos State House of Assembly is competent to make laws in respect of the intra-inland waterways in Lagos State, except the Inter-State waterways declared as International or Inter-State Waterway under item 5 in the 2th Schedule to the National Inland Waterways Act.”

Therefore, the agency’s regulatory functions were impaired. Score = 10/25

 Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges;

The agency went into partnership with NIMASA to develop and make the nation’s inland water ways economically viable. With the NIMASA Chairman, Retired Maj-Gen. Jonathan Garba noting that “the partnership would focus on how to make the existing 10,000 kilometres of inland waterways in the country navigable.”

Nothing of note was achieved in this area in 2017, but the agency is expected to make giant strides this year.Score = 5/25

Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation:

The Authority didn’t record any significant training in this aspect apart from few inhouse general staff trainings. Score 7/25

Other functions and powers of the Authority include: – undertake capital and maintenance dredging;
 undertake hydrological and hydrographic surveys: design ferry routes:  survey, remove, and receive derelicts, wrecks and other obstructions from in land waterways;  operate ferry services within the inland waterways system;  undertake installation and maintenance of lights, buoys and all navigational aids along water channels and banks; etc.

NIWA was only able to attack some of these responsibilities as the Agency spent the better part of the year 2017 fighting its regulatory status at the Courts. Score 7/25


NIWA had tough year in 2017, when the year began, the Managing Director, Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha was barely three months old when the year started and he was redeployed by the President later in October to serve as the Secretary General of the Federation. Mr. Danladi Ibrahim is the Acting MD/CEO and he can guarantee you a productive 2018 for NIWA.

Grade F (29%)


Council for the Regulations Of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (CRFFN)

CRFFN is a product of an act of Parliament in 2007 meant to address the complexities and global demands in the import and export business as it relates to freight forwarders and clearing agents. CRFFN is saddled with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the practice of freight forwarding, and promoting the highest standard of competence, practice and conduct among members of the profession.

However, since inception, CRFFN have been rocked with various crisis and  challenges which includes policies inconsistencies on the part of government. They have been unable to make any remarkable impact ever since its establishment about four years ago.

MMS Plus seeks to score CRFFN based on the it’s performance of the five identified statutory functions below in year 2017.  Each of the five points carries 20 marks.

*To determine who constitute freight forwarders and to regulate and control the activities of registered practitioners:
This role was not given remarkable attention in 2017. Most of the acclaimed freight forwarders still do not have CRFFN certification, hence the difficulties in monitoring their activities. The profession remained unregulated in 2017. MMS Plus scores CRFFN 2/20 in this regard.

*Accrediting, regulating and controlling associations of freight forwarders to ensure professionalism in the industry: Nothing was heard about this role in 2017. CRFFN itself lacked internal cohesion to the extent that freight forwarding Associations were rocked with intra and inter union crisis especially as regards professional operators fee (POF) collection. There are several court cases in this regards. Most freight forwarders still conduct themselves in unprofessional manners.
MMS Plus scores CRFFN 2/20

*Encouraging participation in international exchange programme and promoting the highest competence, practice and conduct among members;
Mediocrity characterized the polity 2017. Those CRFFN ought to regulate turned out to be regulators of CRFFN. There was no notable event or programme marked out to promote the above roles.  MMS Plus scores CRFFN 2/20 in performance of this duty.

*Ensuring Uniform standards of professional conduct and education relevant to freight forwarding practice;
Reverse is the case in 2017. Freight forwarders lacked basic ethics of the profession. CRFFN failed to institute a uniform and acceptable standard of operation. CRFFN failed to encourage and enforce the need for educational acquisition in globally obtainable standards of freight forwarding practices. MMS rates CRFFN 2/20in this aspect.

*Establishment and maintenance of registers of persons entitled to practice as registered freight forwarders and the publication from time to time of the list of such persons;
The records of registered freight forwarders are not in the public domain. Most importers and exporters still get trapped with transacting with freight forwarders who aren’t professionals or have little knowledge of the practice. They therefore risk a lot by entrusting their consignments and other transactions with them. MMS Plus scores CRFFN 2/20 in the performance of this function.

Not much was achieved in terms of the objectives of CRFFN. It’s obvious that it hasn’t achieved the mandate upon which its foundation was laid. One would expect that things would have moved forward. The CRFFN had no board, yet there were allocations from the coffers of the federal government for its management and administration.  There seems not to be any seriousness to get people on board, and nothing seemed to be moving. Everything seems to be on standstill, hence, the clamour for the reconstitution of the board. Industry experts have argued that without the board, CRFFN will not be able to do most of the things they are supposed to do. They therefore opine that the governing council should be reconstituted and should be run by CRFFN. CRFFN was unable to conduct election in 2017 on grounds of funds shortage but stakeholders have expressed suspicion accused CRFFN of foul play.
Total Score = 10%/100

Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron

The Maritime Academy of Nigeria, formerly known and addressed as the Nautical College of Nigeria, was designed as an integrated institution for the education and training of shipboard officers and ratings shore-based management personnel.

A lot happened in the Academy in 2017 with the Minister of Transportation setting-up a steering committee to development a working template for running the academy after it had been moribund for years. The Academy continued to churn-out half-baked cadets as a result of the lack of training equipments and dearth of skilled workforce.

The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi froze the accounts of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron for the last quarter in 2017 as he set-up a six (6) man committee to reposition the academy.

The committee which was chaired by the former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Adebayo Sarumi had dished out its recommendations to the Transport Minister, who upon acceptance of the report charged them to transform the academy.

2018 should be a year where the benefits of those recommendations would lead to the transformation of the Academy and enable it effectively carry out its core functions. 2017 Total Score 35/100

Grade E (35%)


Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology (NITT)

NITT is an institution established by the federal government to transform the transportation sector in Nigeria by providing relevant trainings in order to maintain professionalism in the sector. MMS Plus seeks to x-rays NITT performance in 2017 based on its three major statutory functions with 33 marks allocated to each.

*Provide Management Training for Personnel employed in all modes of transport:
This Institute seems to be in oblivion. Nothing was heard about this role in 2017. Road transport remains highly unskilled  and unproffessional. MMS scores NITT 10/33 in performance of this role.

*Serve as a Transport Intelligence Centre for monitoring transport and logistics systems; the Nigeria transport system remains disastrous, highly unregulated and insecure. Various policies were introduced by Federal government in 2017 like the speed limiting device without any impact because of poor compliance. MMS Plus scores NITT 4/33

*Provide equipment and facilities for the encouragement, promotion and conduct of applied research in all modes of transport; also there was no tangible information in this regards in 2017. NITT is scored 4/33 in performance of this function.


Having objectively looked into the performance of the roles expected of NITT, MMS Plus observed a near moribund-like system of operation in NITT and therefore scores it 18%

Grade F (18%)

Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)

The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is under the Ministry of Transportation and is charged with the responsibility to investigate any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising out of, or in the course of air navigation and occurring either in or over Nigeria, or occurring to Nigerian aircraft elsewhere.

The fundamental objective of AIB is to improve aviation safety by determining the circumstances and causes of air accidents and serious incidents, and providing safety recommendations intended to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. The purpose of this is not to apportion blame or liability.

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) appears to have performed well as far as this function is concerned. The agency during the period in review  was  able to dust up the findings of accidents and incidents reports in the sector that had been pending for years  and made them public. Engineer Akin Olateru, commissioner of AIB disclosed that AIB has released 10 final accidents reports. So we score the agency 15/50. This is because there was no report of any incident that happened within the year under review among the report that were published.

Also the Bureau last year released with 35 safety recommendations out of 117 safety recommendations within the ten years of the existence of the bureau.

This means that AIB last year alone, released 30 per cent of the backlog of pending accident reports backed up with safety recommendations that will improve the safety of air navigation in Nigeria.

Also, A team of accident investigators from Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was invited to  São Tomé, where they assisted in  the investigation into the crash of a An – 74 aircraft, which occurred on the West African island.

The invitation to Nigeria’s AIB came from São Tomé and Principe through the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), which is an arm of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. All costs and expense associated with the said investigation were borne 100% by the government of São Tomé and Principe.

Tunji Oketunbi, Head of Public relations in a press statement said it was a “first of its kind” in AIB’s history, and coming on the heels of the rising performance profile of the Bureau and its determination to be preeminently relevant as a leader in accident investigation across the Sub Saharan region.

However, we did not get any result of an accident that happened within the year under review.

In this regard, we score the agency 10/50.

So in total AIB got 25 percent

Grade F (25%)


Only about 17% of the nation’s budget was released last year. So it would be unfair to have expected any of these agencies to perform even averagely. We hope you found our appraisal scientific and objective, even as we genuinely anticipated a better 2018.


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