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COSCO Shipping to Buy 51 Pct Stake in Spain’s Noatum Port



  • As DSME Selling USD 702 Mn Worth of New Shares

Hong Kong-listed COSCO Shipping Ports Limited has entered into an agreement to purchase a 51 percent stake in the Spanish container terminal operator Noatum Port Holdings.

The EUR 203 million (USD 228 million) worth deal includes the company’s container terminals in Valencia and Bilbao, as well as the dry ports of Madrid (Conterail) and Zaragoza (Noatum Rail Terminal Zaragoza).

Noatum Container Terminal Bilbao and Valencia, as public terminals, will continue to offer their infrastructure and services to all shipping companies calling at the ports of Bilbao and Valencia, respectively, under conditions of neutrality and in accordance with concession terms and contract commitments. The company added that the same will apply for the dry port terminals.

Under the deal, the parties said that they will aim to maximize the capacity and performance of the terminals by implementing long-term strategic plans.

“The new partnership enhances our capacity to increase cargo volumes and reinforces the ports of Valencia and Bilbao, as well as improve service levels to customers,” Douglas Schultz, CEO of Noatum Ports and Maritime, said.

Noatum Port Holdings informed that the completion of the transaction is subject to shareholder approval, certain conditions precedent and relevant regulatory approvals being achieved.

In the meantime, in an effort to improve its financial situation, the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering unveiled its plans to sell KRW 793 billion (USD 702.2 million) worth of new shares.

According to a stock exchange filing, DSME’s shares will be sold to the company’s main creditor, the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), and other lenders, at a price of KRW 40,350 per share.

Almost a year after the financially troubled shipbuilder’s stock ceased trading in July 2016, DSME’s creditors are looking to help resume the trading on the Seoul bourse in 2017, Yonhap News Agency informed.

In late March, the company’s creditors unveiled a new restructuring plan for the South Korean giant, which includes KRW 2.9 trillion (USD 2.6 billion) of fresh funds.

As stipulated in the rescue plan, half of the shipyard’s commercial papers are expected to be converted into equity with the rest being rolled over, a transaction which would push DSME’s debt ratio to 300%, compared to 2,732% at the end of 2016.

KDB and Export-Import Bank of Korea’s (KEXIM) restructuring plan sets out three key principles, that debt restructuring should come first, financial assistance should follow later, and that all stakeholders should bear a burden of losses.

By applying stringent self-rescue efforts, DSME managed to return to the black in the first quarter of 2017, delivering an operating profit of KRW 291.8 billion compared to an operating loss of KRW 38.1 billion.

The shipbuilder’s net income for the period bounced back to KRW 261.3 billion from a net loss of KRW 3.4 billion seen in the first three months of 2016.

World Maritime News

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Customs, Army in Strategic Collaboration Against Smuggling



…Adeniyi, working to further tighten the noose against illicit traders!

The Comptroller General of Customs CGC, Adewale Adeniyi strengthened his strong-foundation laying mission last week, with a pivotal meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, affirming the Service’s sincere commitment to national security.

The Comptroller General in a meeting held Thursday, 30 November 2023, at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja, specifically lauded the collaborative efforts between the Nigeria Customs Service and the armed forces, stressing the critical role such partnerships play in national security.

Hawk-eye industry watchers say it is the CGC’s running effort to further tighten the noose against illicit traders.

“We stand stronger when we work together”, the CGC, Adewale Adeniyi stressed, acknowledging the global challenges, and reiterating the commitment of the Nigeria Customs Service towards collaboration, innovation, and consultations.

Expressing his strong belief in collaboration, innovation, and consultations, the CGC posits that unity strengthens the nation, and reflects deeply, on past collaborations with the Defense Headquarters, particularly the support the Service has received in the sphere of Capacity building, Joint operations, and Training exercises.

Additionally, the CGC expressed gratitude for the support provided by the armed forces in various operations, particularly in civil-military cooperation initiatives.

He was unambiguous of the Customs Service’s dedication to exploring innovative solutions to challenges, leveraging technology, and working closely with other government agencies.

He consequently proposed an intensified joint exercise between the Customs Service and the military; even as he suggested unannounced frequent operations, to demonstrate a show of force, capable of deterring criminals.

The CGC, Adeniyi emphasized the importance of shared experiences in training, facilitating a better understanding of operational contexts.

He underscored the significance of information sharing and the need for collaborative efforts to address porous borders and challenges posed by non-state actors.

CGC Adeniyi assured the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, of the Customs Service’s continued support, stressing the prioritization of clearing military consignments and participation in training programs.

He equally proposed ongoing cooperation, dialogue, and joint exercises to ensure a collective and effective response to evolving security threats.

In his address, General Musa expressed gratitude for the critical role played by the Nigeria Customs Service in the nation’s security landscape. 

He highlighted the indispensable nature of the Customs Service, stating that without their contribution, the country’s defense efforts would be severely compromised.

He commended CGC Adeniyi for his leadership and dedication since assuming office, acknowledging the challenges faced by the country, particularly in the global economic downturn.

He stressed the importance of interagency cooperation in tackling non-state actors and securing the nation.

Addressing the collaboration between the military and the Customs Service, General Musa recognized the significant support received, particularly in civil-military cooperation initiatives.

Furthermore, General Musa affirmed the need for enhanced collaboration, training, and information sharing between the Armed forces and Customs.

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Vendetta or Hanky Panky: Maritime Stakeholders Shocked By Severity of NIMASA’s N500M Penalty



…In addition to Suspension of Certifiers’ authority 

Concerned Maritime Stakeholders have expressed shock over the severity of a N500 million penalty slammed on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency following its submission of an alleged defective 2018 tax returns.

The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria FRCN last Thursday slammed a N500m penalty on NIMASA, after it suspended the agency’s audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018.

As if it wasn’t done yet, the body, stressing its commitment to a stricter enforcement of standards, highlighted that the decision was taken in accordance with the FRC Act 2011 (as amended) and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria-Guidelines/Regulations for Inspection and Monitoring of Reporting Entities.

Undone, the council also suspended the FRC registration numbers of the certifiers of NIMASA’s 2018 audited financial statement, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (FRC/2017/CIANG/00000016699) and Chudi Offodile (unregistered), thereby making them incapable of certifying any financial statements in Nigeria.

“Did they cook the book”, an industry watcher, Bolutife Egbewole asked, stressing that that any penalty that runs into half a billion was suggestive of hanky panky.

“It’s like somebody is saying, ‘Let them protest and then we can drag them into the open’. But, whatever may be its reason, everyone knows this punishment is severe!”, he stated further.

Speaking in the same vein, another industry operator asked: Where is NIMASA going to find that kind of money? The agency has only two kinds of money: Government dedicated funds and the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF). 
“So, where do you expect the Director General to dip hands into?”, he asked, tasking the Director General to visit the FRCN and insist on dialogue.
He also wanted to know if the agency had,  in the past, infuriated the body in any way, to which the general masses might have reason to suspect vendetta.

But a freight forwarder who aired his view in Apapa advised the Director General not to pay.
“If he doesn’t pay, and he doesn’t act on the letter, what will happen? This is job matter. It is a civil issue. A bii naa criminal matter be this? Anyone can make mistakes and figures can become unintentionally lost… Would that call for this kind of penalty? Except it can be proven that somebody was deliberately playing hanky panky and needed to be deterred “, he concluded.

The body had tersely declared its position thus: 

 “The 2018 Audited Financial Statements of NIMASA are hereby withdrawn, and NIMASA is directed to restate its 2018 audited financial statements. NIMASA is required to publish, within seven working days from the date of this notice, in at least two national newspapers (full page), that their 2018 financial statements and returns have been withdrawn for non-compliance with Financial Reporting Standards.

“The FRC will immediately post this information on its website and inform other regulatory agencies that the defective financial statements and returns have been withdrawn for restatement.

“NIMASA is directed to begin the process of restating the 2018 audited financial statement in accordance with the FRC Act. This restatement will form the basis for the preparation and submission of audited financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

“NIMASA is required to file the restated financial statements for 2018, together with the management letters issued by their external auditors, with the Council within 60 days.”

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SIFAX: Ajayi Crowther University Honours Taiwo Afolabi With a Doctorate Degree



The Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State has honoured the SIFAX Group Chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, with an honorary doctorate in Business Administration.

The colorful event which was a cardinal part of the institution’s activities to mark its 15th  convocation ceremony was therefore attended by the Group Chairman and his wife; as well as the top SIFAX Group management team.

*Yinka Afolabi, Executive Director, SIFAX Marine; Tobi Afolabi, Executive Director, Operations, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group and his wife Afolashade Afolabi; Mariam Qudus, Executive Director, Compliance, SIFAX Group and her husband Qudus during the conferment of the honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration on Dr. Taiwo Afolabi by the university at its 15th convocation ceremony held on Thursday.

*Cross section of guests and SIFAX Group top management team during the conferment of the honorary doctorate in Business Administration on Dr. Taiwo Afolabi by the university at its 15th convocation ceremony 

*L-R: SIFAX Image maker, Muyiwa Akande, and Head, Off-Docks, Oliver Omajuwa at the ceremony.

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