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Damen Delivers Tug, With 50% Local Input To SA Navy

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  • As Amaechi Faults Wike On $150m Fraud Allegation

The South African (SA) Navy, five days ago, took delivery of a second South African-built Damen ATD Tug 2909 at the naval base in Simon’s Town, escorted by SA Navy’s existing six tugs,

Specifically, the Inyathi, meaning buffalo, with over 50 percent local input, was on 4 February 2016 welcomed into the naval fleet with a traditional sail past.

Damen ATD 2909 Inyathi

Damen ATD 2909 Inyathi

Inyathi, the second Damen ATD Tug 2909 in a two vessel replacement contract awarded to Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) after a transparent tender process, followed the first, named Imvubu – meaning hippo – was delivered in July 2015.

The two new tugs which we learnt would be deployed for towing, mooring and fire-fighting operations for the South African Navy’s current and future fleet of vessels under all-weather, heavy sea, restricted visibility, day and night conditions within the confines of the Southern African ports and in coastal waters.

New-built Inyathi and Imvubu joined two Damen Stan Tugs delivered in 2006 by DSCT, then known as Farocean Marine.

“We’re are very happy with the result of this project,” says the South African Navy’s Project Officer Commander Hermann van Geems. “Imvubu has certainly proven her worth over the last 6 months and we expect the same from her sister vessel. Damen has been excellent to work with throughout.”

Contributing to local skills development and job creation, DSCT built the registered SAMSA Class VIII vessels with a South African workforce in keeping with governmental imperatives to create and maintain local job opportunities.

“We are proud that the local content in the two Damen ATD Tug 2909 tugs amounts to over 50%,” says DSCT Chairman Sam Montsi. “The construction of these two vessels has also contributed to South African skills development and job creation through Damen Shipyards Cape Town’s apprenticeship programme.”

The robust and proven ATD Tug 2909 design has excellent manoeuvrability, high indirect towing forces and great stability. Compact and powerful, the ATD Tug 2909 have a bollard pull of 43 tonnes, a length of 29 metres, a beam of 9.98 metres, a maximum speed of 13.2 knots. They were further outfitted with SA Navy equipment to ensure equipment duplication and maintenance saving.

Damen Shipyards Group, with 9,000 employees and operating 32 shipbuilding and repair yards worldwide, has delivered more than 5,000 vessels to more than 100 countries. It delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide, based on its unique, standardised ship-design, quality concept.

Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) builds ships in Africa for Africa; and to date, the DSCT yard has constructed and delivered 40 vessels to the African continent, which has included offshore patrol vessels, dredgers, tugs, naval craft and platform supply vessels.

In the meantime, former governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has described the statement credited to Governor Nyesom Wike that he spent $150 million  during the general election as an imaginary tale, a bogus and fallacious concoction.

Amaechi also said that all efforts by Wike and his cohorts to denigrate his name in the media will fail. In a statement by the media office of the minister, Amaechi said that it was worrisome and sad that Governor Wike picked a church, a sacred temple of God, to tell his tales.

He said, ‘’It continues to baffle us, like most right-thinking Nigerians, that Governor Wike will stand in a church, a solemn place of worship, and carelessly, brusquely tell such a profound lie. He condescendingly descended to falsely and indecorously shout corruption against Amaechi without providing a single shred of evidence to back his claims.

‘’The ‘story-story’ this time is about another phantom $150 million that Amaechi purportedly stole from Rivers State Government coffers and siphoned to his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, within 18 days, from December 1 to 18 of 2014.

This new scurrilous fabrication by Governor Wike is in sync with the one-point agenda of the Wike administration, which is to throw as much mud as possible at former governor Amaechi, hoping that some may at least stick.

All sorts of spurious stories about alleged corruption and stealing of state funds against the Amaechi administration, have been bandied in the media with no attempt to substantiate or prove these distorted false claims that completely make nonsense of common sense.

‘’Even, when Amaechi challenged the Wike administration and its agents to use any constitutionally available legal process or procedure to prove their jaundiced, deceitful allegations against him and his administration, they have rather elected to do their own corruption probe, trial and conviction in the media, and now, even inside our solemn places of worship.

“Why would a government be so determined to desecrate and destroy every institution all in the name of playing politics?’’ He challenged Governor Wike to explain to Nigerians how the money transfer was done and where it was transffered from.

‘’Governor Wike should tell Nigerians who collected the $150 million on behalf of APC. From which state government account(s) was the $150 million taken? How was the $150 million taken and given to APC? Was it by wired transfer from Rivers State Government account(s) to APC account(s)?

‘’Rivers people and Nigerians are indeed sick and tired of this old worn-out trick of Governor Wike to hoodwink and distract Rivers people from the real issues.

Making a new spurious allegation of corruption against Amaechi every day will not make Rivers people forget that most of the beautiful, working institutions built by the Amaechi administration are now being allowed to rot away despite of the billions of naira that had accrued to the state and the billions of naira borrowed by Wike.

Rivers people want to know why weeds and grasses have taken over the beautiful schools built by Amaechi?”

Additional report from Vanguard

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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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