By Kenneth Jukpor
MMS Plus presents the scorecard of more transport sector agencies based on their performance in the first half of 2018 with regards to their core functions. In this week’s appraisal, we x-ray , Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (CRFFN), Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, amongst others.
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:
Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)
FAAN is a service organization statutorily charged to manage all Commercial Airports in Nigeria and provide service to both passenger and airlines. For the purpose of this rating, FAAN’s core functions are categorized into five with each carrying 20 points.
- To develop, maintain and provide necessary airport services and facilities for safe, orderly, expeditious and economic operation of air transport.
In the first half of 2018, FAAN rehabilitated all its malfunctioned x-ray machines, and installed new ones at the E and D Wings of the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos to enhance the security screening of passengers which now takes shorter time. The agency has also ordered for modern scanners to boost security at airports in the country. Score = 12/20
- To provide adequate conditions under which passengers and goods may be carried by air and under which aircraft may be used for other gainful purposes and prohibiting the carriage by air goods of such classes as may be prescribed.
In the first half of 2018, it has been business as usual for FAAN with this function given little attention to change the abysmal status quo, except the agency’s effort to unveil an application, initiated by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, for service users to give feedback about the quality of services being rendered by government agencies at the nation’s airports. Score = 5/20
- To provide accommodation and other facilities for the effective handling of passengers and freight.
Whilst the nation prepares for the take-off of the new national carrier, ‘Nigeria Air’, FAAN has said it has improved the CCTV coverage in all the international airports with additional infrastructure.Score = 10/20
- To carry out at the airports (either by itself, its agents or in partnership with any other person) such other commercial activities which are not relevant to air transport.
The areas that have been concessioned at the nation’s ports have raised several conflicts for FAAN and the nation’s government at large. In one of the notable conflicts, FAAN insists that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) lied about the inclusion of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos in the concession agreement the Federal Government had with the terminal operator. FAAN also accused Bi-Courtney of breaching the contractual agreement on the abandoned Four Star hotel and a conference centre opposite the terminal, saying that the agency gave the company an ample time to complete the two projects, but that they failed. Score = 5/20
- To provide adequate facilities and personnel for effective security at all airport.
FAAN’s Managing Director recently admitted that Nigerian airports must have a robust access control system, stating that all airports should be fenced quickly. The agency introduced perimeter patrol; CCTV technology to help in the surveillance at the airports. Score = 12/20
Most Nigerians would love the idea of a national carrier. It would be great public relations seeing airplanes emblazoned with the national flag and coat-of-arms flying across the globe, as Nigeria aims to lure more foreigners into the country as investors and tourists. However, FAAN which would be saddled with the onus of managing and not mismanaging this carrier must take significant steps to proof that government can run commercial business effectively with private nous, while the agency should also improve the nation’s airport infrastructure, security and regulate tariffs. The first half of 2018 has seen FAAN record some modest achievements but there’s still so much more to achieve.
Total Score= 44/100
Grade: D (44%)
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:
NIWA is set to assume financial independence following the expected passage of their new bill called “Nigeria Inland Waterways Bill” into Act. Both chambers of the National Assembly have passed the bill while President Mohammadu Buhari is expected to give his assent soon.
The bill when passed into law, according to the Acting Managing Director of NIWA, Barr. Ibrahim Danladi, will grant NIWA financial autonomy to NIWA like the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
His words, “We are close to solving our funding problems. On the general restructuring of NIWA, the good news is that the Bill before the National Assembly that has been there for about ten years now has been passed by the two chambers. The bill will create financial independence for the agency. We will no longer be relying on government subvention. We will be financially independent just like NPA and NIMASA. The will also resolve most of the conflicts we have with our sister agencies and even the state governments. It will also expand the capacity of the agency and create room for Private Public Partnership (PPP) because government alone cannot do it. We need the private sector to partner us to develop the inland waterways.”
Score = 16/25
– Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges;
Nothing of note was achieved in this area in the first half of 2018, but the agency is expected to make giant strides later this year as it concludes plans to build a modern bonded terminal at Oyingbo Jetty, Lagos from where containers can be moved from Apapa and Tin can Ports on badges and transported by either rail or road to destinations or move by water ways to Onitsha and Warri at the eastern part of the country.
According to Acting Managing Director, Danladi, there is also a plan to transform the agency’s Lagos office at Marina into an ultra-modern superstructure as a terminal where sea going vessels can berth and off-load cargoes.
He said: “We are going to have super structure here like in Dubai. We have almost concluded an arrangement with a company to move cargoes and passengers from Lagos, Nigeria to Tema in Ghana and their take off point in Lagos will be here in Marina. So, there is going to be a relationship between Nigeria and Ghana through the movement of cargo and persons.”
Baro River port has been completed and furnished with cargo handling equipment and Lokoja River Port has reached 75% completion. It is expected that by the end of the year the two ports will be commissioned by the President, even as the Makurdi River Port is on the drawing board. Score = 18/25
Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation:
The Authority hasn’t record any significant training in this aspect apart. Score 2/25
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 has only been able to attack some of these responsibilities. Score 5/25
After several years of apparent lethargy by the leadership at NIWA, the agency has unfolded an inland waterways transportation master-plan capable of providing the platform for the much anticipated multi-modal transportation system in Nigeria. Expect notable achievements at NIWA in the second half of 2018.
Total Score= 41/100
Grade: D (41%)
Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (CRFFN)
CRFFN was established to address the complexities and global demands in the import and export business as it relates to freight forwarders and clearing agents. The agency is saddled with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the practice of freight forwarding, ensuring optimum standards and professional conduct of practitioners.
In the first half of 2018, one of the major challenges facing the agency – the absence of a Governing Council – has been addressed with the successful elections of practitioners into the board.
However, CRFFN’s performance in the first half would be assessed based on five identified statutory functions below with each function carrying 20 marks.
Accrediting, regulating and controlling associations of freight forwarders to ensure professionalism in the industry:
CRFFN hasn’t been topnotch in coordinating the freight forwarding associations as the agency was accused of not involving the associations in the build-up to the elections which had to be postponed. However, the freight forwarding bodies have been able to conduct themselves professionally and enshrine some degree of discipline, regulation and harmony as was seen with the 6-6-1-1-1 sharing formular adopted for the Governing Council elections.
Score = 7/20
To determine who constitute freight forwarders and to regulate and control the activities of registered practitioners:
While the number of registered freight forwarders continues to increase, a large chunk of freight forwarding practitioners still don’t have CRFFN certification, hence the difficulties in regulating their activities. Score = 5/20
Ensuring uniform standards of professional conduct and education relevant to freight forwarding practice:
In 2018, CRFFN hasn’t made any effort to enlighten practitioners on the global best practices in the profession. Recall that the agency spent N1billion on Phantom IFFN building project and N850million used for security equipment uniform and acceptable standard of operation in 2017. Score: 0/20
Encourage participation in international exchange programme and promoting the highest competence, practice and conduct among members:
There hasn’t been any notable event or programme this year to promote the objectives above. Score: 2/20
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:
Although the names of registered freight forwarders were collated for the purpose of the recent Governing Council elections, CRFFN should be prompt in publishing updated registers to keep the importers, exporters and the general public abreast of qualified persons to consult for freight forwarding practice. Score: 8/20.
Following the peaceful constitution of a new CRFFN board, one can expect things to transform positively at the Council even as the budgetary allocation is set to be disbursed. A more productive second half should be anticipated.
Total Score = 22/100
Grade F (22%)
Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology (NITT)
NITT was established to provide trainings in order to maintain professionalism in the sector. MMS Plus x-rays NITT performance in the first half of 2018 based on its three major statutory functions.
Provide Management Training for Personnel employed in all modes of transport:
This Institute seems to be in oblivion. Nothing has been heard about this role in 2018 although the institute made some efforts to partner with Nigerian Shippers Council and Nigerian Ports Authority in 2017. Those in-charge of the various modes of transport in the country remain highly unskilled and unprofessional. Score = 10/33.
Serve as a Transport Intelligence Centre for monitoring transport and logistics systems;
Majority of the personnel saddled with managing various modes of Nigeria’s transport system remain unprofessional and highly unregulated. Various policies were introduced by Federal Government like the speed limiting device without any impact because of poor compliance. Score = 5/33
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 the first quarter of 2018. Score = 4/34
NITT is an agency saddled with the arduous task of professionalizing all cadres of players in the nations transport sector but there is no indication that the agency is fulfilling this mandate. The institute seems to be retrogressing day-by-day even as operators prefer to get their certification from other private driven institutes. 20% is poor by all standards, so the institute needs rebranding.
Grade F (20%)
Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria was rocked with series of crises 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 Interim Management Committee has however submitted their reports to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi early this year.
There is shortage of manpower, especially in terms of lecturers or facilitators in the Academy as the lecturer-student ration is horrible. The ratio is one lecturer to 90 students. Sometimes it is one lecturer to 200 students. The lecturers are limited in such circumstance and that is why the management had decided to stop admission of applicants into the academy this year. There are also massive infrastructure deficits. It was reported that some cadets sleep on the floor.
The Academy which was on the verge collapsing as a result of its continuous act of churning-out half-baked cadets due to lack of training equipments and dearth of skilled workforce had been restructured to an extent by the IMC.
According to the Rector of the Academy, Commodore Emma Effedua (Rtd), the IMC has also helped re-organize the academy because the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was already trying to delist the academy from its White List and since the re-structuring commenced, the IMO had visited the academy including the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safey Agency (NIMASA).
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.
Things are expected to turnaround in the second half of the year 2018 as the Academy has said it was set to build the capacity of its academic staff through training and retraining aimed at keeping them abreast with the requirements and nuances of modern maritime training.
Spokesman of the academy, Mr. Netson Peters disclosed this recently, when he took reporters round ongoing projects on the school’s campus in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
Total Score 35/100
Grade E (35%)
With the approval of the nation’s 2018 budget lingering till July, the inactivity and poor performance of all transport sector agencies can be excused. This fact alone makes it difficult for agencies to carry out their functions. However, the recent approval and disbursement of funds eliminate the excuse for transport sector agencies in the second half of the year.