- Flaunts a no-rancour Post election Score card
The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) yesterday flagged off a five-point agenda, stressing that its newly inaugurated Executive members would assiduously work to conclude the establishment of crude tanker fleet, working closely, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The SOAN President, Engr. Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun, who indicated this, also identified the other major areas of focus as breaking the jinx of non -disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund; collaborating to see the Nigerdock become more vibrantly determined to tackle the nation’s ships repair challenges; providing teeth for the SOAN’s Cadetship Seatime Training Scheme; and working to evolve what is akin to a sub-regional P&I Club, to tackle members insurance and other basic challenges.
“The new Exco will continue to encourage strategic engagements with relevant stakeholders to bring about harmonization and growth of the sector”, Ogbeifun assured Nigerians shortly after the SOAN’s new Executive team was inaugurated, by the Ports industry Regulator Boss and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello.
“One of our key projects will be to drive to conclusion, the establishment of the crude oil tanker fleet, working closely with the NNPC who is providing support and encouragement. I am pleased to announce that the NNPC has appointed the General Manager, Marine Logistics in the person of Mr Ibrahim Lamin as the focal person to work with the SOAN project team, towards the actualization of this initiative.
“Secondly, we will progress our engagement with NIMASA and the Federal Ministry of Transportation to achieve the much desired objective of making the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) available to eligible industry players.
“To this end, some members of the Association who have signified interest have formally applied to NIMASA for this fund and we are anxiously awaiting the disbursement to enable us grow capacity. One thing we can guarantee is that any member that benefits from the CVFF will definitely utilize the fund judiciously to grow their fleet, create more employment opportunities, provide more berths for cadets training and contribute further to the CVFF.
“We have already started discussing with the Nigerdock and shipbuilding /ship repair yards in the country to provide affordable, quick and quality access to ship repair services for our members. This initiative will also provide Industrial Training /SIWES opportunities for boat building technology cadets from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
“Another area that we intend to focus on is the ongoing development of sea time training Scheme being developed by the Association.
“We will work closely with the Committee set up by Government to restructure and reposition Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, so that the school can emerge as a global institution where industry players can comfortably send their cadets and other personnel for training. SOAN will encourage all ship owners, including the Nigeria LNG Limited to make available, berths on their fleet for cadets to acquire their required Seatime and in this respect, we will work closely with NIMASA’s National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) towards realizing its noble objective”, the SOAN’s Arrowhead noted further, stressing that because the P& I Club is conspicuously absent in Nigeria, with its attendant limitations, his Association would leave no stone unturned, to midwife it.
Engr Ogbeifun however seized the opportunity to celebrate the no-rancour post election score card of the Association, reiterating an earlier remark of the March 7, 2017 election Returning Officer, Chief Margaret Orakwusi who tasked other Nigerian organizations, to borrow a leaf in transparency and accountability in electioneering procedures as encapsulated by SOAN.
“We had a very peaceful and transparent election on the 7th of March 2017 and we are Grateful to God that the election was without rancour and any post- election crisis. We hope that all elections taking place in this country should emulate the SOAN election process”, Engr Greg Ogbeifun highlighted further.
Hardly had the SOAN’s Arrowhead finished than encomiums poured from different angles, particularly from the nation’s Maritime Doyen, Ibadan High Chief, Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi, The Shippers Council Boss, Hassan Bello and NLNG’s Temilola Okesanjo, encouraging the SOAN and its leadership to continue in their patriotic and altruistic pursuit of the country’s wellbeing.