APFFLON Commends New Synergy Between Maritime Agencies

Freight Forwarders Deserve Health Insurance, Other Perks - APFFLON President
National President, Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Mr. Frank Ogunojemite

By Kenneth Jukpor

Following the new collaboration between parastatals under the Ministry of Transportation, especially in the maritime sector, Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has commended the maritime agencies.

Recall a crucial meeting of heads of the parastatals across the maritime sector held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), with the CEOs agreeing on modalities for handling areas of overlap in their responsibilities.

The maiden meeting of maritime agencies’ CEOs was attended by the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala-Usman, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello; while the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr. George Moghalu, and Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Commodore Duja Effedua (Rtd), joined via Zoom.

Speaking with MMS Plus newspaper yesterday, the President of APFFLON, Mr. Frank Ogunojemite said this development is worthy of commendation, adding that the synergy would yeild significant improvement in the nation’s maritime industry.

According to Ogunojemite, the crucial meeting which is expected to hold monthly between the leadership of maritime agencies would also address the loopholes in the sector, including major setbacks like the absence of a national Single Window.

His words: “This collaboration is really a good thing for the port sector. Recall that during the recent review of the port concession agreement, NPA carried out the exercise without input from Shippers’ Council and other agencies. With this new coordination such misnomer will be eliminated. They had a meeting together about the way forward for the industry and it is also interesting to note that it wasn’t prompted or forced by the supervising Ministry. The idea to have this synergy was initiated by the CEOs.

“Remember that I condemned NPA when they opted to walk alone with the review of the concession agreement but this development shows a turnaround. All the agencies that participated deserve commendation as it shows they are beginning to put the interest of the nation and the industry before the respective organizations”

According to the Director General of NIMASA, Jamoh said the agreement followed the work of a ministerial committee, stressing that meetings like this are necessary to build synergy and create the right atmosphere for the overall progress of the economy.

He stated, “We have held the inaugural meeting for improved synergy and we hope to hold it on a monthly basis for the next four months. Due to the proximity of our corporate headquarters to each, a lot of gains will be achieved in a short while without the usual official bureaucracy. From our discussion and deliberations, we have decided on so many issues that concern national development, overlapping functions, and others.”

“We have a committee inaugurated by the ministry of transportation and we have been working for close to a year now. We have now decided on who should take what responsibility and we are going ahead with that.”

Industry observers have also expressed delight at the development, stressing that there was no better time for the agencies to collaborate than the difficult period ocassioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted the nation’s economy.

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