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Boko Haram kidnaps 185 people, kills 32 in Borno

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Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 185 people from the northeast Nigeria village of Gumsuri, Borno State, carting the hostages away on trucks towards the Sambisa Forest, a notorious rebel stronghold, two local officials and a vigilante leader said Thursday.

The mass abduction, part of an attack that also killed 32 people, occurred Sunday in the village of Gumsuri in the embattled northeast.
Both officials, who requested anonymity, said the local government established the number of those abducted through contacting families, ward heads and emirs.
A vigilante leader based in the Borno state capital Maiduguri, Usman Kakani, told AFP that fighters who were in Gumsuri during the attack provided a figure of 191 abducted, including women, girls and boys.
Gumsuri is roughly 70 kilometres (43 miles) south of Maiduguri and falls on the road that leads to Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April.
Details of the Gumsuri attack took four days to emerge because the mobile phone network in the region has completely collapsed and many roads are impassable.
Those who fled the village said it was too dangerous to head directly to Maiduguri. Instead, they travelled several hundred kilometres in the opposite direction to connect with the main road that leads to the state capital.
Mukhtar Buba, a Gumsuri resident who fled to Maiduguri, also confirmed that women and children were taken. “After killing our youths, the insurgents have taken away our wives and daughters,” he said.
Boko Haram has increasingly used kidnappings to boost its supply of child fighters, porters and young women who have reportedly been used as sex slaves.
The mass abductions in Chibok brought unprecedented attention to Boko Haram’s five-year extremist uprising, and President Goodluck Jonathan vowed to end the conflict.
But violence has escalated since April and the Gumsuri attack will no doubt cast further doubt on Nigeria’s ability to contain the crisis.

Timeline of killings since April:

*April 14: 276 young girls were abducted from their school by Boko Haram gunmen in Chibok, a remote community of Borno State. Fifty-seven of the girls managed to flee, while 219 are still being held.

*April 14: At least 75 people died in a bomb blast in a packed bus station on the outskirts of Abuja — the deadliest attack yet in the city. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for it.

*May 5: Boko Haram gunmen razed the town of Gamboru Ngala in Borno State, killing at least 300 people.

*May 20: Twin car bombings in Jos, blamed on Boko Haram, killing at least 118.

*June 3: Heavily armed gunmen raided four northeastern villages in Borno State, with local leaders putting the death toll as high as 400-500.

*July 23: Two blasts rocked Kaduna city killing at least 42.

*August 24: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claimed he has made the town of Gwoza in Borno State part of an Islamic caliphate.

*October 18: Around 60 women and young girls were abducted around Chibok, according to witnesses. On October 25-26, 30 adolescents were kidnapped in the village of Mafa in Borno State.

*October 31: Shekau said the 219 abducted schoolgirls have been converted to Islam and married off, ruling out talks with the authorities on a ceasefire.

*November 9: Shekau said that he has created a caliphate in the more than 20 northeastern towns conquered by the insurgents.

*November 10: A suicide attack killed at least 58 people at a boys school in Potiskum in Yobe State.

*November 28: Two suicide bombers blew themselves up and gunmen opened fire during weekly prayers at the Kano Central Mosque. At least 120 people were killed and 270 others wounded.

*December 1: More than 150 people, including 44 police and security troops, died in a Boko Haram raid on Damaturu, Yobe State. – Agency report.

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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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