Archive: Dec 2013

  1. Apapa Customs Command revenue hits N1bn daily

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    The transfer of implementation of the Destination Inspection (DI) scheme from service providers to the NigeriaCustoms Service (NCS) seems to have started yielding dividends for the service as the daily revenue collection for the premiere command has hit a record N1 billion daily.

    Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Area Command of the NCS, Comptroller Charles Edike, disclosed this yesterday when he featured as guest at the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) Roundtable meeting in Apapa, Lagos yesterday.

    Edike said that at the takeover of the DI scheme on December 1st, 2013; the command was collecting between N400 million and N500 million daily until sometimes last week when the collection practically doubled. He attributed the rise in the revenue to measures instituted by the NCS Comptroller General, Dikko Inde Abdullahi, to address the various teething problems encountered at the onset of the DI takeover.

    Edike also said that it is impossible to hack into the Customs risk management platform used for issuing the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which was introduced on December 1st by NCS to replace the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) hitherto issued by the former DI service providers. He said adequate firewall and security measures have been built around the Customs online platform to protect it from hackers in order to protect government revenue.

    The Apapa CAC also allayed the fears of importers agents on the possibility of their paying increased Customs duty on their consignments as a result of the switch from RAR to PAAR.

    He said the NCS management was aware that many agents have been apprehensive and concerned that they may be required to pay higher import duty on consignments that have been granted provisional release as stated in the guidelines. He however dispelled such fears and emphasized that if agents were honest with their initial declarations under the RAR platform, there won’t be cause for anxiety.

    He said because of the exchange rate given by the Central Bank of Nigeria, there might be slight difference on the duty payable on a particular consignment under the new e -clearance system but this will be very minimal.

    “If what you paid abinitio is same thing as what is in the PAAR, we will tell you thank you but if there is a difference, then we will call you to come and pay the difference. This difference is what the agents are afraid of that how will they go back to meet their importers but after we had meetings with them, we explained that if they are straight forward and transparent, there is not going to be any difference between the PAAR and the RAR even if there is any, it is going to be a minor difference so long as you did not go to tailor your invoice and Form M because that same invoice and Form M is what the PAAR would use to assess and give you duty to pay. It is only if you had tailored your document that is when the difference will be significant,” he said.

    He disclosed that about 317 applications were received on the first day of commencement of the provisional release but only 43 paid for import duty after the guidelines was issued.

    “We noticed that for the first two days, there was a large volume of about 317 applications for provision release was made and approved but surprisingly, they didn’t go to pay, they just applied, in fact only 43 paid. The second day it continued and immediately I call the CGC but before then I called the agents to ask them why they are not paying even after the CGC has given this window, they expressed fear that after they pay and the PAAR comes out and there is increase in value; how will they go back to meet their importers for additional payment,” he said.

    Edike also disclosed that the command’s revenue on rice has plunged to an all time low as it has recorded zero income on imported rice since July this year. He said the hike in the import duty on rice to 110 per cent by the Federal Government early this year has impacted negatively on the Apapa Command revenue.

    “The glory of Apapa Port is rice. The bulk of Apapa revenue is rice but now rice is not coming in at all but despite that, we are still not doing badly on revenue,” he said.

    He said the command collected N131.38 billion as import duty on rice in 2011; N125.35 billion in 2012 and a paltry N11 million collected so far this year.

  2. Improved port channels attract large ships as cargo throughput surge at Nigerian ports

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    Larger vessels of above 232.33 meters with capacity of 4,500 TEUS requiring draught of 13.5 meters have started visiting the Nation’s seaports, according to a statement by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

    A press statement issued by NPA Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Musa Ilya, noted: “This has provided shipping companies with a high level of efficiency and economic space which has enhanced their turnover and turnaround time. Generally, stakeholders and shipping companies have confirmed that the channel management and conservancy function of the Authority has continued to improve. The Analysis showed that most of the ports recorded increase in the Gross Registered Tonnage mainly due to the constant capital and maintenance dredging of the channels at the nation’s ports by the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) and Bonny Channel Company (BCC).”

    Ilya stated that the LCM has dredged 53.5 million cubic metres of sand at the Lagos port channel since 2006 while a total of 24 numbers of critical wrecks have been removed while the volume dredged by BCC from 2006 to date is 43.5 cubic metres with 14 wrecks removed at the port channels outside Lagos.

    “Bonny channel from its previous 12.50 meters draught has been deepened to its present 14.30 meters increased its width from 215 meters to 230 meters. The successful wreck removal campaign being undertaken by the Authority also ensured safe navigation of vessels and protection of marine environmentamongst other economic benefits,” he said.

    He quoted the Managing Director of NPA, Habib Abdullahi, as saying that “Port reforms has resulted in healthy competition as there has been an intensified effort by the terminal operators to procure cargo handling equipment and upgrade of the various terminals while the Authority has continued to provide common user facilities needed to improve port operations.”

    The NPA spokesman said that apart from crude oil terminals, 1,366 ocean going vessels with a total Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) of 34,640,530 gross tons called at Nigerian Ports in the 3rd Quarter of 2013.

    He said Lagos Port Complex (LPC) recorded a GRT of 9,263,180 gross tons showing an increase of 12.3 per cent over the 3rd quarter of 2012 figure 8,250,315 gross tons while 369 ocean going vessels were handled at the port within the first quarter while Rivers Port Complex recorded a total GRT of 1,371,846 gross tons, reflecting a decrease of 11.2 per cent as against 1,526,002 achieved in the third quarter of last year, with 108 ocean going vessels handled at the end of the third quarter.

    “The Onne Port complex recorded a Gross registered tonnage of 9,709,984 gross tons, 15.7 per cent decline compared with 11,238,781 gross tons, leaving the port with 219 ocean going vessels in the period under review. Calabar Port complex recorded a GRT of 751,553 gross tons showing a growth of 15 per cent over 653, 077 recorded in the corresponding period of 2012. It also handled 35 vessels within the period under review. In a related development, the Delta Port Complex handled a GRT of 2,346,612 showing an increase of 184 per cent over the 2012 3rd quarter figure of 823,595 gross tons, with 94 vessels handled,” he said.

    Ilya stated that cargo throughput of 19,849,258 million metric tonnes of cargo was handled showing an increase 2.6% over the 2012 third quarter figure of 19,340,901 Million metric tonnes excluding crude oil terminals.

    “Available statistics shows that the containerized cargo throughput handled amounted to 3,559,453 million metric tonnes, showing an increase of 12.3per cent over the 2012 3rd quarter figure of 3,168,412million metric tonnes.

    “The total Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment handled in the period under review amounted to 4,859,453 million MT showing a decrease of 20per cent from the 2012 3rd quarter figure of 5,828,281MT. The Refined Petroleum shipment handled was 4,804,184MT showing a growth of 24 per cent over the 3rd quarter of 2012 figure of 3,869,923MT.

    “A total of 76,598 units of Vehicles were handled in the period under review showing an increase of 13 per cent over the same period of 2012 figure of 67,804 units. Dry Bulk cargo handled at the Ports in the 3rd quarter of 2013 amounted to 2,585,902 MT. General Cargo handled at the ports in the 3rd quarter of 2013 amounted to 2,977,347MT indicating a decline of 16 per cent from the 2012 3rd quarter figure of 3,466,311MT,” he stated.

    He identified “appreciable facility upgrades and acquisition of state of the art container handling equipment by the terminal operators which ensured quick container handling operations and reduced cargo dwell time” as factors that have contributed to efficiency at the port.

    “Import in Onne for general cargo has since reduced by 30 per cent in total throughput but has been largely compensated for an increase of 60 per cent of gas. Lagos port complex is the only port that has maintained its traditional cargo morphology but with bias for containerization as palletized cargo is gradually giving way to this new global trend.

    “From 2003 till date, Nigerian ports have experienced about 115 per cent growth. A close examination on this progress show that we do not handle transhipment and transit cargo, all cargoes are captive and Nigeria destined.

    “It therefore shows that petroleum product liberalization, growth in Gross domestic product (GDP) and the transformation agenda resulting in increase in construction works have had an unprecedented economic impact on the port industry,” he said.

  3. NewsDirect Awards: ABTL is 2013 Terminal Operator of the Year

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    The Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) has won the Terminal Operator of the Year award at the 2013 edition of the NewsDirect newspapers gala awards nite.

    Receiving the award during the award presentation ceremony by the Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Taofik Ajibade Tijani; the Managing Director of ABTL, Capt. Mohammed Bashir; lauded the port concession of 2006, stating that it changed the face of the maritime sector in Nigeria.

    According to him, “prior to the port concession, there was chaos in the nations maritime sector. Turn-around time of vessels was chaotic and rudimentary equipments pervcaded the nation’s maritime landscape.

    “However, the port concession brought life back in to the nations maritime domain. Although it resulted in the lay-off of jobs, but that was a sacrifice the nation had to make tyo enhance port operations in the country.”

    As landlords of Terminal ‘A’ and ‘B’, ABTL was adjudged to have performed excellently well in the area of Terminal management; Cargo consolidation/Operations and Logistics services provider.

    The efficiency of ABTL in rendering services like Dry bulk cargo operations; General cargo operations; Liquid cargo operations and Containers services has also made the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc subsidiary to stand-out amongst its peers in the nation’s maritime domain.


  4. Special Feature:The largest crane in the world

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    20,000 metric tons. That’s 98 Statues of Liberty or 10,000 VW Beetles. But when you’re building the world’s largest vessels in the world, your crane needs to muscle every last ounce of steel.
    Taisun, the world’s largest crane, is a fixed dual-beam gantry crane of mega proportions and holds the world record-setting lift of 20,133 metric tons. A record which broke its two previous records of 17,100 and 14,000 tons.
    How did this mega crane come to be and why is such a massive crane needed?
    Nearly 10 years ago the managers of Yantai Raffles Shipyard (YRS),in Shandong Province China, recognized that building tomorrow’s biggest offshore oil vessels and platforms would require machinery of epic size and vast proportions and they would need the World’s Largest Crane.
    “If you can handle the larger blocks, 15,000t-16,000t, you can chop up a semi-submersible offshore platform into two pieces: lower pontoon columns and an upper deck box” as Brian Chang, owner of Yantai Raffle shipyards, told the industry mag Cranes Today.
    In 2009, the largest builder of semi-submersible drilling rigs, reached their dreams by christening of the world’s first fixed dual-beam gantry crane with the enormous lifting capacity at 20,000 MT. The towering state-of-the-art machinery is named ‘Taisun”, after a famous sacred mountain in the PRC’s Shandong Province reflecting its size, strength and inspirational qualities.The Christening ceremony, held on April 18, 2009 and was well attended by over 600 guests from all over the world. The event commenced with a ribbon cutting session by distinguished guests. Following the opening address by Mr Brian Chang, Chairman of YRS, Taisun demonstrated to all attendees its astounding strength by hoisting up a launching barge 30 meters above the water. Independent party American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) witnessed the lift and presented Mr Chang with a “Witness Load Testing” certificate, confirming the capacity of Taisun at 20,133 MT; a heavy lift world record.
    “It will revolutionize the way large offshore projects such as semi-submersibles and FPSOs are built. By providing a perfectly safe, uniquely controllable and highly cost effective way to join super sections of up to 20,000 MT, the hours spent working at great heights will be significantly reduced.” says a representative of YRS. As a result, overall project man-hours can be improved upon by up to 2 million, overall build schedules and time-to-market shortened, and safety and quality greatly improved.