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B’Haram: Australia allocates $3m to feed displaced persons



  • As Ekiti teachers shun work over unpaid salaries, allowances

To address humanitarian crisis in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad caused by the Boko Haram insurgency, Australia said it had allocated $3m to help fight hunger in the region.

It also said that it had dedicated an additional $2.4m to existing projects to combat malnutrition in Niger, adding that its total global contribution to the World Food Programme for 2015-2016 was $43.3m.

The Australian High Commission in Abuja in a statement on Monday stated that Australia’s contribution to the WFP was being used in all four countries to assist up to 400,000 of the region’s refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and the communities hosting them to gain access to life-saving food assistance.

“Special attention is being paid to children under five, pregnant women and nursing mothers faced with malnutrition,” it added.

In a related development, a logistics firm, Greater Washington Nigeria Limited, has donated foodstuffs to about 600 schoolchildren displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents at the New Kuchingoro Internally Displaced Camp, Abuja.

Items presented to the coordinator of the IDP school, Mr. Sanwo Olatunji-David, included cartons of noodles, bags of rice and cartons of vegetable oil.

The GWL manager in Abuja, Mrs. Fidelia Dickson, who presented the items on behalf of the company, said the donation of foodstuffs would be a continuous process.

She explained that the donation was meant to show the company’s love for the children who were forced to relocate from their community by the Boko Haram fighters and take abode in the Federal Capital Territory in order to survive.

Dickson said, “On behalf of Greater Washington, we appreciate your efforts in taking care of the children and the God who is using you to take care of the children will bless you. This donation is a continuous effort, we will partner you to care for the children.

“We are also calling on other public-spirited individuals to come to the assistance of the schoolchildren. We would discuss further with the management of the IDP school to see how we can assist in the area of school fee payment for other displaced schoolchildren in Orozo, Nyanya and other parts of the FCT.”

Olatunji-David in his response explained that his organisation, Life Builders Initiative, had been running two schools for about 600 children displaced by Boko Haram fighters for over two years.

In the meantime, activities were paralysed in primary schools across the 16 council areas of Ekiti State yesterday, as teachers began a two-day warning strike over unpaid salaries and entitlements.

Although there were denials at the weekend that the teachers would not embark on strike over nonpayment of their 2014 leave bonus and the outstanding September 2014 salary owed them during the administration of former Governor Kayode Fayemi, they refused to show up at their desks yesterday.

Pupils, who came to school, had to return home when their teachers did not show up. Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the state, Comrade Samuel Akosile, said it was quite disturbing that the allowances were not captured in the bailout released by the Federal Government to the state recently.

Akosile, who said the agitation for payment of the entitlements, which other workers had received, had been on for some time, even as he regretted that the present administration did not treat their demands with fairness.

The NUT boss, who said the former governor did not pay them the September 2014 salary to punish primary school teachers for their roles during the last governorship election, said the present government should pay without hesitation.

He said: “Government is a continuum. This situation is a product of actions and inactions of the Fayemi’s government which this government inherited and it has to inherit it properly.

“This agitation has been on, but I pleaded with my people to dialogue first.

The governor said he would pay with the bailout but it seems as if we are running out of patience and we have no option than to embark on this strike to press home our demands.”

Akosile, however, advised the government to look inward “for alternative to pay my members if the bailout is not forthcoming because this payment is long, long overdue.” He also denied allegation by All Progressives Congress, APC, that the governor was using security agencies to hound them over the proposed strike, saying nothing of such happened to any of the members.

Punch with additional report National Mirror


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



…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



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

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…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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