Connect with us





…Insists Councils waits  Appeal’s determination

Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN)  may have called the attention of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) to the need for a stay of execution of its published advertorial directive of 22 December, 2014, on ground  that the body’s appeal was yet to be heard.
The group, according to its legal counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Atoyebi has also indicated that in the event of its considered view being ignored, it may not be mandatory for the STOAN to comply with the NSC directives, more so, as complying with such directives would render “helpless” the goals and intent of the terminal operators’ appeal, against the judgement, on which the Council was attempting to act on.
“The law in Nigeria is that where, as here, there is an appeal against a court decision and a motion for stay of execution/injunction is filed, none of the parties must do anything to frustrate the hearing of the appeal until the application has been heard and determined, one way or the other”, highlighted STOAN legal counsel, citing : VASWANI TRADING v. SAVALAKH & CO (1972) A NLR 922 @ 926; and  KIGO v. HOLMAN BROS (1980) (1980) 12 NSCC 204 @ 209 – 210 to justify a legal opinion, he said was already communicated to the Council.
“We have (also) had cause to write to the NSC when it was apparent that they were making frantic efforts to ride rough shod of the judicial process and threatening our clients to comply with their directives as from 22/12/14. Clearly, this is not only illegal but unacceptable and a cloaked attempt to foist upon the Court of Appeal a situation of complete helplessness so that if our clients’ appeal succeeds their lordships’ decision would have been rendered nugatory.
“It is also trite that both the court from which an appeal lies and the court to which an appeal lies have a duty to preserve the ‘res’ so that the appeal, if successful, is not rendered nugatory. We consider that the NSC lawyers should have advised them appropriately of the correct position of the law and if they did, it would appear that NSC are refusing to follow the advice. We hasten to add that the NSC publication and any further step that may be taken by them in a bid to frustrate the pending appeal and foist on the Court of Appeal a situation of complete helplessness would be highly contemptuous of the court and we would not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law on such persons as nay have authorised the publication. We would also like to draw NSC’s attention to the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of RATISCO (NIG) LTD v. S.G.S. (1990) 6 NWLR (PT.158) PG. 610, PARA. 5 wherein the court held as follows, that:
“Where a party who has suffered a defeat following a trial in any cause or matter is appealing, and he asks the court for a stay, he will not be held in contempt merely because he has not obeyed the order which he is appealing against or which he wants stayed or suspended pending the appeal.  What the courts frown against is any attempt by a successful party to pre-empt an application for a stay of execution of the judgment or even to pre-empt the appeal itself by accelerating or rushing the process of execution of the judgment so as to frustrate the exercise by the court of its jurisdiction to hear the application or the appeal’, the Senior Advocate noted further, citing MOBIL OIL NIGERIA LTD v. S.T. ASSAN (1995) 8 NWLR (PT. 412) 129 SC @ 150, D – E; and HUANG v. BELLO (1990) 6 NWLR (PT. 159) 671 @ 678, G –E.
He emphasized that his current observation was sequel to what he described as a recent “misleading publication by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) of Thursday, February 12, 2015 contained on page 68 of the Guardian Newspapers, wherein NSC itemized about nine (9) issues purportedly decided in their favour in the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered by Coram I.N. Buba J., on 17/12/2014”, and made available to all port users.
“Firstly and for the avoidance of doubt, NSC did not file any counter-claim in the matter relating to our clients, STOAN in SUIT NO. FHC/L/CS/1704/2014 and so the court could not have upheld same as claimed in item 4 of the said publication.
“Secondly, the publication deliberately concealed the fact that the said judgment is subject of a pending appeal and that our clients also filed an application for a stay of execution of the judgment/injunction pending the determination of the appeal”, he posited further.
Consequently, he advised his clients (STOAN) and the general public to ignore the “illegal directives” (i.e. NOTICE NO: NSC/LN-PU/2015/001) or any directive of the NSC premised on the said judgment, stressing that “they are not bound to follow them until our clients’ pending application and/or appeal has been determined, one way or the other”.
The response of the Nigerian Shippers Council was still being awaited as at the time of going to press.


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. 

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick