What are your expectations for the maritime industry in 2020?

 Barrister Akabogu (Maritime Lawyer)

In the last few years, there has been too much lip service and rhetoric with little if any value. In 2020, it would be good if we witness more concrete initiatives from both industry and regulators. In the last few days, China has already seen vessel detentions in compliance with IMO 2020 stipulations which came into force on the 1st of January. Nigeria is equally committed to the deadline, and it will be good to see full compliance from both ship interests and regulators. Industry operators have not been effective at holding regulators to account, but it is necessary to ensure value is given, and I would like to see more of that this year. 2020 deserves more lightening, less thunder.

Mrs. Rollens Macfoy (Maritime Administrator)

Everyone is expecting better and bigger economy, Greener Ocean trying to consolidate the essence of blue economy and the proceeds that will come out of it, and when its properly consolidated the economy rises and the GDP rises as well, so with that we will have a greener economy, 

But for us to do that, it is not an individual issue, it has to start with the government and with the support of the maritime stakeholders. So, NIMASA, NPA, Ministry of transport should be right on top their game because when you don’t make laws that affect areas of professionalism, it becomes a no man business.

Uche Ejieseme  (Customs PRO)

My expectation for the maritime industry 2020 is to say that, fist we must understand that the maritime industry is still work-in-progress and we expect upward progression in terms of creativity and innovation that will metamorphosed into some landmark achievements in the sector. I am confident that the passion of the major gladiators will surely enhance the sector this time around. 

Obinna Okafor (Freight Forwarder)

I believe 2020 will be a great year because a lot of international trade will be done through the sea, and I see a lot of improvement in professionals’ activities viz a viz the freight forwarders that are instrumental in international trade, we will see more of vessel acquisition and capacity development. I think focus should be on capacity building because major Nigeria lacks manpower but I believe we should see more of capacity building development

Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa (trucker)

In this year 2020, we are pleading for all hands to be on deck. What I mean by this is that all the relevant government agencies including the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Shippers Council must synergize and look into the activities of the terminal operators and shipping companies. For those terminal that are inefficient in handling their cargoes, the government will ensure that they have done the needful for smooth operation

Mr. Gorge Okafor (Freight Forwarder)

I expect the government to be straight forward in their policies. Because most of the problems we are having here is government not keeping to their policies. The Minister will give an order a DG or even the CG will counter the order of the minister. If policies are made it should be respected and adhered to and not so many persons giving policy at the same time, the government should give us a standard policy that should be obeyed both in the duty rates and other things.  

Chief Achike Molokwu (Clearing Agent)

We want a trained customs officer to head the service because customs themselves know the technicalities of customs. Customs is all about duties, Excise and Management Act and other things. A military man does now know all these things; you don’t learn on that job; you cannot bring a customs officer to head the military because he won’t know how to do some of the things. We have what guides us in ASYCUDA 11; it is a system introduced by the World Customs Organization. When you finish the examination, you get the exit, that is how it works.  Trying to do one thing or the other, somebody will want to print Bill Lading history to justify where the cargo is coming from in an exit gate. And when he does that he gets small money, it is unprofessional we don’t want it, everybody is against that is why we say we want professionals. 

Paul Ndibe (CILT)

My expectations are just few, I expect greater activities to start taking place in ports outside of Lagos. There are signs that activity level will increase in ports outside Lagos and there will be greater sanity between the freight forwarders. The idea of their POF collection with CRFFN eventually takes form and people will key to it. The Nigerian Shippers Council with freight is looking at having a document so that they will have their names and license for each year documented and approved for them to operate.