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Weekend Ginger: Buhari Should Change His Advisers: Nigerians Are Losing Patience!‏

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One year into the four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, the US carrier, United Airlines has announced that it would stop flying to Nigeria from June 2016 ending, even as the British Airways warns it might tow same walkway soon, because of the weakness in the energy sector and difficulties in repatriating money from tickets sold in  Nigeria.

Perhaps by now, those advocating that Buhari should fight fire with fire have begun to realize that the fire brigades, professionally trained fighters always use water!

hegdijebAs a child, I had watched an elderly grandfather eat: he would nimble out the first cut, usually smaller, be it amala or pounded yam, touch the soup with it and throw it outside.

Several years later, I had visited the Araba of Ijebu Ode and Ogun State, the late Chief Agbefawo Otesanya and saw him doing exactly the same thing.

“Kiriyo (Christian)! “, he called me,” you are inquisitive. The first cut I took, you would observe, was very small. That was for the devil. If you don’t first give the devil it’s own, usually a very insignificant stuff, how would Satan allow you to enjoy the chunky, sumptuous portion?” he asked as everyone broke into throaty laughter.

gfgfagggThe late Arabah is gone, but much as I tried I could not fail to see a resemblance of the native wisdom, from what the Bible admonishes: Give unto Caesar, what belongs to Caesar;  and unto God, what are God’s!

The Government has performed, absolutely excellently on the issue of Boko Haram, not only dislodging and cleaning out their traditional stronghold, Sambisa Forest, but also forcing them to change tactics, and operating like deadly Fulani herdsmen.

But, outside the victory on Boko Haram, what else can we point to, one year after?!

Nigerians are today paying for higher tariff on darkness, instead of light.  The roads are getting worse, including the nation’s most important roads: the Lagos Ibadan / Lagos Ijebu Ode Ore Expressway.

The Dollar has shrunk so much that the Government has canceled every allocation for treatment overseas, as well as similar allocation to children schooling overseas! The educational facilities and infrastructure have decayed; yet we treat the children of those who go abroad to study as if they are aliens!

We have spent the better part of one year, digging holes for the crabs of looters; yet we are nowhere near convicting even one single big fish!

We have publicly messed up the nation’s image, displaying commando-style theatrics with the EFCC, without being a minute, near knowing how much we have collected, from the PDP looters!

We failed to give the controversial N5,000 to deserving helpless Nigerians as pledged during campaigns, even as the thousands of jobs we promised to create for Nigerians look now like a mirage!

The Agatus have become Second class citizens in their country, even as some States Governors are hurriedly breaking a vital aspect of the Constitution, restricting freedom of movement, because they must protect their people.

The other day, when my Uncle came from the village and I gave him a newspaper to read, he simply declined.
“Tell me!  What is that you people write to- day that is not about what Government wants or wishes to do?”, he said, and grabbing the paper, he jokingly mocked, “O ya, show me two things, in the whole of this newspaper that Government has done!”
I was dumbfounded. If my Uncle from the village knows that the newspapers would have nothing to fill the pages if they focus on what Government has done, rather than wants to do, “soon”; “set to do” etc, doesn’t it mean the nation’s elites are in deep trouble?

When Nigeria sold 2.1m barrel of oil daily, at $100 per barrel, those in authority squandered the proceeds. When those who would not squandered it came, the oil, the nation’s monolithic life-saver dived southwards, sliding below $30 per barrel. Meaning Nigeria would have to sell as much as 6m bpd, to inch towards what Jonathan’s Government earned.

The citizens have prayed. God has heard the prayers. Oil prices have climbed above $50 mark; and then the Niger Delta Avengers have climbed on board, reducing our capacity from the hitherto 1.2m to slightly around 800,000 bpd!

At $50, if we sold 2.1m bpd, we would earn half of what Jonathan played with. If we sold 1.1m bpd, we would earn 25 percent of what Diesani handled.  At 800,000 bpd, Kemi Adeosun has less than 20% of the resources Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to manage for Buhari.

Nigeria will never be the same thing again. Ghana got to this corner before us. Today, Ghana is better for it.

Nigeria, tomorrow would be better.
Removing fuel subsidy and hiking fuel pump price has failed to bring the desired money into Government coffers.
Proding Buhari to arrest Jonathan would not only fail, it will surely prove that we are actually confused and encourage anarchy!
Please, don’t touch Jonathan!

Instead, urgently open up discussion with the Niger Delta Avengers, and other related armed wings. And carry Tompolo along with it. We must discuss with them. If for more than two months of the Court declaring him wanted, neither the police nor the Nigerian Army is able to fish him out, yet he continues to grant press statements, begging Buhari and the Government that he is innocent, then he must be relevant!

Today, we are sadly, reportedly selling about 800,000 bpd. We need to increase the output. We need to earn more.

And perhaps, we need to change crop of Advisers to Mr. President. They have not justified their earrings. They have only encouraged the Government, to rigidly apply a cumbersome solution to very simple problems!

Perhaps, it is time we remember the logics of throwing food at the devil.
May the President, live forever!!!

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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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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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