More Cargo Handling Gears…

Looking back at May, 2006 when Ports and Cargo started operations of Terminal C at Tin Can Island Port, one sees landmark achievements. With computerized working environment that includes container tracking and management, as well as, ship planning systems, the operator has readily redefined shipping and terminal operations in Nigeria.

The company has been investing heavily in terminal handling equipment. It recently acquired 75 different plants and equipment for effective terminal operations, as well as 21 heavy-duty trucks for cargo haulage to ensure cargo security and to facilitate the speed of goods delivery from its terminal.

These equipment and plants include container stackers, forklifts, fixed and semi-auto container spreaders, cranes and terminal tractors of KALMAR, HYSTER, CATRACOM, STINIS, NISSAN, LIEBHAR, among others of various capacity. It will be recalled that Ports and Cargo, some months ago made history by acquiring and commissioning for use two LHM (400) cranes, with exceptional container handling capabilities, first of its kind in Nigeria. The newly acquired equipment at the Ports and Cargo Handling Services terminal are the latest models. Equipment acquisition and upgrading to most modern and functional ones are part of the culture and policy of all the subsidiary companies of Sifax Group
“Our Security is Second to Non in the Industry”

Safety and security are about the most important things in shipping and Sifax Group is not unaware of this and that is why in its uniqueness, the company provides comprehensive security. The terminal is both ISPS and PICCOM compliant and certified. According to the spokesman of Ports and Cargo, Mr. Olivre Omajuwa, “we can confidently say with all modesty that our security is second to non in the industry. Aside the regular uniformed security men, we also have bow and arrow men that man both the waterfront and the cargo terminal”. He further said that the terminal recently discharged a whole vessel of rice without recording a loss.
Efficiency in Docklabour Services:

The handling of the human elements for efficient shipping operations has always been critical as all over the world labour unrest and strikes could paralyze operations despite the sophistication in plant and machinery. That is why Sifax Group gives the required attention to its Stevedoring department so that all labour requirements will always be timely met.

The Stevedoring arm of the Group has come up with efficient labour package that ensures that dockworkers are well remunerated, as optimum incentives have been attached to work productivity. A carefully formulated payment by tonnage pattern, peculiar to the terminal is employed to remunerate the dockworkers, who are earning very high wages presently.

Apart from a dedicated stevedoring canteen, all other facilities have been put in place for convenience for the dockworkers. This is why Sifax Group has a complementary workforce for its high technology and modern facilities.
The Best Terminal Operator:

Less than two years into its operations of Terminal C at Tin Can Island Port in Apapa, Nigeria, Ports and Cargo Handling Services has changed the face of the terminal for more functional operations.

Most of the operations have become computerized and faster and the physical structures at the terminal are wearing good looks. The terminal operator has generally been acclaimed the best operator in terms of improvement, quality service delivery and competitiveness.

These and other objective assessments were made among all operators in Nigeria and Ports and Cargo was chosen and awarded the prestigious Indigenous Terminal Operator of the Year 2007 by Maritime Nigeria Journal. Apart from terminal services, the family of Ports and Cargo is also into various shipping services including export, warehousing, haulage, cargo consolidation, grouping services, import financing, stevedoring, as well as comprehensive freight forwarding services. Other services provided are security and plant hire.

The transformation physical structures, plant and equipment into ultra-modern facilities has attracted the accolades of port users and has given credibility to the Federal Government’s policy of port concession. The quays and surfaces have been receiving regular attention, as re-surfacing and de-greasing of terminal have become a routine. The terminal is fully equipped with all security facilities and perimeter fencing in line with the International Ship and Port-facility Security Code.
One-Stop Shop of Shipping Services at Sifax Shipping:

Venturing into the international business of shipping, the management of Sifax Group had in view the building and operating of a prolific organization renowned for quality service in a single unit of comprehensive and all embracing shipping package.The reputable indigenous shipping company has maintained focus and concentration in pursuing the vision to develop and run a one-stop shop organization for shipping.

Today, the global clientele of the Group are reaping the efficient shipping services at competitive costs. Value added services of the Group now includes door to door delivery that has promoted speed, efficiency and security of cargoes, while cutting on costs both in import and export trade. Operations have become easier as the company has its hands in various arms of shipping and this has been coordinated in a functional network for clients’ satisfaction.

Ports and Cargo has within few years of operations transformed its system into a responsive global network with its offices springing up in different parts of the world. In line with global reach, expertise and expansion, the company has harmonized its technical affiliation with renowned global terminal operators and shipping companies, which has helped widen the company’s horizon of operations to achieve door to door delivery.

While continually improving on existing systems, the organizational strategy is channeled to significantly focus on shaping the supply chain of freight and shipping logistics to meet global best standards. This projection is achieved by employing most functional and recent technology in terminal operations, communications and information systems and providing value-added services through a total package and one-stop approach. Through these carefully coordinated systems, the company has built a towering global image in shipping and terminal operations ahead of all rivalry.

As a giant in Nigeria and the West and Central Africa in the shipping industry, Ports and Cargo Handling Services has earned reputation built on a culture of excellence and dedication and as a corporate body; it strives to add value to the economy of the nation in various ways. The organization has at all times shown that it is awake to the needs of its immediate environment, the society and the larger world.
Ports and Cargo: An Expression of Terminal Operations Excellence:

With the concession of the terminals in Nigerian ports to private operators, the challenges of building and sustaining efficient operations, framework and schemes that will stand the test of time and break through in competition could only be achieved by conscious and dynamic organizations that look into the future with eye of edge in competence, resourcefulness and capacity building, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited is one among the few indigenous concessionaires in the industry that has stood out with touch of class and excellence as an award winning operator.

The company is a member of Sifax Group with tested competence in port operations. Managed by a team of professionals with proven track records and resourceful personnel base with drive to achieve goals, the company aims at operating efficient, simplified, but comprehensive shipping network. This is achieved by employing functional multimodal systems that meet timely needs of its global clientele.

As a company of the new age, Ports and Cargo Handling Services constantly sets its eyes on ways to enhance the company’s position as a leader in global port operations and related services and to remain tall in a world of competition and dynamism, taking advantage of its competent, highly motivated and professional workforce, supported by its prolific Information Technology base. The company has been recognized locally and internationally for quality service and customer satisfaction because of its cost effective services, multimodal capabilities and global coverage, as well as reliability of its processes merged with efficient and speedy delivery of goods and services.
Sifax and Social Responsibility:

Sifax Group recently hosted orphan children of the Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF) orphanage home. The children, more than 50 in number had a fun-filled day as the terminal operator took them round its head office in Apapa and thereafter toured them around the port where they are operating at RORO port in Tin Can Island, Lagos. The Managing Director of Sifax Group, Dr. Afolabi is also the founder of the AAAF orphanage home, which he set up in memory of his late mother, Alhaja Ajoke. Spokesman of the Sifax Group, Mr. Oliver Omajuwa told newsmen that hosting the orphans was part of the company’s activities to add smiles to the faces of motherless children. The image-maker who led the children round Sifax facilities noted that hosting the children was worth doing. Some of the placards displayed by the children read “stop child abuse, care for the orphans”, among others.

The AAAF was inaugurated on January 5th 2008 as an orphanage home. Mr. Omajuwa said that the Foundation essentially organizes and provides for the abandoned children and less privileged persons, provide home and education for the less privileged, bring together family unity and ensure that donations are channeled to the appropriate usage, among others.

Some of the children said that AAAF has contributed immensely to their growth. The Special Assistant, Administration to the Group Managing Director, Barrister Ezekiel Ajewole, who represented the Sifax boss, said that there are thousands of children out in the streets due to neglect and abandonment by their parents or guardians. He added that at the end of the excursion, the experience will create a lasting impression in the minds of the children about the firm. He disclosed that Sifax Shipping Company Limited has spent about six million naira to improve conditions of widows and less privileged children in the last one year. Speaking further, Barrister Ajewole stated that 25 children and 15 widows had so far benefited from the Foundation adding that Sifax would employ some of these children after their education. The coordinator of the Foundation, Pastor Emmanuel Alao expressed gratitude to Sifax for the reception accorded them.
FG Adopts Port Concession:

The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed the popular position of the majority of practitioners in the maritime sub-sector of the economy and Nigerians at large that the concession of terminal operations to Ports and Cargo Handling Services and other private operators to run was a laudable decision. The President of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Yar’ Adua expressed happiness with the level of progress that has been made in development of port facilities in Nigeria during the period the private terminal operators were in control of operations at the ports.

The president was speaking at the formal commissioning ceremony of APM Terminals in Apapa, Lagos. The President said that he was impressed with the progress that has been made so far.

At the Port and Cargo Handling Services terminal C at Tin Can Island Port in Apapa, Lagos, discharge rate of cargo from ships has greatly improved, the Terminal has attained the ability to get cargo out of the terminal within 2 – 3 days of the berthing of the ship. This has also improved vessel turnaround and massively saving costs in demurrage, surcharge and related costs associated with delay in discharging of vessels and delivery of cargo.

The management of the terminal is still working hard to meet even better targets. To achieve this the company acquires more modern cargo handling equipment and facility with advanced capabilities to meet all customers’ and shareholders’ expectations and provide a safe and secure working environment for all personnel.

We are happy to announce the appointment of a new managing director for Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited (A member of Sifax Group). He is Mr. John Robert Jenkins, a British national, who succeeds Mr. Aboubaker Hadi, who returned to his home country (Djibouti) to take up a national appointment.

Mr. Jenkins has 32 years cognate experience in the maritime industry, which has seen him work in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He studied Business & Finance and Logistics Management at University of Lincoln, United Kingdom; he is a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and a holder of Certificate of Professional Competency (CPC) in the UK.

He joined Ports & Cargo from Ghana Ports & Harbors Authority in Tema where he was the General Manager for the Golden Jubilee Terminal with additional responsibility for the Tema Ports operations Department from October 2006 until October 2011.

In view of the recent growth and expansion in the organization, the under-stated change in the management structure of the group had been made to meet with the attendant challenges so that we will continue to deliver excellent services to our numerous customers all over the world in all areas of our operations viz: Mr. Isaac Orolugbagbe former Managing Director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company limited (A member of SIFAX GROUP) has been re-deployed to the Group Head Office as the DIRECTOR OF PROJECT / GROUP SERVICES.

In a bid to improve the state and maintain an uninterrupted functionality of our equipment, to ensure top of the range services to our numerous customers, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited (A member of Sifax Group) recently, brought into her technical team, Eric B. Corpuz Jr. a graduate of University of San Sebastian, Manila, Philippines.

Eric has cognate experience of almost 20 years in technical services that have taken him to Philippines, Ghana and Nigeria with reputable companies like Kalmar West Africa; Soland Power System in Philippines; Citi-motors, Mitsubishi in Philippines and KWA Services, Ghana amongst others, from where he joined Ports & Cargo Handling Services limited as the new Technical manager. He is happily married.

At the recently concluded annual maritime football competition, SIFAX F.C came third by beating Shippers Council FC 1 – 0 in the third place match at the Astro turf pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere. Lagos. This annual event was organized by Ships and Ports Communication Company to forge a closer relationship and camaraderie amongst the workers and other stakeholders in the maritime industry.

On Friday, 25th may, 2012, Sifax management showed appreciation to her players and officials by hosting them and giving them a “Warm” handshake for their performance in the keenly contested competition where Customs FC defeated Micura FC by 2 – 1 to clinch the coveted trophy.

Sifax management was represented by the Director of Projects/Group services – Mr. Isaac Orolugbagbe, The Senior Special Assistant to the Group Executive Vice-Chairman – Barr. Ezekiel Ajewole and Barr. Tunji Olusinde – GM, Legal/Claims.

We consider it very important that we hold this media briefing in view of the “assumed” ambiguity that surrounds the ownership of Terminal “C”, Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos and the subsequent legal tussle that ensued since August 2006 on the ownership of the terminal.

It will be recalled that when the Federal Government of Nigeria decided to privatize the Nigerian ports in 2004/2005 for better efficiency and effectiveness, both foreign and indigenous firms bid for different ports. In the guidelines for these bids, a firm could bid jointly with other firms for a port and/or bid individually for other ports. On the strength of this, Sifax Nigeria Limited jointly bid for Terminal “A” in Port Harcourt, Rivers State under a consortium known as Ports and Terminal Operators Services Limited with Messrs. Sifax, Ekulo, Migfo and Denca as members. However, Sifax Nigeria Limited INDIVIDUALLY bid for Terminal “C” of Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos under a special purpose vehicle company known as Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited (P&CHS) as required by the Bureau of Public Enterprises. Sifax eventually won the bid and commenced operation in May 2006.

No sooner had Sifax commenced operation of Terminal “C” of TCIP when Messrs. Migfo and Denca went to court to lay claims to being part owners of this terminal. By an Original Summons dated 9th August 2006, the duo instituted a case against Sifax Nigeria Limited and 3 others at the Federal High Court, Lagos. They relied on a non- existent joint venture agreement and a forged memorandum of understanding (MOU) purportedly entered by Denca, Migfo and Sifax sometimes in 2005. The said MOU is now a subject of investigation by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian police.

At the Federal High Court, we argued that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case since it was not a maritime matter but a case based on simple contract. In the alternative, we argued that the case being highly contentious ought not to begin via Originating Summons but by way of Writ of Summons so that we can lead evidence. The Federal High Court threw out our argument and held that Terminal “C” TCIP was owned on 40%, 30% and 30% proportions by Sifax, Migfo and Denca. The same position was held by the Court of Appeal, Lagos.

However, the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja on Friday, 8th June 2012 unanimously adopted our argument at the Federal High court that the court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter which was based on alleged simple contract between the parties and not an admiralty matter.

With this judgment given by the five Justices of the Supreme Court which lead judgement was read by Justice Sulaiman Galadima and same adopted by Justices Aloma Mariam Muktar, Francis Fedode Tabai, Nwali Ngwuta and Olukayode Ariwoola, the curtain has been finally drawn on this matter. The case was struck out and cannot be resuscitated at the State High Court as this has already been taken care of by the defense of limitation; since as a general rule, a case found on simple contract would be statute-barred if commenced more than six years after the cause of action arose. In this case, the purported cause of action arose in 2005, about seven years ago. Thus, Terminal “C” of TCIP is 100% owned by Sifax Group.

Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited (A member of Sifax Group) has scored another first amongst sea terminal operators in Nigeria.
In pursuance of our vision to achieve excellence in all areas of our operations and in line with the federal Government of Nigeria’s desire to achieve a 48 hours clearing of cargoes from our sea ports, effective Monday, 25th June 2012, in our terminal (Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited – Terminal “C” TCIP) containers booked for examination between 8.00am and 12.00noon will be dropped same day before 14.00hrs. for examination, while bookings made after 12.00noon will be dropped at night same day for examination the next day.

This new operational milestone has been made possible as a result of resuscitation of some of hitherto faulty machines and acquisition of new ones e.g. 5nos. new container handlers, new terminal operating system, 2nos. brand new forklifts to compliment the arrays of other machines in existence including the 4nos. harbor cranes. It should be noted that the first set of the 10nos. Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) are expected in terminal before the end of the third quarter of this year (2012) this will further boost rate of cargo deliveries.

In view of the huge investment being injected into this terminal to ensure efficient and effective operations within the terminal and to further make transacting business in our terminal stress-free, we appeal to all stakeholders to ensure that they tidy up their ends too, so that transacting business in seaports will tend towards best practices in the world.

On Tuesday, the management of Ports & Cargo Handling Services Ltd. (the port operation arm of SIFAX GROUP) commissioned the first batch of brand new RTGs (10nos), 2 harbor cranes and 3 empty container handlers, in addition to the bevy of state of the art equipment available at the terminal.

It will be recalled that late last year (2011), we placed orders for 10 nos. of RTGs, 5 of which have arrived, representing the first batch, while the remaining 5 RTGs will arrive at the terminal in about a month.

The exquisite features of the RTGs include; the new Konecrane cabin and the latest digital global positioning system assisted technology for container yard, which includes the auto steering features that keeps the crane on a pre-programmed straight driving path, thus improving safety and increasing productivity. The all-electric, 16-wheel RTG has a lifting capacity of 50tons, stacking 1-over-5 containers high and 7 containers wide plus a truck lane.

This transition from reach-stacker operations to RTG operations will lead to smoother and more effective operations.

Speaking at this event, the managing director of Ports & Cargo affirmed that within the next 12 months, the storage capacity would have increased to 17,250TEUS from the original 5,000 TEUS capacity before the terminal was concessioned to P&CHS on the 11th of May, 2006.

This will translate to tremendous efficiency and effectiveness in the services of P&CHS to both its clients and prospective clients in the shipping community all over the world and in Nigeria, giving credence to the success of the federal government of Nigeria’s policy of port privatization through the public private partnership (PPP). Also, speaking at the event, the General Manager of Western Port command, Alh. Bulangu Mohammed, who was represented the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, showered encomiums on the management of P&CHS for this huge achievement, while also urging other stakeholders (who were represented in their numbers, e.g. Executive Secretary Shippers Council, MD and other top officials of MSC, management staff of 5 Star logistics, representative of the CG of Nigerian Customs, ANCLA, NAGGAFF, bankers, Manufactures Association of Nigeria, MAN, etc.), to continue in this attitude of continuous investment in the industry, to ensure Nigeria becomes the shipping hub of Africa.

Also speaking at this event, which enjoyed wide coverage by both the electronic and print media, the chairman of Ports & Cargo Handling Services – Gen. John N. Shagaya (Nigeria’s longest serving minister of Internal Affairs) affirmed the huge transformation the port system in Nigeria has witnessed since the Federal Government of Nigeria’s policy of port privatization; using P&CHS as a case study of this success story.

The management treated guests at the event to light refreshment before the event was brought to a close.

The management of Ports and Cargo Handling Services limited, the ports operation arm of SIFAX GROUP, Nigeria yesterday took delivery of 5 nos. additional RTGs at the terminal at about 12:30 GMT. Incidentally, the vessel (Happy Rover) bearing these equipment was coming to berth on the same day the new Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority(Malam Habib Abdullahi) team paid a courtesy call at Tin Can Island Port; the team actually watched the vessel coming in to berth at the terminal laden with the 5 nos. RTGs on board.

It will be recalled that on 27th September, 2012 when the first set of 5 nos. RTGs was commissioned, the Managing Director of Ports & Cargo (Mr. John R. Jenkins) in his speech stated categorically that these equipment will come in to boost operations and increase the terminal capacity from 5,000 TEUS at inception to 14,000 TEUS.

With the arrival and prompt deployment of these equipment, operational efficiency and effectiveness will be enhanced tremendously thereby improving the turnaround of vessels in the terminal and with the deployment of the new Oscar tracking system and various other resources being put in place, the terminal layout and operations will now compete with the best in the industry, thus, Ports & Cargo can now afford more shipping lines to call at the terminal as they can be assured of prompt turnaround of their vessel and management of their customers cargo accordingly.
CG’s visit to Ports & Cargo

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Alh. Dikko Abdullahi, recently paid a courtesy call to the Tin-Can Island Port to ascertain the physical level of development in the port.

The Group Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of Sifax Group (owners of Ports & Cargo Handling Services ltd.) Barr. (Dr.) Taiwo Afolabi (MON), was on hand to receive the CG at Ports & Cargo.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi in company of his management team took the CG on a tour of the facilities at the terminal, showing him the array of newly acquired, state of the art equipment the terminal has acquired within the six years of taking over of the operations and management of terminal 'C' of the Tin-Can Island port. These equipment include the recently acquired brand new 10nos. RTGs and 6nos. Shore Cranes amongst others.

The CG in company of some of his lieutenants, including the CAC of Tin-can (Compt. Tunji Aremu), DCG, amongst others, was full of praises for Ports & Cargo Handling Services for the level of investment and the transformation of the terminal to a respectable port and promised that business in Nigerian Ports will be done in line with the best practices in the world, especially as the Nigerian Customs Services takes over from the destination inspection agencies, starting from year 2013.

Management of Sifax Group in line with her policy of honoring and appreciating deserving members of staff, hosted five of its commendable members of staff, who have served meritoriously for ten (10) years. These members of staff include;

1. Mr. Olanrewaju Agbabiaka – Manager, Sifax Shipping Company Ltd
2. Mrs. Gladys Onuoha – Office Asst.
3. Mr. Fatoyinbo Solomon – Dispatch Rider
4. Mr. Yisua Tajudeen - Driver
5. Mrs. Evelyn Elue Ogom – Head of Billing, Sifax Off-Dock

Each of these awardees obtained a brand new double-door fridge/freezer and a certificate of honor to go with it.

This event took place at the prestigious Rockview Hotel, Park Lane, Apapa Lagos, on Friday, 15th Feb. 2013. The senior management staff of Sifax Group were fully represented, also in attendance was the Secretary General of Djibouti Consul, Dr. Fola Rogers, who represented the Group Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, also in attendance was the Executive Director of Admin, Dr. Phil Ofulue.

The awardees who attended the event with members of their family and friends were full of praises to the organization and poured encomium on the Group CEO, Barr. (Dr.) Taiwo O. Afolabi, MON for his humility and magnanimity.

The event was marked with some comedy, soft music and lots to eat and drink. Before the program came to a close, Dr. Phil Ofulue also informed that subsequently, the company will reward its best performing members of staff.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is a silent achiever and business colossus who keeps a rising profile without making “noise” about his legendary achievements.

On 1st July, 2010, he was appointed the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Djibouti in Nigeria by H.E Ismail Omah Guelleh, President of the Republic of the Djibouti and on 22nd July, 2010; he was conferred with the national honor of Member of the Order of Niger (MON).

At the recently concluded meeting of the Board of the World Federation of Consuls (FICAC) held in Kingston, Jamaica between Wednesday, 23rd and Monday, 28th January, 2013, he was elected as:

1. Regional Chairman of Honorary Consuls of West Africa made up of Seventeen (17) countries.

2. Member of the FICAC Legal Committee being a Barrister-at-Law.

Also, at the African Achievers award held in Kenya on Saturday, 23rd February, 2013, he was also honored with the African Industrialist of the year Award in recognition of his exploits in the business world.

It is a thing of interest to note that this silent and unassuming business mogul is also a member of the presidential Business Support Group (BSG) – This is a selected private sector “egg heads“saddled with the responsibility to provide a platform for anchoring the views of the private sector with a view to supporting the development of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP).

His Excellency, Barr. (Dr.) Taiwo O. Afolabi, MON is a man with a large and tender heart and also a man with special interest in the less privileged in the society which informed his continued funding of Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF) instituted on behalf of his late mother (Alhaja Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi) with the support of his siblings and members of family accordingly. He clocks 51 years of age on 29th April, 2013.


On Monday, 17th June, 2013, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited (P&CHS), the operator of Tin-can Island Terminal ‘C ’received a combined team of the Policy and Monitoring Committee (PMC) of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) led by Mohammed G. Shuaibu. The team came to assess the performance of privatized enterprises.

The Managing Director of P&CHS, Mr. John Jenkins, led other Senior Management staff of the Company to receive the August Visitors. He revealed to the committee that his Organization has transformed the Port through huge investments in both Equipment and Human Capital with its attendant’s positive impact on the economy of the Country, Nigeria; while at the same time assuaging the problems of unemployment in the Nation. The MD revealed that the company is ready to expand the scope of its operations in the maritime Industry so as to generate employment for more Nigerians and continue to impact positively on the economy at large.

He however stated some challenges facing the Terminal, like Traffic gridlock around the Terminal (on both the port access road and entrance to the terminal) occasioned by dumping of seized items by the Nigerian police (Tin Can), lack of power supply from NEP plc. amongst others and appealed to the Federal Government and other relevant Government agencies like NPA and Nigerian Police Force to assist the Company by making the access road free and motorable and ensure constant electricity supply to the port. He equally said that refurbishment of quay aprons and clearing of seized items like Containers, trucks and others are necessary to ensure easy vehicular movement in and out of the Terminal.

Responding, Tin-can Island Port Manager, E.B Longe, assured that all the challenges raised by the MD (P&CHS) will be effectively tackled as soon as possible for the common benefit of all stakeholders as they are already embarking on some palliative measures for now.

Both Management of NPA & P&CHS agreed to meet in the next two weeks to assess the level of positive changes expected as regards the challenges raised by the MD of P&CHS. Meanwhile, the Chief engineer, Western Zone of NPA promised to lead his team for the assessment exercise.

The Team lauded the efforts of P&CHS based on what they saw physically and promised to recommend to the appropriate authority policies and regulations that will enhance better performance of the terminal and other terminals in order to ensure absolute success of the privatization policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.


The season one of “The Next Titan” Reality show organized by FICOMMS INTERNATIONAL which kicked off with a press conference on 5th February, 2013 and auditions held in Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Lagos afterwards where fifty (50 nos.) contestants emerged and were camped for two (2) days and eventually, sixteen (16) finalists emerged after undertaking series of tasks to showcase their entrepreneurial skills.

Three (3) finalists emerged from the group of sixteen (16) i.e Chukwuemeka Ejeke, Olanrewaju Tinuade and Ogbeifun Iroghama and each of them presented their pet projects for the judges made up of astute and successful businessmen like Mr. Tonye Cole of Sahara Group, Mr. Kyari Bukar of Central Securities Clearing Systems and Mr. Chris Parkes of CPMS amongst others.

However, before the final “showdown” at Oriental Hotel, Lekki Lagos on 14th July, 2013, the three (3) finalists in company of the coordinator of the programme visited SIFAX GROUP (As one of the support sponsors of this programme) for the entrepreneurial tour; they were received at SIFAX’s headquarters by the Head of Corporate Affairs (Mr. Oliver Omajuwa) and his team, who conducted them round the head office before the team headed for Tin Can Island Port, Apapa; the operational base of Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited (a member of SIFAX GROUP) where they were addressed by the Group Executive Vice Chairman/CEO – Barr. (Dr.) Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi, MON and the Managing Director, Mr. John R. Jenkins with the Head, Operations, Mr. Mohammed Mustafa. The team was later conducted round the terminal before the visit was brought to a memorable close as the three (3) finalists and their coordinator were really impressed by the level of investment and sophistication of the operations at the terminal with gigantic equipment that most of them are seeing for the first time physically.

At the final presentation held at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos state on 14th July, 2013, the judges were unanimous in adjudging Ogbeifun Iroghama’s presentation as the best and most viable and was thus declared the winner of the show with a cash gift of five million naira only in addition to a Ford Focus car as the top price while Olanrewaju Tinuade came a close second and Chukwuemeka Ejeke came third.

The essence of this show is to bring out the laden entrepreneurial skills in young Nigerians and also encourage them to be innovative to contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria as a great nation instead of diverting their energies into unproductive ventures that will not do them or the nation any good.

SIFAX GROUP is always striving towards achieving excellence in all areas of their operations, identified with this programme because it tends to bring out the best of Nigerian youths and give them the necessary support towards achieving excellence in life to their personal benefits and total benefits of the nation, Nigeria.

Ports & Cargo Handling Services Ltd (A member of Sifax Group), the concessionaire of Terminal ‘C’, Tin-Can Island Port Apapa, Lagos has scored another first in sea terminal operations in Nigeria by deploying one of its 10 brand new RTG’s to the scanning area, being operated by Cotecna with just 1 scanning machine.

This new approach will accommodate 400 TEUs per day, positioned and ready for scanning alone, asides the 250 TEUs being handled daily at the physical examination bay. This is a remarkable improvement from the 150 TEUs that was being positioned daily for scanning before this new achievement. The terminal’s extended operational working hours to 2200hrs daily has also made all of this possible.

With the stationing of this RTG at the scanning area, it means that P&CHS can receive up to 400 TEUs in a day and position same, ready to go for scanning 1st thing the following morning. Instead of customers lining up their trucks in preparation for the scanning process, P&CHS now provides the trucks at no extra cost to the customers, thereby reducing to its barest minimum both vehicular and human traffic in the scanning area of the terminal.

This great effort on the part of P&CHS has thus led to unprecedented productivity by avoiding congestion in the terminal. It has saved the customer huge sums on transportation costs as their trucks no longer have to wait to go through scanning, it has also saved the customers on excess demurrage charges. This is all as a result of the new fast and effective operational strategy.

However, this level of achievement will be improved upon as P&CHS is unequivocally committed to delight all its customers and prospective customers alike, thereby taking it to the best industry practice in sea terminal operations in the world.

P&CHS. (A member of Sifax Group) assuages the pains of the family of late Dockworker – Moses Gabriel Umeh

Penultimate Wednesday 22nd January, 2014 P&CHS put smiles on the faces of the family of late Moses Gabriel Umeh who died while on active service.

At a meeting held at the head office of Sifax Group, a cheque of five million naira (N5, 000, 000:00) was presented to the family, where all stakeholders were represented thus; Comrade Adewale Adayanju, president MWUN led the labor team, which included other officers from both the National and local chapters. NIMASA was also duly represented by Mahmud Zubairu and Ibrahim Umar Imam. Also present were representatives of the deceased’s family, led by Rev. Fr. Adolphus Umeh and Barr. Peter Ozobialu esq.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Admin/HR of Sifax Group, Dr. Phil Ofulue who led the Sifax team, emphasized the importance of life and safety in the workplace and also pleaded with the family to ensure that the compensation was fairly administered so that it won’t be a cause of rancor, bitterness and dispute within the family. He also stressed that no amount of money could compensate for the life of a human being, while also encouraging the MWUN on the need for proper documentation of the details of their members to alleviate the challenges usually faced when issues like this come up.

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju in turn poured encomium on the way in which management of Sifax Group have been handling issues relating to the well-being and welfare of their members and advised other terminal operators and other segment of the maritime sector to emulate Sifax Group in putting human face to the management of workers and their operations. He also enjoined the family of the deceased to ensure fair and equitable distribution of the compensation.

Responding on behalf of the family, Rev. Fr. Adolphus Umeh thanked Sifax Group and all stakeholders and promised that the proper thing will be done with the compensation.

Dr. Phil Ofulue (ED, Admin/HR, Sifax Group) further informed the gathering that the cheque of N5m was in addition to the support the company gave the family of the deceased before, during and after the funeral.

The cheque was jointly presented to the family by Dr. Phil Ofulue , Comrade Adeyanju , NIMASA representatives & Mrs Nwobi (Sifax HR manager).


In line with our policy to continuously appreciate our members of staff as the most important resources any organization could have, on Tuesday, 28th January 2014, eleven (11) members of staff who have worked with the organization for between ten (10) years and twenty (20) years were honoured and rewarded accordingly; they are:
1. .Mr. Shofu Taiwo
2. Mr. Adegoke Funsho
3. Mr. Yakubu Eruobodo
4. Mr. Olumayo Adeolu
5. Mr. Adeshina Adegbesan
6. Mr. Ahmed Adekunle Ibrahim
7. Mr. Nandang Gana Paul
8. Mr. Ekwuruke Michael Ifeanyi
9. Mrs. Christiana Orji
10. Miss. Okinedo efemena Mabel
11. Mr. Kassim Wole Oladapo

At the event that took place at the RockView hotel, Apapa. Lagos. top management members of staff of Sifax Group was well represented at the event led by Dr. Phil Ofulue (ED, Admin/HR); also present at the event is the Secretary General to the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Djibouti in Nigeria (Dr. Folake Rogers-Saliu) who represented the Group Executive Vice-Chairman (Dr. Taiwo O. Afolabi, mon), in her speech she noted that the company is celebrating hardwork, diligence and commitment to service. Dr. Phil Ofulue, in his welcome address earlier on, disclosed that the essence of this event was not only to motivate the workers and encourage them to continue to discharge their duties accordingly, but also to reward employees who have displayed honesty, excellence and loyalty to the company.

Mr. Shofu, Taiwo Adedotun who has served the company for twenty (20) years, responding on behalf of the awardees, was full of accolades and thanks to the company for her efforts at sustaining them and the support of other members of staff to have made a day like that possible.

Mr. Oliver Omajuwa (Head, Corporate Affairs/Marketing Dept.) who anchored the event read the awardees profile while being presented with their certificates and crystal plaques.

After the presentation, the management team, the awardees, friends, pressmen and all that were present had more than enough to eat and drink as they were treated to buffet and light music at the prestigious Rockview hotel, Apapa. Lagos

Executive Vice Chairman Of Sifax Group; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi was over the weekend conferred with an Award of Chairman Governing Council of the Port and Terminal Management Academy of Nigeria (POTEMAN). At the 4th National Graduation Anniversary of the academy which was held in Lagos on Saturday, 15th February 2014; Dr. Afolabi was so honored for his contributions towards the growth of the academy and the maritime industry at large.

Speaking at the occasion which was chaired by Chairman of the Ports Consultative Council (PCC) Otunba Kunle Folarin, the registrar of POTEMAN; Dr. Babatunde Samuel pointed out that for the first time since the academy was established it now has a technocrat as its Chairman Governing Council. Also speaking was chairman of the occasion Otunba Kunle Folarin, who described Dr. Afolabi as a worthy and fine example of a dedicated entrepreneur in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy.

Responding, Dr. Afolabi who was represented by the General Manager of Sifax Off-dock Mr. Adebayo Owope appreciated the management of POTEMAN for deeming him worthy of the award and pledged the continuous support of Sifax Group in steering the affairs of the academy for growth on the right path and development of the Nigerian maritime sector. He further promised that should the academy demand the support of the government in any form, provided it is brought to the attention of the company it will be done.

In addition to this a subsidiary of Sifax Group,(Ports And Cargo Handling Services Ltd.) was also honored with the stated awards - The Academy’s Award and Recognition for 2012-2013, Most Automated Sea Terminal Of The Year 2013, Most Accessible Private Terminal Of The Year 2013, Most Organized Container Terminal Of The Year 2013, and Most Service Delivery Terminal 2013 respectively.

Mr. Mustapha Mohamed the Terminal Manager of Ports and Cargo Handling Services Ltd was also honored at the ceremony for being The Best Terminal Manager of the Year 2013.

The 6th annual Ships & Ports Maritime Football competition came to a close on 11th of April, 2014. Twelve (12) teams featured in this year’s competition; where Sifax FC took the position of third place overall, losing to the eventual winners, NAGAFF FC, in the semi-final after eliminating the defending champion, Customs FC, in the quarter final and also defeating ENL to win the bronze medal in third place, which was presented at the closing ceremony of the tournament.

Sifax FC also won the ‘fair-play’ trophy, being the most disciplined team throughout the two-week long competition.

The top management of Sifax group however, organized a grand reception to celebrate the victory of the team members at the group’s head office at 54 Warehouse Road, Apapa, on the 17th of April, 2014.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Administration & Human Resources, Dr. Phil Ofulue, thanked the club officials and players for their decent performance and most importantly for their discipline, which earned them the fair-play trophy; he also assured the players and officials, of the company’s continuous support to perform better in the next edition and also support them in achieving their personal aspirations.

Barrister Ezekiel Ajewole, the Senior Special Assistant to the Group Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, also pledged the support of the organization to the team for better performance subsequently.

Responding to the overwhelming reception, the team officials led by Mr. Oliver Omajuwa (Team Manager and Sifax Group’s Head of Corporate Affairs Dept.) was full of praises for the management of the company for the support the team enjoyed throughout the competition, Culminating at the reception, he also promised that the team will aim for the ultimate prize in the next competition. Both the players and officials were hosted to a nice lunch and a “token” was given to each team member to round off the event.

The management of Ports & Cargo Handling services Ltd. (A subsidiary of Sifax Group) in collaborations with Mediterranean Shipping Company Nig. Ltd. (MSC) on Saturday, 31st May, 2014, received ‘MARE ATLANTICUM’, the largest container vessel to ever call Lagos Pilotage District.

The 260M long vessel, with a capacity of 4,038 TEUs, berthed at P&CHS terminal at 09:55hrs and was received by top management and operations staff of PCHS, led by the General Manager, Operations, Mustafa Mohammed and the Managing Director of MSC Nig. Ltd (agent for MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A), Jeff Gosciniak.

The entire team who were all on ground and ready for vessel operations had been waiting in anticipation since MSC announced the start of its dedicated service between Asia and West Africa, which they call the ‘Africa Express’. This service was introduced in order to improve the transit time of the already existing service from the initial 44 days to 28 days.

In his speech, the Managing Director of MSC Nig. Ltd, Jeff Gosciniak emphasized the benefits of this new service, which will now be calling PCHS once every week, saying that “Nigerian importers will have their consignment expressly delivered without any trans-shipment’. He added that this will have a ripple effect throughout the Nigerian economy as a whole.

He however attributed this service to the hard work, dedication and joint efforts of both PCHS, MSC Nig. Ltd and NPA, who all not only made this possible but also a huge success.

Also speaking on the day, the General Manager, Operations, Mustafa Mohammed, expressed his gratitude to all parties involved in achieving this tremendous success through joint efforts. He also stressed that immense preparation and planning had been put into making this a reality and that PCHS will continue to meet up to and exceed future expectations.

Mr. Mohammed added that PCHS has the capacity to handle the increasing volume of Cargo this new service will attract, as the company has invested largely in the latest state-of-the-art equipment’s, ranging from the recently purchased rubber tyred gantries (RTGs) to mobile harbor cranes and terminal trucks. The Group Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of Sifax Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi who was unavoidably absent at the event was certainly not left out as he expressed his gladness during a telephone conversation with Mr. Gosciniak. He congratulated both PCHS and MSC for their efforts in turning this dream into a reality, saying that “we have all indeed shown that when partnerships are strong and genuine, there are no limitations as to what can be achieved”.

The vessel owners, Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A, commended PCHS for their “fantastic performance” on the vessel operations and also implored the terminal to ensure that they keep up the good work, especially now that they will be having increasing volumes of cargo.
Sifax Group Management’s Elevation.

In a bid to sustain its core value of achieving excellence in all ramifications, SIFAX GROUP recently promoted two of its Managers, Mr. Abayomi Obadare and Mr. Lasisi Saheed to the position of General Managers, Billing and Haulage & Logistics department respectively. Mr. Obadare joined the Company in 2004 as Manager, Audit Department. He was later redeployed to head Clearing and Forwarding department. He also, served as Head, procurement where He was moved to his present office as Manager, Billing. Mr. Obadare holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Statistics from Yaba College of Technology, Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Management Sciences from Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and Masters Degree in Financial Management from Lagos State University, Lagos. He has valuable experiences in Banking, Marketing and Shipping. He is a Professional Member of Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and also, a Senior Member of Lions Club International. He is happily married with Children.

Mr. Lasisi Saheed joined Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited SAHCOL, one of the subsidiaries of SIFAX GROUP as a member of Transition Management team in charge of Finance, Audit, and Procurement when Federal Government of Nigeria handed off SAHCOL to the new investor SIFAX GROUP in December 2009. He was later redeployed to Sifax Haulage & Logistics as Head, Haulage & Logistics in 2013. It was the position He held until his elevation as General Manager in July 2014. Mr. Saheed is a Graduate of University of Lagos. He is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and has experience that spans a broad spectrum of Nigeria Economy. He has vast experience in Corporate Organizations, transcends Banking, Insurance and many other Financial Institutions amongst which are Perpetual Assurance Company Limited ( now part of Standard Alliance Insurance PLC), as Finance Controller, Truebond Investment & Capital Limited as Group Head, Internal Control where He rose to the Position of General Manager / Chief Operating Officer. He is happily married with Children.

On Monday 20th October, 2014, the executives of West African students under the aegis of West African Students Union Parliament (WASUP) “stormed” the corporate head office of Sifax group at Apapa to confer on the group GEVC/CEO with the prestigious Kwame Nkurumah Exemplary Leadership Award. This award was in recognition of Dr. Afolabi’s contributions towards youth development and human capital development in the West African Sub-region.

The committee was represented by students from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina-Faso, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. Speaking at the event, Daniel, the Nigerian representative from Federal Uni. of Technology (Minna), who was also coordinating the group, said that their union does not honor politicians who only think about winning the elections, while people like Dr. Afolabi, think about the next generation and how he can impact their lives positively. Furthermore, some other Nigerians that have been conferred with this award include, Hon. Justice Muhammed Uwais; Cardinal John Onayekan, Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Saad Abubakar and former governor of Kano State, Col. Sani Bello.

Dr. Phil Ofulue (Executive Director, Human Resources/Administration) in company of other top management staff of the group, receiving the award on behalf of Dr. Afolabi, in his words said “we appreciate this prestigious award and I say this is an award that we will always cherish; for youths of like minds to put barriers aside, to embrace and preach peace, is worthy of celebration”.

The students were later treated to a light lunch before their departure. It will be recalled that the WASUP was a brainchild of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alh. Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Kwame Nkurumah, Herbert Macaulay and other African leaders to fight for independence against colonization in the 50s and 60s.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi (MON), Group Executive Vice Chairman, Sifax group has won the 2014 Sun Business Man of the Year Award.

While presenting the award at a high-profile ceremony in Lagos, the Managing Director, The Sun Publishing Limited, the organizers of the annual event, Mr. Femi Adesina, said The Businessman Of The Year Award is presented to the CEO of a business organization who, despite obvious challenges that confront businesses in Nigeria, has displayed unparalleled acumen at value creation and service delivery in ways that impacted positively on the nation’s economy.

After receiving the award, Afolabi, who has over twenty years experience in the maritime industry, thanked the organizers for finding him worthy, adding that the honor would propel him to aim higher.

“As much as I appreciate this award but it has placed a huge burden on me to deepen my impact and provide a bigger platform for others to achieve their own vision. This honor couldn’t have been possible without the encouragement and support of my family, staff, friends and advisers. I hereby dedicate this award to them “he said.

Speaking further, Dr. Afolabi noted that the outstanding achievements of the Sifax group were responsible for awarding him the honor.

“At Sifax group, we are known for achieving excellence in a unique way, inclining to creativity and innovativeness tailored to customer satisfaction. Our target is to be the best in every service that we render and hence remain outstanding as a corporate entity offering world class services built on professionalism and integrity, while maintaining healthy business conduct and keeping to the codes and convention of the international business of shipping.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi graduated with a law degree from the University of Lagos and was subsequently called to the Nigerian bar as a solicitor and advocate of the supreme court of Nigeria. He has well over 20 years of cognate experience in the Maritime and Shipping Industry.

From a little beginning in 1988, Sifax has grown into a multinational conglomerate of companies with interests in Maritime, Aviation, Logistics, Oil & Gas and Hospitality.
Sifax Sponsors Holy Trinity School Inter-House Sport Competition

…company house emerges overall winner

SIFAX Group, a multinational conglomerate of companies with interests in maritime, aviation, logistics, oil & gas and hospitality, has sponsored the 2015 inter-house sports competition of Holy Trinity Primary School, Agege, Lagos.

While welcoming the guests to the occasion, the school’s Head Teacher, Mrs. E.O Idowu, described the event as an avenue for the pupils to exhibit their talents, adding that the school believes in broad-based education that also includes physical and sporting activities.

Idowu also commended the Sifax Group for its financial support in making the occasion a successful one. She admonished other corporate bodies and public-spirited individuals to emulate the generosity of the company.

In his remarks, the Corporate Affairs Manager, Sifax Group, Akande Olumuyiwa, said the company, which has been sponsoring the event in the last five years, believes in investing in children, who are the future of the country. He promised that the company would continue to explore various platforms that provide support for the aspirations of the Nigerian children.

At the end of the keenly-contested event, Sifax House (Orange) emerged the overall winner while NURTW, Iju House (Yellow) and Alhaji Rauf Ajibade House (Green) came second and third respectively.
Sifax Group Donates Bus to OAU Medical Students

Sifax Group, one of Africa’s fastest growing multinational corporations with diverse interests in maritime, aviation, haulage & logistics, oil & gas and hospitality, has donated a brand new Toyota Hiace 18-seater bus to the medical students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife under the aegis of Ife University Medical Students Association (IFUMSA).

At the presentation ceremony held on the university campus, the Head, Marketing & Corporate Affairs, Sifax Group, Mr. Oliver Omajuwa, in his address, said corporate social responsibility is at the core of the company’s business philosophy.

He said: “Sifax Group has a philosophy of positively impacting the society. The company is not only about profit making but contributing its quota to the development of critical areas. One of such key areas for us is education. From primary school to the university level, Sifax Group has been supporting institutions through various avenues, especially the provision of infrastructure and equipment.

“This bus donation is in furtherance of our belief that the private sector has an important role to play in the improvement of the quality of education in the country. We are particularly excited that this bus would of great help to the medical students, in particular and the university as a whole.”

The Provost, College of Health Sciences, Professor Adesegun Fatusi, in his welcome remarks, noted that universities need to build solid partnerships with various stakeholders in order to fulfil their objectives. These stakeholders, according to Fatusi, include corporate organisations, alumni, parents, students, and staff, among others. He said these partnerships are necessary in view of the inadequate allocations the universities receive from the governments.

He also thanked the Sifax Group for the kind gesture, which he described as being very historic. “This College of Health Sciences is 42 years old and I can confirm to you that this is the first time that a corporate organisation would be donating a bus to us. This donation is a demonstration of a different sense of thinking. We want to express our deep appreciation to Sifax Group for this benevolence and we believe it is a beginning of a lasting partnership between the university and the company.”

Fatusi also charged other corporate organisations to emulate Sifax Group by refocusing their social responsibility towards supporting enduring and socially-impactful initiatives like education, which he noted, pays the biggest dividends and contributes greatly to societal development.

IFUMSA President, Dada Ayodele, while appreciating SIFAX, noted that the bus would help in fulfilling the association’s objectives, especially, the rural medical mission.

The donation had in attendance both the medical students and their faculty, including deans, lecturers and a representative of the Nigerian Medical Association, Osun State Chapter.
Sifax FC Target is to Win 2015 Maritime Cup --- Technical Adviser

The Technical Adviser of Sifax Group football team, Mr. Henry Ajoh, has said the target of the team’s participation in this year’s edition of the Maritime Cup Competition is to lift the trophy.

Since the inception of the competition five years ago, Sifax Group FC has won both the silver and bronze medals. It also won the Fair Play trophy for being the best behaved team at the 2014 edition.

According to the Technical Adviser, the ambition of the team is winning the elusive trophy this year.

“Sifax football team has done so well since the competition began few years ago. Having won the silver and bronze medals, we feel the most logical step to take this year is to win the trophy. That is the target we have set for ourselves and with adequate preparations, we know we would achieve it,” he said.

Speaking on the team’s preparations, Ajoh said the technical crew has been drilling the players and putting them in proper shape for the competition.

He said: “We have intensified much effort on team building and the advantage we have is that 80 per cent of the players in camp were part of last year’s squad. So, they have a better understanding of the objectives of the team and the technical requirements of the coaching crew.

“We have been in camp for some weeks now and so far played five friendly matches in which we won four and drew just one. Though we are satisfied with the current shape of the team, we will, however, keep improving until the competition starts. We are planning more friendly matches to get the boys ready for the task ahead.”

The 2015 Maritime Cup competition holds April 22 - May 7, 2015.

Sifax Group Elevates Two Management Staff

Sifax Group, one of Africa’s fastest growing multinational corporations with diverse interests in Maritime, Aviation, Haulage & Logistics, Oil & Gas and Hospitality, has elevated two of its management staff.

Mr. Michael Adebayo Owope has been promoted as an Executive Director from the position of General Manager, Off-Dock Terminal while Mr. Oliver Omajuwa, the former Head, Corporate Affairs and Marketing, becomes a General Manager.

Owope, a chartered accountant, holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and an MBA from Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho. He is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

He has acquired diverse experience in insurance and maritime accounting and internal control processes spanning over a decade covering such areas as Payroll Accounting, Credit Control, Annual Reports and Statutory Returns, Management Reports; Cash Flow Planning and Management, Investment and Portfolio Management, Budgeting and Budgetary Control, Taxation and Tax Management, Due Diligence Investigations, among others.

He joined SIFAX Group in 2006 as the Group Head, Internal Control before a brief stint at SAHCOL, a member of Sifax Group, as General Manager, Finance and Administration. He served as General Manager, Administration and Stevedoring in Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, another member of Sifax Group.

Omajuwa, a graduate of Business Administration from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo-State, also holds an MBA (Marketing) from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso.

He is a member of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS). He is also a Fellow of International Logistics & Administration (ILA). Before joining Sifax Group in 2006, Omajuwa had worked as the pioneer Sales Analyst at Classic Beverages – makers of La Casera range of beverages; Chief Marketing Officer, Air Separation Nigeria Limited, manufacturers of medical and industrial oxygen gas and as the Admin/Marketing Manager at Duraclean Gases.

He has attended series of high profile sales, marketing, management, leadership and Public Relations trainings both locally and internationally.
MNM Shipping Line Debuts, Appoints Sifax Group as Agent in Nigeria, Ghana

The first privately-owned African shipping line, MNM African Shipping Line, has commenced operations and appointed two subsidiaries of Sifax Group, Sifax Shipping Nigeria Limited and Sifax Ghana Limited as its official agents in Nigeria and Ghana respectively

The new shipping line, which made its first call at Barcelona port last week with “Orient Spirit” vessel, has begun a fortnightly shipping service that will service ports in Southern Europe, Morocco and the West Coast of Africa.

Some of the ports that the new line, which is the only African container line, would be servicing include those of Barcelona, Sagunto, Tangier, Casablanca, Agadir, Nouakchott, Dakar, Conakry, Lagos, Tema and Abidjan.

The creation of MNM African Shipping Line, which is based in Tangier, Morocco, has meant the emergence of a new actor on the African maritime and logistics landscape, which aims to respond to international trade in Morocco and West Africa countries.

To take advantage of the experience of Sifax Group across the West Coast, particularly in Nigeria and Ghana, the new line has formed a partnership with the organization, which would serve as its agents both in Nigeria and Ghana. Speaking on the relationship with Sifax Group, Mr. Manal Guemmah, MNM’s Director of Commercial and Marketing, said the appointment further validates the experience, integrity and high business rating that it enjoys in its areas of operations.

He said: “MNM’s market entry strategy involves forming alliances with organizations and businesses that share similar business vision and philosophy with our company. Sifax Group has distinguished itself in Nigeria’s maritime industry for about three decades. Its experience is solid while its drive for excellence and success is inspiring. We are highly privileged to enter into this partnership with Sifax Group both in Ghana and Nigeria.”

On his own part, the Head Shipping, Sifax Group, Mr. Henry Ajoh, expressed the readiness of the company to deliver the excellent value that has become its trade mark over the years.

“This partnership with MNM will deepen our participation and contribution in facilitating international trade across Africa and Europe. We have been deploying all our resources and expertise to make the business venture a massive success. We have had extensive discussions with importers, exporters, local agents, government agencies in order to achieve all set objectives,” he said.

The vessel, Orient Spirit, is expected to make its first call in Lagos at the Terminal C of the Tin Can Island Port on May 8, 2105.

MNM African Shipping Line Will Boost Trade --- Sifax ED

The Executive Director, Sifax Group, Dr. Phil Ofulue, has said that the newly-launched MNM African Shipping Line would boost trade activities across the West Africa Coast and contribute substantially to the growth of the Nigerian economy.

The new shipping line, which made its first call at Lagos Port last weekend with “SCL ANGELA” vessel, has begun a fortnightly shipping service that will service ports in Southern Europe, Morocco and the West Coast of Africa.

Some of the ports that the new line, which is the only African container line, would be servicing include those of Barcelona, Sagunto, Tangier, Casablanca, Agadir, Nouakchott, Dakar, Conakry, Lagos, Tema and Abidjan.

Speaking at the celebration of the maiden voyage in Lagos, Ofulue said the new company, which is a joint venture between Sifax Group and some foreign interests, would take advantage of emerging opportunities to boost export trade in the selected African countries.

“There is a new wave of manufacturing and agricultural boom across a lot of West African countries. The agro-allied industry is getting a lot of attention in view of the sharp drop in oil prices. Many of these investors are not only producing for the local market but also looking at the international market.

“MNM African Shipping Line would be providing a platform for these exporters to ship their goods to other African countries and Europe. Through this, the continent would be able to address the imbalance of over-dependence on import.”

Also speaking, the General Manager, Shipping, Sifax Group, Mr. Henry Ajoh, assured all the clients and the potential ones of the company’s readiness to deliver excellent value for which it is known for over the years. He added that the incentives and competitiveness of its pricing would make the services attractive.

Sifax Group is one of Africa’s fastest growing multinational corporations with diverse interests in Maritime, Aviation, Haulage & Logistics, Oil & Gas and Hospitality.

Sifax Group CEO Identifies Ways of Developing the Maritime Industry

Ship ownership, improved cargo and passenger volume, reliable utilities, security and a concerted war against corruption have been identified as some of the major means of developing the country’s maritime industry.

According to the CEO, Sifax Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, while delivering a paper titled “Building Economic Capacity Through Maritime Infrastructure” at this year’s Nigerian Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), there is a need to take advantage of the huge economic potentials of the maritime industry in order to contribute better to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

In view of the dwindling revenue from the oil industry, Afolabi, who was represented by Major Henry Ajetunmobi, a Director of Sifax Group, noted that the Federal Government and other maritime stakeholders like the industry regulators, government agencies, investors, financiers, operators and other professionals must design a road map that is capable of developing the industry and turn it to a huge revenue earner for the benefit of the country.

Afolabi noted it wasn’t enough to be contented with the huge natural endowments of long coastline but investors must start financing the acquisition of vessels, particularly Nigerian-flagged ones with the capacity to participate in deep ocean-going international trade.

He further noted that the revamping of public utilities would serve as incentive to current and prospective investors in the industry, adding that improved security that guarantees the safety of persons and goods around our maritime assets and a committed war against endemic corruption will jump start development in the nation’s maritime industry.

Another key to development in the industry identified by Afolabi is improved cargo and passenger volume. He said: “We must begin to take measures now to develop other critical sectors of the economy, particularly in agriculture and optimal exploitation of the vast deposits of our solid mineral and non-oil natural resources, to generate enough cargo that can challenge the present high volume of our import cargo throughput that has given us our present unflattering image as a chronic import-dependent nation.”

On the alleged arbitrary charges by shipping companies and terminal operators, Afolabi called for a cautious approach. “The issues, no doubt, calls for the wisdom of Solomon as well as random eclectic borrowings from the principles long adopted by other maritime nations, especially those in the advanced world that have made a huge success of privatization in their own ports and terminals. But over and above this, is the need for the economic regulator, acting in full consultation with critical stakeholders, to seek to regulate the industry, with a clearly perceived passion to balance and protect the interests of all parties to avoid crisis.”

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