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Cecelia Ibru Yet To Hand Over N16bn Funds – AMCON




The acting managing director of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Mrs Foluke Dosunmu, on Monday told the Senate Committee on  Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption that the the former managing director of the defunct Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru, is yet to submit the sum of sixteen billion, one hundred million naira (N16.1billion), being a shortfall of the assets listed in the plea bargain between her and the federal government.

The acting AMCON head and her team were at the Senate to respond to a petition by a concerned Nigerian, along with management of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Ecobank Plc.

The petitioner had alleged that Mrs Ibru had reacquired the properties she forfeited to the federal government and other related issues.

 But in her presentation, Mrs Dosunmu told the committee that it wasn’t true that she bought the forfeited properties, adding that all the assets recovered from Ibru were forfeited to the AMCON, not to be managed by the corporation, but as bailout to rescue the distressed Oceanic Bank which had since been acquired by Ecobank.

She also told the legislators that AMCON was not involved in the plea bargain arrangement between Ibru and the attorney general, who acted on behalf of the federal government, pointing out that even the EFCC was not part of the plea bargain.

She explained, “N150bn was the first set of funds in respect to non-performing loans paid back to Oceanic Bank with consideration to the underlying collateral. Second set was N336bn of depositors funds that had been eroded. The primary motive of AMCON was that no depositor will lose his funds.

“On the 5th of Sept 2010, Ibru entered into a plea bargain with the attorney-general for the value of certain specified properties and funds illegally acquired. An order forfeiting the properties of Ibru was made by an FCT High Court.  AMCON was not party to the plea bargain between Ibru and the AG.  AMCON paid Oceanic Bank N83bn for assets listed in schedule 4.  Only 67 billion was received in assets by AMCON. 15.7 billion was lost.

“After parting with all these set of funds, AMCON assumes full ownership of the property and does not owe anything to Oceanic Bank. These assets have been verified; they are either in the custody of AMCON or have been sold.  In terms of the liquidation of the assets in question, we are not liable to render these accounts to Oceanic or Eco Bank”, she explained.

In his presentation,‎ EFCC, which was represented by its legal officer, Mr. Ibrahim Audu, denied that that there was any property in the custody of the EFCC as alleged in the petition.

 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Eco Bank, which were represented by the deputy governor, Dr. Okwu Nnanna, and Shehu Jafiya respectively, also denied any knowledge of the details of the plea bargain and how the properties were disposed.

The representative of Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Abatcha Bulama, also toed the same line, maintaining that the commission has no knowledge of the shares mentioned in the petition.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Victor Lar, while responding, promised that the Senate would probe deeper to get answers to unanswered questions raised in the petition, such as the wherabout of assets mentioned in the petition but not captured in the gazetted copy that AMCON had.

He stressed that it would be criminal and obnoxious if Mrs Ibru reacquired the properties she forfeited after her conviction by the court.



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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