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The scorecard on Nigerian seaport reforms

We have focused, in this edition, on the progress of seaport reforms in Nigeria since 2001. It’s ten years since the Obasanjo’s presidency kick-started the search for better fortunes for Nigeria’s port industry. Once upon a time, the ports were a haven for wharf rats. No more. Ships then spent weeks in port to load and discharge. Stevedores were unruly, practicing the infamous “akube” system, where shipping lines paid for 16-men gangs but get 8 men instead. None could do anything about it for many years. The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) was then a glorified gang-up of port industry warlords. Former transport minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, shocked the nation when he exposed bags of money brought to him at night to soft-pedal the wheels of the reforms which started rolling during his tenure.

Thus, the striving to reform Nigeria’s port industry began in 2001 and involved much job loss at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), administrative changes industry-wide, changes in Nigerian Customs Service procedures, etc. It ultimately led to the emergence of private terminal operators after an international competitive bid for all NPA terminals nation-wide.

Now ten years since the onset of reforms, five years since the handover of terminals to concessionaires across the country, what has changed? Generally, the changes are for the better, in many regards. It will take a rehash of the daily reports of missing car parts, incorrigible customs officials, NPA port officers who were not on seat or the ‘flying containers”, to mention but a few of the shock tales of those days, before one can realize that we have moved on from those unpleasant bus stops. But there is still work to be done.
In this edition, we have focused on the operations of one of the terminal operators, Fivestar Logistics Terminals Ltd and the NPA channel management joint venture, Lagos Channel Management. Their accounts of operations in the ports give a bird’s eye view of the pace of advancement so far.

In the other sections, our usual bulletin is intact. We have brought up reports in the dredging industry, especially a report on the just-concluded 5th Nigerian Dredging Summit at Calabar, with pictures; and hard news of the goings-on with the proposal to re-dredge the Calabar channel whose capital dredging campaign was aborted in the hands of Jan de Nul and Van Oord in 2007.

Our stand is that companies involved in such failed public sector dredging campaigns should not be pampered but should suffer penalties, if not outright court cases to recover money paid them from the public till. And in cases where Nigerian officials were found in collusion, they should not be spared, if only to serve as a deterrent for other actors in the public domain.



Other Articles & Interviews:

Mr Pier Luigi Carrodano on his work with Gen. T Y Danjuma's companies and the Chinese sea trade with Nigeria...NEW

Engr Akin Olaniyan on need for NIMASA to return to original mandate and harnessing cabotage trade...NEW

Dr. Wilson Odafe Omene on Niger Delta politics, amnesty programme, Nigerian maritime and local govt, etc....NEW

Capt Adeyemo on River Niger Dredging...

Prof P.C. Nwilo on his assessment of NIWA during sabbatical ...

Mr Nseyeng Ebong on his 8-year tenure as rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron...

Chief Dumo Lulu Briggs as chairman of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron, his vision...

Engr Muyiwa Omasebi: The face-off Between NIWA, MMSD and Lagos State Govt.

Otunba K Folarin: The Collapse of Nig. shipping lines.

P.L. Carrodano: How govt can revive Nig. shipping lines.

Sam Epia: The struggles of Nig shipping lines with cargo reservation scheme.

Jeff Gibb: Intricacies of the equipment market in Nigeria.

Environmental Quality Monitoring.

Environment: "How many choppers has DPR got?" - Chief Ogunsiji.

Dredging the Niger Delta: Interview of Ben Efekarurhobo

Role of Surveying in the Dredging Industry

G.B Liman: Of Myth, Reality and Resource Control

Dredging Law: A judgment on the ownership of a sand dredging site by the Court of Appeal.

Dredging Law:
a. Lagos State Attorney General Interpretes state law on sand dredging and stockpile.

b. NIWA public notice on Lagos State intervention in inland waterways regulation.


Efficient Dredge Master Training
Train your dredge masters, engineers, electricians and deckhands in relevant skills for efficiency, productivity, equipment safety and maintenance. All trainees are time-tested with written and practical tests. Transcripts and attendance certificates given.
1. Dredge Appreciation / Refresher – knowledge of safety procedures for equipment use:
PPE; Safety operation onboard dredge; Maintenance routine; Checks for optimal production while pumping; working with boosters; splicing and fixing cables, cleaning and painting; Etc. For Dredge crews mainly. Class room lectures and Practical sessions onboard dredge.

2. Firefighting and Protective Measures (including respiratory protection). For Dredge crews, Field and Technical workers. Class room lectures and Practical session at the Fire Bay.

3. Basic sea survival techniques and the use of lifesaving equipment. Class room lectures and Practical sessions at the standard swimming pool with professional gear.
For details of availability, duration, registration, fees and teaching logistics, please contact the organizers:

Dredge Skills and Marine Training Centre Ltd.
E187, Ikota Shopping Complex, VGC, Ajah. Lagos Nigeria
Tel.: +234 1 7928166 or 08033378735


Consultancy / Training :

*Consultancy on Nigerian dredging projects; Management of Dredgers; Marine and Maritime Businesses or Reports...


*Management or partnering on Seminars, Workshops, Conferences, Etc...

*In-house training of dredger crews; Ports and Terminal Workers; Training on Cargo Handling Procedures, Etc...

Dredge Skills & Marine Training Centre Ltd.






PHONE: +234-1-7928166; 08033378735.


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Picture Slide Show of 4th Nigerian Dredging Summit 2010