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BPE in trouble over concession of Warri Old Port



The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has incurred the wrath of Vice President Namadi Sambo for publishing a misleading advertorial on the planned concession of Terminal B, Warri Old Port at the Delta Port Complex in Delta State.
On June 24, 2014, the BPE had published had published an advertisement in select newspapers calling for expression of interests as concessionaire of the Warri Old Terminal. The advertorial had claimed that the terminal consisted of seven warehouses; approximately 20 derelict buildings including transit sheds and staff quarters; and “other buildings and lands within the area known as Old Port including a canteen, workshops, a gear store, a labour office and the cargo materials in the area.” But representatives of prospective concessionaires who visited the facility after the publication were stunned to find that no such facility existed at the terminal.
A correspondent of SHIPS & PORTS DAILY who visited the terminal also confirmed that there were no warehouses or buildings on the facility as claimed in the BPE advertorial.
“The problem is that BPE did not do its due diligence. Those warehouses and buildings were actually there before but they were demolished almost seven years ago. What BPE did was to simply rely on the information given to them by the Nigerian Ports Authority since 2005 without going back to check if the information is still relevant or correct,” an administrative staff of the Delta Port Complex told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY on condition of anonymity.
The BPE advertorial had read: “The National Council on Privatization (NCP) through its Secretariat, The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) has the mandate for the implementation of public enterprises reform and restructuring under the Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act of 1998.
“In line with the reform of the Port sector, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the NCP and the BPE hereby invites prospective Concessionaires to express interest in the concession of Terminal “B” Warri Old Port.
“Terminal “B” Warri Old Port: This is a multipurpose Terminal which consists of a 150m berth (Berth 1) and a 320m long quay (Berkin 2 and 3) set at right angles to Berth 1 with appropriate quay hardware; this berth comprises about half of the total waterfront available for use and development by the concessionaires; seven warehouses; approximately 20 derelict buildings including transit sheds and staff quarters; and other buildings and lands within the area known as Old Port including a canteen, workshops, a gear store, a labour office and the cargo materials in the area.
“Successful concessionaires, who must be experienced local/international operators, will be required to manage and operate the Terminal for a minimum period of 25 years with the option of renewal.
“They will also be required to invest in the construction of the Slacking Area, Administrative block, Warehouse and Clinic, rehabilitation of existing facilities and undertake further developments in the Terminal.
“To achieve the concession, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the NCP/BPE hereby invites bidders to expire interests to be by a Nigerian Company or a joint venture with a foreign partnership. Such prospective concessionaires should present verifiable evidence of successful investment and technical competence in maritime operations, with proven ability to operate a port terminal.”
Applicant for the concession, according to BPE, were required to have a minimum of US$150 million tangible net worth with a minimum of 15 years’ experience in the “efficient operations of a multipurpose Ports Terminal with recorded improvement of cargo turn-around time.”
Some of the applicants were said to have sent a petition to Vice President Sambo, who doubles as Chairman of the National Council of Privatisation (NCP), the supervisory body of BPE.
Based on the petition, the Vice President was said to have issued query to the BPE and asked for cancellation of the bid process but rather than cancel the process and start all over, the BPE was said to have issued a press release announcing its extension.
“The National Council on Privatisation has approved the extension of the closing date for the submission of expressions of interest by prospective investors in the concession of Terminal “B” Warri Old Port,” a statement issued by BPE’s Head of Public Communication, Chigbo Anichebe, in Abuja on Sunday 20th July stated.
Anichebe said the agency would now accept EOIs till Thursday August 7.
But a representative of one of the prospective concessionaires said BPE’s action was not acceptable “because it does not address the issue.”
He said the initial advertorial must be withdrawn and a fresh one “stating the true condition of the terminal as is” published.
The Warri Old Port terminal was originally concessioned to Intels which operated it under the name of Associated Maritime Services (AMS) Limited. About three years ago, the quay wall of the terminal collapsed prompting the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to move AMS to Terminal A New Warri Port pending rehabilitation of the collapsed quay.
On 14th March, 2012; the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a memo by the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar for the rehabilitation of the Old Port in the sum of N7.02 billion. The rehabilitation contract was awarded to Messrs China Harbour Engineering Company Limited with a completion period of 9 months.
But after the completion of the rehabilitation, Intels refused to return to the terminal preferring to remain at the Terminal A Warri New Port and also bid, under a different name for its original terminal to enable it acquire both.

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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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