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FG to develop common plan to rebuild North East – Osinbajo

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  • Taliban suicide bomber kills at least 13

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said on Monday in Abuja, that the Federal Government would develop a common plan for the rebuilding of the North East zone devastated by insurgency.

Osinbajo gave the indication when he received a delegation of Borno/Yobe Forum, an NGO, which paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa. He said that all groups interested in rebuilding the North East zone were expected to key in for proper coordination.

The Vice President said that the Muhammadu Buhari administration welcomed all contributions, suggestions and support toward the rehabilitation of the devastated region.

He, however, insisted that such efforts must be coordinated to avoid duplication and waste of resources.

“It is important that we are all working from the same manual; we shall have one common plan that is working; if we are coordinated we can achieve a great deal,’’ the Vice President said. He promised that the Federal Government would continue to engage the Forum and any other interested party that had indicated willingness in rebuilding the zone.

Leader of the Forum, Sen. Ali Ndume said their mission was to thank the Federal Government for liberating the North East from terrorists and also attending to the needs of the displaced persons. Ndume, who is also the Senate Leader, urged the Federal Government and international agencies to give priority attention to Yobe and Borno in the rebuilding initiatives.

“Borno and Yobe states are the epicentre of the insurgency attacks and our people bore most of the brunt of these attacks.

“While we are part and parcel of the North East zone and we fully participate in any plans for the rebuilding of the entire North East, we must underline the urgency for the rebuilding efforts to be prioritised in the frontline states of Borno and Yobe,’’ he said.

He requested that the civilian JTF that had supported the military in the anti-terror war be considered for absorption into Federal Government’s security organisations for more productive future.

Ndume further requested for special attention to many orphaned and widowed by the insurgency who had continued to roam the streets begging for arms to survive.

“In addition to the reconstruction of infrastructure, rehabilitation efforts must be people centric, taking into consideration the unimaginable trauma most of them have suffered and are suffering.

“The government should through its relevant ministries and programmes prioritise trauma counseling for all victims as soon as possible,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber targeting a police commander killed at least 13 people on Monday, including nine civilians, in Afghanistan’s northern Parwan province, an official said.

The attack happened near a clinic and a bazaar, said Gen. Zaman Mamozai, the provincial police chief. Four local police were among those killed, and another 19 people, including 17 civilians, were wounded, he said. The police commander who was targeted in the attack was among those wounded.

“Once again, a Taliban suicide bomber attacked innocent civilians,” Mamozai said, adding that the bazaar was packed with shoppers and that people were waiting outside the clinic for treatment.

The Taliban claimed responsibility in an email sent to media.

The U.N.’s mission in Afghanistan reported earlier this month that most of the 11,000 civilians killed and wounded in 2015 were the victims of insurgent attacks. A total of 3,545 civilians were killed last year as a result of the war, the U.N. report said, with another 7,457 wounded.

The figures mark a 4 percent drop in civilian deaths from the previous year, but a 9 percent rise in civilians wounded. Taliban insurgents regularly target Afghan security forces, often killing civilians in the process.

Citizen with additional report from MSN 

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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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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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