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DPR arrests NNPC truck, another for diverting 56,000 litres of petrol

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  • As Piracy, Maritime Crime Cost Nigeria USD 1.5 Bn Monthly

Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, yesterday nabbed two trucks including an NNPC truck for alleged diversion of over 56, 800 litres of petrol in Ilorin.

The state controller of DPR, Mr. Phillip Salvation disclosed this in Ilorin while dispensing the diverted fuel at official price of N86.50 per liter to the residents of the state.

Vanguard gathered that the product was being dispensed at N150 per litre before the trucks were discovered.

Vanguard learned that the NNPC truck with registration number KMC 836 XA was owned by a transporter known as Prolific.

Mr. Salvation described cases of diversion as economic crime, saying that it went beyond economic sabotage.

“They want to create anarchy and it won’t be condoned. Diversion, be it from Oyo or Osun to Kwara State is diversion”, he said.

He also said the second truck was meant for one of the major marketers in the state.

The Controller, who said the owner of the independent marketer’s filling station where the NNPC truck was found failed to provide document to exonerate himself from allegation of diversion, added that the filling stations involved would be sealed up.

According to him, the NNPC truck allegedly loaded 20, 800 litres of petrol, while that of the major marketer loaded 46,000 litres.

He urged motorists to stop patronising any petrol filling station selling above official pump price, adding that any one arrested over cases of diversion, smuggling, over pricing would be dealt with accordingly.

The DPR controller advised motorists to shun panic buying, saying that the agency would ensure that allocation meant for every community got to right places.

In the meantime, Nigeria is losing about USD 1.5 billion a month due to piracy, armed robbery at sea, smuggling, and fuel supply fraud as piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea increase at an alarming rate, the UN Security Council was told at a debate on Monday.

Since the start of the year at least 32 attacks off the coast of Nigeria were recorded, affecting many member states, including the United States, Ambassador Michele J. Sison, a U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations said while speaking at an Open Debate on Peace Consolidation in West Africa titled “Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea in the Gulf of Guinea.“

According to Sison, the root causes of piracy in the region are ineffective governance structures, weak rule of law, precarious legal frameworks and inadequate naval, coast guard, and maritime law enforcement.

“The absence of an effective maritime governance system, in particular, hampers freedom of movement in the region, disrupts trade and economic growth, and facilitates environmental crimes,” she stressed.
Sison said that the solution to these root causes lies in greater African stewardship of maritime safety and security at the continental, regional, and member state level. In addition, there is a need for strong political will from African governments and leaders to pursue and prosecute crimes at all levels within criminal enterprises.

“Absent African ownership and action from national and local governments to tackle maritime security challenges, there is little reason to believe that attacks in the Gulf of Guinea will decline. International cooperation and integration among regional countries, international organizations, industry, and other entities that have a stake in maritime security are also critical to ensure the full range of lawful and timely actions to combat piracy and other maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea,” she added.

Urging for immediate action on the issue, Sison pointed out that states in the region should establish a pilot maritime Zone E, covering the coasts of Nigeria, Niger, Benin, and Togo, as in this area the majority of attacks occur.

“Establishing Zone E would provide the means for an integrated approach to coordinating joint patrols, naval drills, training programs, and intelligence sharing among the naval forces of countries in the zone,” she explained.

A comprehensive, regional approach would help reduce the loss of national revenue, support socioeconomic development, and expand environmental protection in the region, she concluded.
The call for action comes as attacks and kidnappings surge.

As World Maritime News reported last week, there were as many as six piracy-related incidents off Nigeria within 24hrs-April 19-20, with one of those incidents resulting in kidnapping of two crew members of an OSV.

Vanguard with additional report from  World Maritime News.

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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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