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Ex-NIMASA DG, Dosunmu faults Lekki concession agreement

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The former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Adegboyega Dosunmu has said that the Lekki Concessioning Company (LCC) was a scam from its conception.

Dosunmu, who was the Lagos State governorship candidate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011 election, argued that if the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola wanted value for money, it would have subjected the project to open bidding and tendering.

He criticised the concessioning of the 48-kilometre Lekki-Eti-Osa-Epe expressway during an interactive session with some journalists in Apapa, where he described the company as anti-people and fraudulent.

He wondered why the Lagos State government had “to go into 30-year concessioning agreement with Lekki Concessioning Company, which has never done anything before that project.”

He argued that the company was purely set up solely for the purpose of executing that project, noting that it was a scam from the onset due to what he ascribed to lack of due process in the manner the company got the project.

He said, “If the project was subjected to open tendering, it would not have been won by LCC. If we have a government that wants to get value for its money, it will put the project out. Companies like Julius Berger will bid.

“Other notable companies will bid. And then, you decide on the most competitive bid. What did we see? I saw a company floated by some people and then they did the agreement. Today, you have LCC to handle a 48-kilometre road.

“The project cost N50 billion. It is over N1 billion per kilometre. Is Lagos State Niger Delta? Even in Niger Delta, they can’t construct one kilometre at N1 billion. And the company will still collect tolls for 30 years. That is bondage. These are things you do not expect from any government,” Dosunmu explained.

He, also, condemned the Fashola administration’s hunger for tolling in Lekki area, citing a situation whereby three tollgates “are located within a local government area. That is not proper.

“I do not know how anybody can justify it. No person can justify it. We have one that connects Ikoyi to Lekki. We have another at Admiralty, Lekki. We have another one in front of VGC or wherever. It is like they have trapped the people. The state government has the resources. It just needs proper planning.

Dosunmu, also, faulted the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS), noting that the scheme was not designed to address the acute housing deficit, which he said the state “is currently facing.”

He explained that the administration of Alhaji Lateef Jakande created eight model cities namely; Abesan, Isolo, Amuwo-Odofin, Iba, Adeniji Adele, Ije, Iponri and Alaka between 1979 and 1983.

According to him, that is the kind of model we should replicate. That is why you see congestion in Lagos. Housing deficit in Lagos today is unbelievable. I think the government is missing the point. I think it is the lack of proper orientation.

He, therefore, argued that if these people “have the proper orientation of government; they know that government is not for profit-making. Profit making is an aberration in government. An agency of government is called Lagos Building Investment Corporation. Do you know what corporation means?

“A corporation is not supposed to make profits. LSPDC is still a corporation. The same LSPDC that Alhaji Jakande used to deliver N6, 000 flat. It is the same LSPDC that is building a flat of N52 million.

“The structure has not really changed. It shows lack of proper orientation. If you look at what philosophers said, the spirit of every organisation flows from the top. If the man at the top does not have the right orientation, that is what will go from the top down,” Dosunmu explained.

SOURCE: SHIPS AND PORTS

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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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