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Bulk Carrier Sinks in East China Sea

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… As Stock market: Investors lose over N233.2 bn first day trading

Bulk carrier identified as China Star 107 that went missing for four days sank in East China Sea, according to the latest update from Fujian maritime rescue center, cited by local media.

Namely, the search and rescue teams that were looking for the missing bulker have identified a wreck that is confirmed to be the China Star 107.

The ship, with five crew on board was en route from Shanghai to Fuzhou where it was expected to arrive on January 9, with a cargo of steel and wood.

The bulker is reported to have gone missing some 3 nautical miles off Fuzhou North Island on January 8.

It is planned now for the divers to enter the wreck, as disclosed by Fujian maritime rescue center, within search and rescue efforts for potential crew members who remain unaccounted for.

A helicopter has been dispatched to the scene to look for potential survivors and local fishermen have also been notified to be on the lookout.

The cause of the incident is being investigated by local authorities.

In the meantime, investors in the Nigerian stock market yesterday suffered another setback as their investment dropped by over N233.2 billion.

The Nigerian equity market opened the week on a bearish note as the benchmark, All Share Index (ASI) further shed 2.5 points to close at 26,350.18 points on the back of the heightening macroeconomic risk underlined by the continuous slide in crude oil prices and foreign exchange uncertainties which have kept sentiment negative.

Market capitalisation, another stock market gauge declined N233.2billion to close at N9.1trillion. The bearish trade was majorly driven by sell down pressure in blue-chip Industrial and Consumer tickers. Dangote Cement dropped by 4.3 per cent , WAPCO declined by 9.7 per cent and Nigerian Breweries shed 3.0 per cent . Market activity also waned as aggregate volume and value of traded equities declined 45.8 per cent and 29.2 per cent to 127.7million units and N1.4billion respectively.

All sector indices closed in the red. It was led by the Industrial Goods index which dipped 6.4 per cent. Afrinvest Research stated that the sector was weighed-down by selloffs in Dangote Cement , which shed 4.3 per cent and Lafarge 9.7 per cent.

The Consumer Goods and Insurance indices both trailed with a 1.5 per cent decline each. The Consumer Goods index dip was pressured by sustained depreciation in Nigerian Breweries, which declined by 3.0 per cent, while MANSARD dropped by (-4.9 per cent . Banking tickers remained bearish resulting in a 0.6 per cent decline in the Banking Index while the Oil & Gas indices waned 0.6 per cent

Market sentiment, gauged by its breadth (the Advancers/Decliners ratio) waned to 0.2x from 0.3x in the previous session as 6 stocks gained while 31 fell. Top gainers today include ASHAKACEM (+5.0%), TOTAL (+5.0%), MCNICHOLS (+4.4%) and LEARNAFRCA (+3.7%) while WAPCO (-9.7%), UNITYBNK (-9.4%), ETERNA (-9.0%) and OANDO (-6.9%) led laggards.

According to Afrinvest, “The sustained bearish run in the bourse indicates the poor sentiments for equities. Nevertheless, the selloff cannot be disconnected from portfolio moves by fund managers exiting their position after reporting their full year numbers. We remain bearish on equities in the short term although we expect some level of bargain in the session.”

World Maritime News with additional report from Upshot

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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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