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Fishery : Angola Orders Damen’s Ship To Boost Fishing

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  • As APC govs meet Buhari, resolve to seek Ekweremadu’s removal

Determined to boost fish availability for its growing population, the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries has placed an order with the Damen Shipyards Group for a state-of-the-art, 74 m Fishery Research Vessel.

Nigeria currently needs two of such special vessel, fitted similarly with Silent-A/F/R Class notation and features of basic design.

Managing Director of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Hein van Ameijden confirmed it, noting that Angola had always been a Cherished customer.

Fishery Research Vessel for the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries

Fishery Research Vessel for the Angolan Ministry of Fisheries

“The Angolan Ministry of Fisheries has been a customer for many years. Previously, Damen had delivered two 62 m Fishery Inspection Surveillance Vessels 6210 and a smaller Fishery Research Vessel (FRV 2808). This vessel represents the cutting edge of its type and Damen is confident that it will help develop and preserve the important Angolan fishing economy.”

He highlighted that that the yard’s vast naval building expertise would be applied to this innovative research ship,to ensure a successful research vessel which operation would guarantee it works under an extremely quiet situation.

Speaking in the same vein, Friso Visser, Damen Regional Director Africa observed that “Angola was looking for a vessel which would help in researching its rich fishing grounds and fish stock. We are delighted to welcome them back to Damen”, adding that Damen has been active in Angola for several decades and had previously built two ferries, several tugboats, dredgers and offshore-related vessels for the country.

Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 180 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.

The Damen Shipyards Group operates 32 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 9,000 people worldwide; and has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries.

In the meantime, state governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have resolved to do all within their powers to ensure that Senator Ike Ekweremadu is removed as the Deputy President of the Senate, The PUNCH has learnt.

Our correspondent learnt that this was the fallout of the two-hour meeting the governors had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, had initially told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the governors had decided to intervene in the crisis in the National Assembly, without giving details of their intervention.

But a source at the meeting told one of our correspondents that the consensus at the meeting was that it was an aberration for Ekweremadu, who is a Senator from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, to continue in office as Deputy President of the Senate.

The source stated, “The governors sympathised with the President (Buhari) for working with a National Assembly that is largely seen as unfriendly.

“Particularly, they observed that in the absence of the President of the Senate, the next person is his deputy. They therefore agreed that it was an anomalous situation for a PDP person to continue as the Deputy President of the Senate.

“They sought and got the President’s permission to intervene in the matter in their own way.

“They argued that the truth of the matter is that rarely is there any Senator that emerged without the backing of their governors, hence the governors have some levels of influence on the federal lawmakers.”

Okorocha had, on Monday, said Ekweremadu should get ready to vacate his seat as the Deputy Senate President.

Okorocha had added that a candidate of the APC, Benjamin Uwajumogu, who contested in the last Saturday’s rerun senatorial election in Imo State, would displace Ekweremadu as soon as he joined the Senate.

The governor had said, “The position of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President is at the moment under heavy threat because in no distant time, the APC senator-in-waiting from Imo State, Benjamin Uwajumogu, will take over the seat on the grounds that it is an aberration that a PDP senator from the South-East is deputy to an APC Senate President because, before now, APC could not produce a Senator from the South-East zone.”

Our correspondent further learnt that Buhari at the meeting approved the release of N2bn each to all APC states.

Another source, who attended the meeting, said the decision was based on what happened during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The source claimed that Jonathan had, before leaving office, released N2bn each to the PDP states at the time from the Ecological Fund.

He was alleged to have exempted APC states and PDP states, whose governors were at loggerheads with him, from the gesture.

“That issue was brought to the President’s attention and he has ordered the release of N2bn each to the APC states that did not benefit during Jonathan’s administration,” the source said.

To further cushion the effects of the downturn in economy on the states, Buhari was also said to have, during the meeting, approved that 50 per cent of money spent by states on federal roads be released to them.

Okorocha had, while briefing State House correspondents after the governors’ meeting with Buhari, said the state governors from the ruling party were concerned about the incessant happenings in the National Assembly and had resolved to look into the matter.

The two chambers of the National Assembly have continued to witness crisis since inception following the emergence of leaders, who were not the preferred candidates of the ruling party, the APC.

Crisis is currently brewing in the House of Representatives following an allegation by a former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who accused the leadership of the House of padding the 2016 budget to the tune of N40bn.

Okorocha added, “We have come to reassure Mr. President that the APC governors are solidly behind him in his fight against corruption; his fight against insurgents and all his laudable projects.

“We are concerned about the incessant happenings in the National Assembly and we have taken it upon ourselves to look into the matter; that is the crisis in the National Assembly.

“We are going to look into the matter because we need a strong and vibrant National Assembly to make things move fast in the country.”

Okorocha defended the recent decision of the Nigeria Governors Forum for six state governors to travel to Germany for what they called “vocational training.”

“There is nothing like jamboree trip. We are going to Germany because we cannot do everything here without exchanging ideas. Everything you do in your home and your business, you share ideas.

“So, we want to see how they have done what they have done to succeed. It is the aspiration of Nigeria to be like other countries of the world,” he said.

When asked if the trip would be funded by states, some of who owed workers’ salaries, Okorocha responded, “So, who will fund it, you!?”

Despite the continued hardship in the states, the governor stated that a lot of improvement had been recorded in some states.

He noted that what the states were getting from the Federation Account was close to what they were collecting when crude oil was selling above $100 per barrel.

Other governors, who attended the meeting, included those of Kaduna, Kwara, Zamfara, Benue, Kano, Sokoto, Plateau, Niger, Ogun, Borno, Osun, Edo, Kogi, Adamawa, Nasarawa and Kebbi.

The meeting was also attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, among others.

Ekeweremadu, however, declined to speak on the plans being hatched by the APC governors to remove him as the Deputy Senate President.

One of his aides, who was contacted by one of our correspondents on Tuesday night, said he had no comments until he was well informed on the matter.

Additional report from Punch

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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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