Connect with us

Archives

220 firms owe AMCON N1.14 trillion

Published

on

  • As Supreme Court rules on Saraki CCT trial today

Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) yesterday said that Seawolf Nigeria Limited, and 219 other companies are indebted to it to the tune of N1.14 trillion.

This was contained in a list of debtors released yesterday by the Corporation for publication in major newspapers.

The list reveals that the top debtors owe the Corporation N479.33 billion, representing 42 percent of the total indebtedness. The top ten debtors’ list is led by Seaworlf   Nigeria Limited with N160 billion.

Others in the top ten debtor’s category include: Tanzila Petroleum Limited-N49.23 billion; Resort International Limited-N36.3 billion; Home Trust Savings-N25.75 billion; Suru Worldwide Ventures-N24.41 billion.

Others are Roygate Properties-N23.26 billion; Ziglagsis Network Limited-N20.33 billion; Lexcap Partners-N18 billion; and Anyiam Osigwe Limited-N17.25 billion.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will on Friday (today) determine whether or not to stop the trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on charges of false asset declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

A seven-man bench, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, had on December 4, 2015, fixed Friday for judgment after entertaining arguments on an appeal by Saraki, with the Federal Government urging the apex court to dismiss the Senate President’s case and allow the trial before the CCT to continue.

Saraki’s appeal filed through his lead counsel, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), is challenging the majority judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, delivered on October 30, 2015, which affirmed the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him and the competence of the charges of false asset declaration preferred against him by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government had, in September 2015, arraigned Saraki before the CCT on 13 counts of false asset declaration which he allegedly made in 2003 as governor of Kwara State.

The Danadi Umar-led CCT had dismissed Saraki’s protest against the competence of the charges and jurisdiction of the tribunal.

Saraki had appealed against the decision of the tribunal, but the appeal was dismissed by a two-to-one split decision of a three-man bench of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on October 30, 2015.

He further appealed to the Supreme Court, maintaining that the charges were not competent and that the CCT lacked the jurisdiction to try him, because it was not duly constituted as it comprised two instead of three members provided for by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court had, on November 12, 2015 through a five-man panel, led by now retired Justice John Fabiyi, granted an order of stay of proceedings in Saraki’s trial before the CCT, pending the hearing and determination of his appeal.

After granting the order of stay of proceedings, the apex court ordered parties – Saraki and the Federal Government – to exchange their briefs of argument within 14 days.

A new panel, headed by the CJN which heard the appeal on December 4, 2015, comprised Justices Walter Onnoghen, Tanko Muhammad, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Chima Nweze and Amiru Sanusi.

Saraki’s lawyer, Daudu, raised seven grounds of appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, urging the Supreme Court to set aside the lower court’s judgment, the entire proceedings of the CCT and the charges preferred against him before the tribunal.

At the hearing of the appeal, Daudu faulted the judgment of the appeal court on, among other grounds, that it erroneously affirmed the competence of the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which sat on the appellant’s case with only two members as against the three provided for in the provisions of Paragraph 15(1) of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.

Daudu also maintained that the charges filed by the then Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Muslim Hassan (now a Federal High Court judge), when the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation had not been occupied by any person, were incompetent.

In its respondent’s brief of argument opposing the appeal filed by Saraki, the Federal Government through its counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), urged the Supreme Court to uphold the majority decision of the appeal court which held that the Danladi Umar-led CCT was duly constituted.

Vanguard with additional report from Punch

Archives

WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

Published

on

…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

Continue Reading

Archives

Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

Published

on

The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

Continue Reading

Archives

Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

Published

on

…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick

Politics