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Gridlock: NPA Begins New Campaign For Enduring Solutions

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  • As Soldiers renew attacks on ex-militants over bombing of oil installations

The Nigerian Ports Authority [NPA] has begun a new campaign, among relevant stakeholders for a  more concrete support of Federal Government  efforts to solve the perennial Apapa gridlock.

The General Manager Western Ports, Chief M.K Ajayi who is anchoring the current initiative, specifically urged Jetty operators in the Tin can Island axis to put in place enduring  and lasting  measures within their operational areas to ensure smooth traffic flow, along the  Apapa -Oshodi Express Way .

Chief Ajayi, who was speaking on behalf of the Management of the Authority, made the appeal during a familiarization tour of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal [KLT] on Thursday.

L-R GENERAL MANAGER WESTERN PORTS ,CHIEF MICHEAL AJAYI ,PORT MANAGER TCIP ,MR BABATUNDE LONGE AND GENERAL MANAGER LEGAL AND CORPORATE SERVICES OF MRS JETTY  DR JIBRIL OTUNBA AT THE TOUR OF JETTY FACILITIES AT KLT BY CHIEF M.K.AJAYI

L-R GENERAL MANAGER WESTERN PORTS ,CHIEF MICHEAL AJAYI ,PORT MANAGER TCIP ,MR BABATUNDE LONGE AND GENERAL MANAGER LEGAL AND CORPORATE SERVICES OF MRS JETTY DR JIBRIL OTUNBA AT THE TOUR OF JETTY FACILITIES AT KLT BY CHIEF M.K.AJAYI

He insisted that it was compulsory that Jetty operators must support the government’s efforts for mutual and beneficial advantages of both parties, to have a permanent solution to the problem, considering how it affects their operations.

The familiarization tour, which was his first visit to the KLT, Phase 1, took Chief Ajayi to MRS, Ibru Atlantic Shrimpers Ltd, Royal Salt and LADOL Jetties as well as the popular Abuja trailers park; inspecting their facilities, and impressing it on the operators to place premium on safety standards in daily operations.

At the MRS, Ajayi stressed Management’s desire to assist in clearing the trucks along the inner route leading to the Tin can Port main gate to enable a timely repairing of some portions of the road leading to the entrance of the Jetty.

Similarly, at the Ibru Jetty, the General Manager frowned on the deteriorating state of traffic and appealed for support of government efforts at solving the problem along the Apapa corridor, expressing concern with  the situation.

Responding, Dr. Jibril Otunba of the MRS who conducted the General Manager round the facility assured that the company would support government efforts to evolve a permanent solution to the  traffic congestion within their end.

Echoing same view, the Ibru Jetty Vice Chairman, Chief Oscar Ibru emphasized that the company was always willing to key into whatever measures  the Federal Government takes to find a lasting solution to the Apapa traffic problem, noting that the jetty had in the last 4 years been collaborating with the appropriate government agencies to find solution to the problem.

Chief Ajayi was accompanied on the tour by the Port Manager TCIP Mr Babatunde Longe as well as some key officers from the headquarters of the Western Ports and TCIP .

In the meantime, members of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield, have launched a reprisal attacks against former militants involved in bombing of oil I installations in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

Reports said the soldiers invaded Okpelama community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area, obviously in search of the former militants.

The soldiers were said to have stormed the community with gunboats at about 10.45 p.m on Saturday, breaking into homes of the villagers, while many of the villagers were said to have fled the area.

Sources said the soldiers also mounted surveillance on Kurutie community, the country home of Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo and Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom.

The solders were said to have invaded the area based on information gathered that the ex-militants who were behind the attacks on oil installations are taking shelter at Okpelama.

Additional report from Tribune

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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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