By Modupe Gbadeyanka
To fight oil thieves and pirates on our territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is partnering the Nigerian Navy and Nigeria Airforce.
It has acquired some surveillance equipment to monitor the waterways and secure the ports.
In furtherance of the engagement, NIMASA now operates a 24-hour surveillance regime, capturing vessels in the nation’s maritime domain irrespective of weather conditions.
More than 5,000 ships ply the territorial waters yearly. Some vessels, sources said, violate international laws by engaging in illegal activities, including stealing of crude oil and other criminal activities.
Its Director-General, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said the agency achieves profile analyses, which include the flag, registered owner, operator, beneficial owner and movement of ships over a specified period.
He said: “The system enables us to take very swift decision in real time, on any targeted ship. Currently, all offshore areas of interest have been electronically cordoned off with a guard zone via our surveillance system and we can at once link activities in the oil fields and on crude oil platforms.
“The system has not only greatly increased our capacity to block revenue leaks but has increased our revenue as all vessels coming into Nigeria are now captured and analysed for billing.
“Our administration has been able to integrate surveillance data with billing control information, thereby driving our desire for the agency’s billing system to be fully operational by two-thirds, from 72-hour down to 24 hours while keeping our eyes the target timeline of six hour billing,” Peterside said.
A senior official of the Federal Ministry of Transport (FMoT), who craved anonymity, said the nation loses 200,000 barrels of crude oil to theft.
“They are collaborating to curb oil theft, piracy and other criminalities, The Nation has learnt. More than 5,000 international ships ply the territorial waters yearly. Some of the vessels violate international laws by engaging in illegal activities.
“The Air Force has acquired three maritime 128-6, F27 and ATR-42-500 jets and other planes to monitor the activities of oil thieves and other criminals.
“The high-tech plane ATR-42-500 jet is being operated by the Air Force. The plane is fitted with sensors, radar and Electro-Optic Surveillance and Tracking (EOST) equipment, which houses three cameras to monitor ships in Nigerian waters.
“The 20-seat plane can fly as low as 200 feet (60 metres) above the sea and passes on information about maritime traffic to the navy, who can intervene with fast-attack craft if necessary.
“The collaboration is aimed at fighting all manner of maritime crimes in the country. With this aircraft, we can spot any vessel hundreds of kilometres (miles) away,” said Group Captain Enobong Eneh Effiom.
“The aircraft is inscribed with the words: ‘Vigilance over the ocean’. The cameras installed in the planes function well at night based on their high powered lights.
“For any sustainable and meaningful growth in the maritime sector, a robust maritime domain awareness system is inevitable. NIMASA has, therefore, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force to enhance water patrol and aerial surveillance of Nigeria’s maritime domain.
“The collaboration with the Air force will assist NIMASA in tackling the challenges of large and unrestricted navigational areas, small and non-cooperative objects taking advantage of the dense maritime activity to conceal their actions and it would also protect the ports and ships against attacks,” Effiom said.
He said the agency was striving to ensure that the government and security agencies had access to accurate, comprehensive and up-to-the-minute situation data of the vessel traffic at sea.
The jets, it was learnt, were built in France and equipped in Italy with radars, cameras and other security gadgets.
It was gathered that the Navy has also acquired an equipment called Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Centre (RMAC) to aid the fight.
The equipment, findings showed, was imported from Japan for about N2 billion. It has high-frequency radio and long-range cameras, capable of spotting ships up to 48 kilometres away on the waters.
“From the domain awareness centre, we can see ships from anywhere in the world coming or leaving our maritime space. It also gives us the ability to ascertain the actual threat the vessel poses,” the official said.
The idea for the tripartite collaboration, a source said, started a few years ago
It was learnt that NIMASA sought the help of the Air Force when it discovered that the war against pirates was complicated.
“With the equipment in the planes, NIMASA can monitor even the unusual movement of vessels at sea and keep their records,” the official said.
The jets, it was learnt, draw on the latest technology to provide a reliable, round-the-clock monitoring.
Project Empower Business Accelerator Programme 2022 for Nigerian Entrepreneurs
The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across Nigeria are on a path to the global Entrepreneurship Stage as the internet has enabled them to make their products and services available to customers within Nigeria and across different continents. Project Empower is an opportunity many indigenous businesses in Nigeria can explore to create quality and become competitive by adding value globally.
Project Empower is an initiative of IHS Towers to support 500 entrepreneurs and businesses to build sustainable brands. The business accelerator programme for Nigerian-owned businesses is a 3-month online intensive training program to support top-notch, emerging and innovative businesses.
Project Empower Acceleration Programme Involves
Training: The accelerator programme is designed to help start-ups and MSMEs brand their products, build products and services that solve real-life problems and gain traction.
Mentorship: The program allows us to meet with mentors who are resource persons with reasonable years of experience in supporting entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to scale.
Funding Support: At the end of the accelerator programme, participants would have business plans fully developed to access funding from various already existing financial institutions and donors of their choice.
Am I Eligible To Apply for the Startup Nigeria Program?
The 2022 Project Empower Accelerator Programme will target Nigerian startups and MSMEs
The following businesses are eligible to apply for Project Empower Accelerator Programme.
- Food or Beverage Production
- Wholesale or Retail
- Interior Design & Real Estate
- Application Opens
- Application deadline
- Selection process begins
- Selection process ends
- Training commences
- Training ends
- Pitching competition for 3 top performing businesses
All applications are online via https://projectempower.org/application.
WhatsApp: 081 38965157
Alitheia IDF Invests $11m in SweepSouth
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The excellent services offered by SweepSouth have attracted the attention of Alitheia IDF as it has invested about $11 million into the online home services platform providing cleaning services to a wide range of customers across Africa.
Co-founded in 2014 by Aisha Pandor and Alen Ribic, SweepSouth has a presence in Africa’s four key tech markets: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt.
This latest round of funding will allow the company to further develop and grow its infrastructure and team in South Africa, roll out new services in existing markets, and pursue both greenfield expansions and acquisitions across the African continent and beyond.
In addition to its expansion efforts, SweepSouth will scale its current efforts to improve the economic and legal rights of domestic workers through efforts such as the SweepSouth Report on Pay and Working Conditions for Domestic Workers Across Africa – a report that highlights the struggles of domestic workers in Africa and encourages more action from governments and stakeholders.
The investment of Alitheia IDF, Africa’s first and largest gender-lens private equity fund, in SouthSweep comes after its acquisition of Egyptian home services platform, Filkhedma, in December 2021
“This new funding round is an important one for our team as we continue to scale in South Africa, and further grow our operations in Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt,” says Aisha Pandor, co-founder of SweepSouth.
“We’re excited to continue SweepSouth’s work in connecting customers with home service providers across the continent, building a platform that empowers domestic workers and local tradespeople.
“We are particularly proud to have raised funding from Alitheia IDF, a female-led fund, and to have included more women investors on the cap table via a female-focused SPV during this round. We are excited about what this means for us going forward and thrilled to have Polo Leteka from Alitheia IDF join the board,” she added.
“We are proud to support SweepSouth’s growth as it expands its platform that substantially improves the financial and social outcomes for domestic workers across Africa, most of which are women. In the domestic services industry, which is notoriously informal and exploitative, SweepSouth’s model solves autonomy, security, increasing income for its service providers, and affordability and flexibility for its end users. AIF’s investment will enable the development of infrastructure and operations that will deliver growth for stakeholders – particularly domestic workers and local tradespeople at the base of the economic pyramid,” says Polo Leteka, Principal Partner, Alitheia IDF Fund.
Alen Ribic, the co-founder of SweepSouth, adds: “We’re excited about bringing new shareholders on board in our mission to build technology that aids in providing meaningful connections – giving customers access to safe, convenient services, and home service providers access to decent work opportunities under dignified conditions.”
It was learned that the size of the round, which is SweepSouth’s largest to date, is a result of strong growth in the company’s valuation and social impact since the previous funding round.
Current investors Naspers Foundry, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Futuregrowth Asset Management all committed to participate in this new round, as did new investors Endeavor Catalyst, Endeavor’s Harvest Fund II, Caruso Ventures, and E4E Africa.
Alitheia IDF, Africa’s first women-focused and women-led private equity fund, is a $100 million gender-lens fund co-founded and managed by two women-led firms – Alitheia Capital (Lagos, Nigeria) and IDF Capital (Johannesburg, South Africa).
The fund, which announced its final close in 2021 to become the largest gender-lens private equity fund in Africa, identifies, invests in, and grows SMEs led by gender-diverse teams in six African countries: Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
Organisers Fix October 7, 8 for 2022 WIMCA in Lagos
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The 2022 edition of the Women in Marketing and Communications Conference/Awards (WIMCA) will take place next month, the organisers have announced.
In a statement, it was disclosed that the event, in its sixth edition, will take place for two, Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8, 2022, at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos.
According to Brand Communicator, Nigeria’s leading brands and marketing publication, the company packaging the programme, the theme for the event is Breaking More Biases for a Sustainable Future.
It reinforces the actualisation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5-Gender Equality in line with this year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme, #BreakTheBias.
It was stated that the event had been repackaged to include an exhibition, masterclass, and other initiatives that make this year’s WIMCA more robust, engaging, educating, exciting, and memorable for participants than they have ever experienced.
The convener of WIMCA and publisher of Brand Communicator, Joshua Ajayi, stated that interested participants could register for the programme for free at www.wimca.ng.
The conference taking place on the first day will feature sections on career development, personal branding, women and personal finance, and marketing CEOs’ success stories, while the second day will focus on a masterclass and an awards & gala night.
The exhibition will hold side-by-side with the first day’s conference and the masterclass held the next morning. It is expected to fold up at least two hours before the awards evening.
“This year, we are taking WIMCA to a new level, celebrating women and charting a new course for women to break more biases for a sustainable future.
“For the first time, we are making it a two-day event with an exhibition that covers the two days, a masterclass segment that holds the next morning, and a special awards ceremony that holds the second day.
“This year, part of the glamour will include the recognition of the top 50 women marketers in Nigeria. I can visualize one of the most glamorous and prestigious recognition projects ever hosted for women in sub-Saharan Africa,” Mr Ajayi said.
“This year’s WIMCA promises to be more glamorous than ever with many exciting initiatives that will be unforgettable.
“The two-day event is what no one in marketing and brand management would want to miss. It is always a viable platform for networking and gaining brand visibility for women and the men who come to support them,” he added.
Recall, last year, experts in the business of brands and marketing communications in Africa gathered to dissect the theme Women in Leadership: Building a strong Professional PIE (Performance, Image, and Exposure) and Dawn Rowlands, CEO of Dentsu Africa, one of Africa’s most influential women leaders was the lead speaker.
This year, the value and excitement have been lifted to the next level. Stakeholders in the Brands and marketing industry like APCON, NIMN, CIM, and Members of various Industry bodies: MIPAN, AAAN, OAAN, PRCAN, ADVAN, EXMAN, and others from diverse fields are expected to grace this unique event.
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