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Amaechi, Habib, ABC Orjiako, Allen Onyema, Others to Grace Frontline Transparency Awards

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  • PA Releases detained Arch Bishop of Syriac Orthodox Church

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Barr. Allen Onyema, and other highly placed industry chieftains will be honoured by the Frontline International Newspaper with Transparency Awards during the celebration of its 12th anniversary of effective coverage of Nigeria economy.

The award which comes up on April 16, 2016 in Lagos, is to honour captains of industry and other eminent Nigerian citizens in recognition of their respective contributions to national development.

In a statement, the Chairman of Frontline Media International, Prof. Peter Ebigbo (EMER), stated that the event will feature a lecture titled: Reviving Nigeria’s Ailing Economy: The Shipping Sector Perspective.

Ebigbo disclosed that the lecture theme was chosen against the backdrop of the fact that many nations of the world are moving fast in harnessing the untapped potentials in other sectors of their economies, with greater emphasis on shipping, Solid mineral development and Agriculture as a veritable instrument for job creation and revenue generation..

He stated that, over the years, Nigeria’s dependence on oil had made the leaders of this nation lose sight of the inherent opportunities in shipping, solid mineral development, agriculture and industrialization, adding that a team of African Development Bank experts will join Nigerians who are professionals in the relevant sectors in identifying the growth inhibiting factors with a view to finding a way to fully optimize the potentials in the aforementioned sectors of the economy.

Still harping on the danger in relying on oil as major source of national income, he said that the fact that national revenue always drops each time there is any form of disaster around the oil regions is a mandate for experts in shipping and other relevant sectors to brainstorm and put on track the future of Nigerian economy, adding that the drop in oil prices and the attendant forex crisis in the country which for some time now forced a significant drop in importation, has opened the eyes of industry leaders to the need to explore other potent sectors of the economy.

He said that the event which will have Chief Barr. Callistus Nwabueze Obi as Chairman, will have the Minister of Transport, Right Hon. Rotimi Amaechi as the Special Guest of Honour as well. The Minister will give a keynote address, while the Chief Executives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) will be special guests at the event.

Other industry captains and private sector practitioners expected to grace the occasion include: Dr. A.B.C Orjiako, Chairman of Seplat Petroleum Plc., Chief Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace Airline, Dr. Zebulun Ikokide, Chief Evergreen Jude Onyedum, Chief Gray Enwo Igariwey, President of Ohaneze Worldwide, Chief Solomon Ogbonna (Prince of Arts) Barrister Mrs. Chiazor Anichere, Chief John Ezeaka and a host of other dignitaries drawn from shipping and other potent sectors of the economy..

The auspicious event, which will also feature Frontline Intl. Transparency Award on eminent Nigerians who have transparently made notable landmarks in their various fields of endeavour.

Notable amongst those slated for the awards are: Chief Executive of Nigerian Ports Authority, Engr. Habib Abdullahi, the Managing Director of Sifax Group, Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu; Chairman of Air peace Airline, Chief Barr. Allen Onyema, President of Shipowners Association of Nigeria, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, Hon. Emeka Anohu, House of Reps member representing Ihiala Federal Constituency, Chairman/CEO, Bonnyway Motors Ltd, Chief Boniface Nwachukwu, Prof. Benjamin Ndukwu, Chief J.C Udeozor, Chairman/CEO J.C Udeozor and Sons Limited and Chairman, Nnadozie Okoye Enterprises Ltd, Chief Nnadozie Okoye.

Others are ACG Adesina Odunmbaku, Comptroller Willy Egbudin, Area Controller, Apapa Customs Command, Comptroller U.K Bello, Area Controller Eastern Customs Command- Port Harcourt, Comtroller Umar Yusuf, Customs Area Controller, Western Marine Command Apapa, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders and Prince Olayiwola Shittu, President, Association of Nigeria licensed Customs Agents.

The rest are Her Royal Majesty, Ugoeze Hildegard Maria Ebigbo, Comrade Umar Omeiza, Deputy President General, Senior Staff Association of Corporation, Transport and Communications, Rev. Jonathan Nicol, President, Lagos State Shippers Association and public officers and private sector practitioners of inestimable probity.

The event, which will hold at Welcome Centre Hotels, International Airport Road, Lagos, will also feature the intellectual inputs of the President of Shipowners association of Nigeria Engr. Greg Ogbeifun as Guest Lecturer with the Chairman, Ports Consultative Council (PCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin and Mr. Ikechukwu Elechi a solid mineral consultant as lead discussants.

In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority police on Sunday night released from prison the archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Swerios Malki Murad, who was arrested a day earlier in Bethlehem.

Palestinian prosecutors said that the archbishop was interrogated following a complaint against him by a woman belonging to his Syriac community. Although they refused to discuss the nature of the complaint, Palestinians said that the woman had accused the head of the church of “sexual assault.”
Archbishop Murad was released on bail following protests by members of his community and prominent Christian figures in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. However, he was summoned for further interrogation on Monday.

PA policemen arrested the top clergyman on Saturday night as he was on his way back from a celebration in the nearby al-Khader village.

Archbishop Theodosius (Hanna) of Sebastia of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem denounced the PA police for the way they handled the case. He said that it was “inconceivable” that an archbishop and church leader should be arrested in a humiliating way. “This is completely unjustified and unacceptable,” he added. “They should respect his religious and spiritual status.”

Shipping Day with additional report from Jerusalem Post

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

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…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. 

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

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

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…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

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