Former Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Adebayo Sarumi, and Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Forum, Otunba Kunle Folarin, will lead other maritime experts and stakeholders at the third edition of Group Executive Vice-Chairman, SIFAX Group, Chief Taiwo Afolabi annual maritime conference.
The conference, an initiative of the Maritime Forum, University of Lagos and SIFAX Group is expected to take place on August 17, 2018 at the University of Lagos.
While the erstwhile NPA boss is expected to chair the conference, Folarin will deliver the keynote address.
Eminent maritime industry leaders, legal experts, academics, and students drawn from about eight institutions will converge to discuss on the theme of “Port Cost and Ports Charges – A Recurring Decimal Under Port Reform Regime”.
Other discussants expected at the event include, Director-General, Nigeria Chamber of Shipping, Obiageli Obi; Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigeria Shippers’ Council Hassan Bello; Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock, Major Henry Ajetunmobi; Immediate Past Chairman, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu; General Manager, MD’s Office, NPA, Captain Ebubeogu Iheanacho; and the former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),Mrs. Mfon Usoro.
While speaking on the forthcoming event, Afolabi said the need to deepen discourse around topical issues in the country’s maritime industry, as well as proffering practical solutions to them gave birth to the conference.
His words: “The third edition of the conference would dwell on issues on ports costs and charges. This is necessary in view of the constant bickering that has continually ensued between the port users, regulatory agencies, agents, importers on one hand and the terminal operators on the other hand despite the port reforms embarked upon in 2006 which aimed at making the Nigerian port system better. This has a negative economic impact for all stakeholders, including the government.
“Distinguished experts have been invited as speakers to provide practical roadmap that will lead to concrete and sustainable solutions to the problem. I look forward to the useful insights based on years of industry experience that they will bring to the conference. I am convinced that such insights would be useful to the industry, the government and participants.”
President, Maritime Forum, Miss. Bukola Familoni on his part, said the conference would be beneficial both to the industry and the students due to its objective of being an avenue to stimulate intellectual discussions between maritime experts and the university community, especially students with interest in the maritime industry, on contemporary issues in the industry, both locally and internationally.