Top maritime experts and stakeholders have been lined up to speak at the third edition of the Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime Conference, which is slated for August 17, 2018 at the University of Lagos.
Among them are Chief Adebayo Sarumi, former Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority and Otunba Kunle Folarin and Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Forum. Chief Adebayo Sarumi will chair the conference while Otunba Kunle Folarin will deliver the keynote address.
This was contained in a press statement issued by SIFAX Group in Lagos. And the theme of the event is “Port Cost & Ports Charges- A Recurring Decimal Under Port Reform Regime.”
According to the statement, other speakers will include maritime industry leaders, legal experts, academics, and university students drawn from about eight institutions and will discuss the theme.
Other discussants expected at the event include Obiageli Obi, Director-General, Nigeria Chamber of Shipping; Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigeria Shippers’ Council; Major Henry Ajetunmobi, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock; Prince Olayiwola Shittu, Immediate Past Chairman, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent, Captain Ebubeogu Iheanacho, General Manager, MD’s Office, Nigeria Ports Authority; Mrs. Mfon Usoro and Adedoyin Afun, Senior Partner, Bloomfield Law Practice, among others.
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, 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.
According to him, “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.”
On her own part, Miss. Bukola Familoni, President, Maritime Forum, 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.
The conference is in honour of Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice-Chairman, SIFAX Group and it is an initiative of the Maritime Forum, University of Lagos and SIFAX Group.