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CEMA Review: Journalists Misquoted Ali On Merger ‘Advice’ – NAGAFF



  • As B’Haram sacks Borno village, kills scores

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has observed inaccuracies in reports of what transacted during the recent review of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), stressing that the Customs Comptroller, Hameed Ali, did not direct other freight forwarders associations to merge with ANLCA, the mother Association.

“It shall be out of place and a misnomer for the CGC of Customs to direct or suggest that other associations should join Association of Nigeria Customs Licensed Agents in breach of Section 40 of Nigeria Constitution”,  the NAGAFF National Publicity Secretary, Stanley Ezenga observed, describing as, “most unfortunate”, the particular way it was reported by some journalists.

“The Customs law does not recognize or deal with Associations in its operations other than individuals, firms, importers, exporters, ship chandlers and corporate body licensed by Customs to perform functions in relation to Customs formalities.

“The best the Customs can do with the associations is to use its platforms for administrative convenience other than point of law.  We have no intentions to join issues with the promoters of the sensational reportage which we consider as an act of self defeat and inferiority complex with
their sponsors.

“At the moment, it is an established fact that NAGAFF is the umbrella body of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria under the control and regulation of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Act 16, 2007”,  the NAGAFF Publicity Secretary observed further, noting that Section 19 (1 & 2) and 28 (2) of CRRFN Act 16, 2007 stipulated that: “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other laws, any Government Agency responsible for granting of permits, approvals and licences to freight forwarders shall in addition to any other requirement, require the applicant to submit a certificate of registration as a registered freight forwarder issued by the Council.”

“A clear understanding of these two relevant Sections of CRFFN Act underscores the position of NAGAFF by point of law that NCS/CGC do not have much to do with control and regulation of associations.  It is only CRFFN that has powers to regulate and control associations including corporate bodies licensed by the Customs.  Others shall include but not limited to corporate body and individual practitioners who are the real professionals etc.  There is no law in Nigeria that recognizes Customs brokerage or representative.  Those who promote the nomenclature of Customs brokers are building castles on a shifting sand.  Time shall tell in the new Customs law draft copy being deliberated upon at the stakeholders level and thereafter the National Assembly.

“It is on record that the CGC only said in response to the submission of CRFFN draft copy of CEMA under review: – CGC Ali acknowledged receipt of the CRFFN Act and he vowed never to push a CEMA that will contradict Sections of the CRFFN Act”,Ezenga indicated further, stressing that even the CGC confirmed that “if we (Customs) make any law that is in conflict with a superior law, it automatically becomes null and void, you don’t need to have a provision in your own law that you know that the moment you invoke it, somebody will use a superior law to take you to court and win the case”.  “so, every section we put in the CEMA must be in conformity with every superior laws.  If we put anything there that is contrary to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that section becomes void”.

“With the above quotation from the speech of CGC Hameed Ali, it is very clear that the CG knows the powers of extant law and will not do or say anything that will breach an existing law”, Stanley Ezenga concluded.

In the meantime, Boko Haram insurgents has sacked Shawa, a village in Askira Local Government Area of Borno State, the leader of the youth vigilance group in the area, Istifanus Apagu, told one of our correspondents on the telephone.

Apagu said on Monday that the insurgents who came to the village on bicycles, attacked Shawa village near Mussa district in the wee hours of Sunday.

Another Civilian Joint Task Force source, however, told one of our correspondents that the Boko Haram fighters killed “many of the villagers, raped some women, took some away and injured many others.”

One of the villagers, who simply identified himself as Ibrahim, said though he managed to escape,  some of his relations were not as lucky.

Ibrahim added that they burnt down the entire village, raped women and injured many residents.

Apagu, who is the leader of the youth vigilance group (Civilian JTF) in Mussa district, said he  visited the scene moments after the attack and discovered that nothing was left in the village.

He said, “They (insurgents) came on bicycles around 4am on Sunday morning while people were  sleeping and started opening fire on the helpless people and the villagers fled into the bush but many were critically injured.

“Though I did not see any corpse, the whole village was set ablaze and nothing was left standing. In fact, they went away with six bicycles.”

In a related development, the troops of the Nigerian Army have destroyed some kidnappers’ camps and killed three of the hoodlums in some parts of Bauchi State.

Additional report from Punch

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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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