- WACT Lifts Onne Port With $10m Facility Upgrade
The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) yesterday launched two new Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs) $10 million (about N3.6 billion) for the discharge of cargoes at the terminal.
The Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs), which is coming on the heels of 10 specialised terminal trucks and two new reach stackers, are expected to increase the turnaround time of vessels at the terminal.
The two new container cargoes handling facilities would bring WACT, one of the most efficient container terminals outside Lagos, at par with its peers in Apapa, and Tin Can Island Ports, in terms of equipment and operational efficiency.
Speaking at the inauguration in Onne, Rivers State, the Managing Director, WACT, Aamir Mirza, said the massive investment at the terminal has attracted 700 direct and 2000 indirect employment in the country.
He said the company has recorded tremendous growth of 17 per cent in 2017, 21 per cent growth in 2018 and 20 per cent growth attained so far this year.
Mizra described the $10 million investment as a key enabler to customers’ satisfaction.
“Our vision is to make WACT the best performing container terminal in West Africa. We believe this vision can be realised early enough if the government can support us to reduce the challenges of security by ensuring the safety of vessels on our waters and improve road connectivity, among others,” he said.
Mirza said the cranes would enable volume growth resulting in increased productivity; reduced port stay and provide bunker savings; improve reliability in cargo delivery times; reduce the impact of crane breakdown/idle time on overall terminal operations, and increase customers satisfaction and speedy delivery.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, said the new cranes will aid efficiency and improve vessels turn around time at the terminal
He reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to encouraging more importers to patronise Onne Port, adding that government is determined to see shipping make significant contributions to the economy.
He said: “Our terminals need to grow and show efficiency. I am happy with the competition because this is how to compete. We need options, the choice for shippers where they will discharge their cargoes.
“The commissioning of these Mobiles Harbour Cranes is no doubt significant because it will improve efficiency. We are happy with the 30 per cent increase in volumes of cargoes and the long run, more Nigerians would be employed and it will make the terminal operation contribute to the economy.
“The more efficiency we have, the more cargoes we will get because Nigeria is a natural harbour due to the available market and I am happy today that this terminal is becoming one of the most efficient we have in West Africa and this is gladdening our hearts, and the main reasons for concessioning the port to the private sector will be realised by this terminal and we will use this terminal to benchmark the performance of other terminals.”
The Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), Umana Okon Umana, lauded WACT for making the nation meet the objectives of establishing the free zone.
He promised to run the free zone professionally and assured of the provision of dedicated power to the zone for efficient service delivery.
He said: “For us, the fact that WACT is expanding their operation is a show of confidence they have in the economy and confidence they have in Nigeria and the MD said they have sent Nigerians out for training because this is very specialised equipment and as we know; the objectives of free zones is to attract FDI that will support job creation, support transfer of skills and technology and what government loses by tax revenues, government takes back in employment, skills and transfer of skills.”
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, lauded the company for acquiring the new cranes, even as she urged shippers to patronise Onne Port.
Usman, who was represented by the Onne Port Manager, Al-Hassan Ismaila, said the government is looking into the security of vessels on the nation’s high sea.
“The Onne Port is a nexus to connecting the North-East, North-Central, South-South and South-East, so cargoes for this section of the country is expected to be discharged through this port.
“We are calling on shippers to patronise Onne Port because of the friendly environment, and the synergy between the agencies of government operating at the port,” she added.
The ceremony was witnessed by several stakeholders, including the representatives of shipping companies, Customs, freight forwarders, truck operators, importers, exporters and government agencies.
Npower News: Npower Stipend News, Npower News on Permanency
Npower News on Permanency and Payment of Allowances
The N-power Youths Congress has made passionate pled to President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill the campaign promise he made to the 500,000 Npower Batches A and B beneficiaries.
The group led by its national coordinator, Comrade Joseph Enam Magar, to the NUJ Press Center Maiduguri demanded the payment of all outstanding allowances of N30,000 for exited Batch A and Batch B from June 2016 and July 2019, respectively.
Maga said “We are hereby once again reminding the government of their promises to us and that we will never relent until federal government fulfils it’s promises. The State Representatives of Npower Beneficiaries have earlier stated our demands on the previous Press Conference and here we are reinstating the demands again.
“The Batches A and B of N-power Beneficiaries who according to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management were disengaged since the month of June and July respectively are not happy for being sent back to the streets.
“We were struggling in different spheres of life to make a living. We were meant to quit the things we were doing before to embrace Npower with the promise of being absolved into the Federal Government scheme at the end of the day.
“We were made to serve our fatherland with a token of 30,000. Most of us have families with children, paying of school fees, electricity bills, pipe borne water, transportation, feeding and other miscellaneous expenses on the grace of 30,000.
“How much is a bag of rice, ground nut oil, etc if I may ask? Some of us have siblings and sick parents whose hopes are attached to the same 30,000.
“To worsen it all, the same 30,000 will not be paid as at when due. Funny enough, our government under the control of Sadiya Farouk, the Ministers of Humanitarian affairs and disaster management want us to save from the 30,000.
“This is an amount that is not up to one quarter percent of what they give to their children for shopping; an amount that does not reach what their children put on as cloths and jewelries on daily basis.”
Speaking further he said,” in addition, we can recall that before the 2019 Presidential Election, we were made to understand by Mr. Afolabi that our voter’s cards determine our permanency. “
“We mobilized ourselves, came out in mass to support this government. We spent our money going to Abuja for the campaign so as to ensure that President Muhammad Buhari regains his office as the president of Nigeria. Npower beneficiaries in various states and Local Governments were equally forced by their focal persons to come out in mass during APC campaign.
“So many states even took attendance and beneficiaries that didn’t show up were penalized. All these were geared towards ensuring that Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari excel as the president so that the promises of absorption that was made through Mr. Afolabi will be fulfilled.
“But at the end, our hopes were truncated as we have been pushed back to the streets without absorption or an exit package.”
MTN Nigeria Picks Karl Toriola as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Designate
MTN Nigeria, Africa’s leading telecommunications company, has appointed Mr. Karl Toriola as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designate.
In a statement released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, the company said the appointment is effective from the 1st of March 2021 to give enough time for an orderly handover.
According to the company, Mr. Toriola is presently the Vice President of West and Central Africa (WECA), excluding Nigeria and Ghana, since 2016.
The statement reads “During his tenure, the WECA markets have made significant commercial and strategic strides. These include the improvement of market shares within the region and the development of mobile financial services.
“Since joining the Group in 2006, Mr. Toriola has also held a number of senior operational roles including Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, CEO of MTN Cameroon and MTN Group Operations Executive. Mr. Toriola has at various times in his career in MTN Group, had oversight responsibility of 16 of the Group subsidiaries and serves on various MTN boards, including MTN Nigeria.
“Mr. Toriola obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Ife, a Master of Science degree in Communication Systems from the University of Wales, and attended the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. In addition, he has attended several executive development courses at various institutions including Wharton Business School, Institute of Management Development and London Business School.”
NESBITT Acquires Peugeot Nigeria, Plans to Invest $150m in the Company
NESBITT to Invest $150 Million in Peugeot Nigeria
Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) has been acquired by the NESBITT Investment Nigeria, according to the statement from NESBITT.
The new owner planned to invest $150 million into the company in the next three years to revamp the automobile company.
It said the $150 million would help retool and upgrade PAN’s assembly line and boost working capital.
Speaking on the acquisition, Ahmed Wadada-Aliyu, the new chairman of PAN, said the automobile manufacturer would be introducing new brands into the market to establish brand affordability in Nigeria.
“PAN under the supervision of the board shall undergo massive restructuring, and in so doing, we shall observe strict governance protocols, transparency, business integrity, efficiency and ethics in our undertakings,” he said.
“In 2019, Nigeria imported at least 400,000 used cars as against 68,000 brand new vehicles. Because of this imbalance, PAN will be introducing new brands of vehicles into the market to re-launch brand affordability in Nigeria such that Nigerians will have access to brand new vehicles.”
“Our biggest concern is the over 50 assembly plants that have not made any matching investments but are enjoying the incentives of the auto policy.”
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