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How Nigeria Can Become A Regional Hub – Ladol Boss

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  • Witness confesses: NIMASA paid me N93m without contract

The Managing Director, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL), Dr Amy Jadesimi has observed that Nigeria would evolve into the West and Central African sub regional oil and gas exploration hub in no time, if it entrenches a more competitive market and increases the public private partnership collaboration.

Amy Jadesimi made the observation at the just concluded week-long annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which last week ended in Houston, United States of America (USA), during her presentation which centered on “Driving Economic Growth through Indigenous Private Sector Investment in Nigeria”.

While commending the Buhari government for frontally tackling corruption,which she noted had become a serious debilitating huddle for investors,  Jadesimi also highlighted that more could be achieved if the authorities could reduce what she called the long contracting circle.

Pointing out that there are presently, easily identifiable hurdles, she urged for their removal, noting that if “the long contracting cycle, the foreign controlled private monopoly strangling the industry and the need for greater collaboration amongst Nigerians, in the public and private sector to create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that will be generated” are tackled, then the country would in no time get to the desired destination.

“With this huge market potential and strong fundamentals, Nigeria should naturally be the most attractive oil and gas investment destination in the world”, the LADOL boss stated further,  stressing that “governance and macroeconomic factors are also in Nigeria’s favor.

“From an investment perspective, our current government and the low oil price have created a perfect window of opportunity at precisely the right moment in the life of our industry.

“Therefore, the time has now come for public and private stakeholders to come together and quickly overcome the issues that might derail our otherwise bright future. These issues are well known and easily identifiable – which means that if we want to fix them we can do so immediately”.

She maintained that the cost of reduction is another vital area that must be addressed,adding that the industry had maintained an expensive foreign controlled monopoly in the provision of oil and gas logistics in the past “that literally kill our chances of growing the market and attracting new investors.

“In 2007 when the oil price first began to rise,  the NNPC and NAPIMS insisted that all logistics had to be done from Onne at prices that were the most expensive in the world. As a direct result of this, Nigeria lost billions in investment to neighboring countries and exploration grounded to a halt.

“Now, in this new era of real local content and with the absolute need to attract tens of billions in private investment, we are urging all stakeholders to come together and collaborate to grow the market. This will naturally create more work and good returns for all participants, both old and new” she said, pointing  out that LADOL is currently playing a prominent role in the entire value chain.

Recall that just in March this year President Buhari endorsed LADOL for taking a lead role in the implementation of Real Nigerian Content and for making strategic investments in critical infrastructure that has not only created thousands of jobs but also built a haven for International Oil Companies (IOCs) and their service providers in West Africa.

In the meantime, a Bureau-de-Change operator, Wakili Daudu, yesterday told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere that the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) paid N93,394,680 into his account although he did not bid for a contract.

Daudu, the fifth prosecution witnesses in the trial of former NIMASA’s Director-General Patrick Akpobolokemi and six others, said the money was transferred in two tranches of N35,688,000 and N61,394,680.

Speaking through an interpreter, Daudu said: “I don’t know anybody in NIMASA and I have never bid  for any contract in NIMASA, but millions of naira was paid into my account.”

Akpobolokemi was arraigned by the EFCC with Captain Ezekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche, Governor Amechee Juan, Vincent Udoye, Captain Adegboyega Sahib Olopoenia and a company, Gama Maine Nigeria Limited.

The first to fifth defendants (Akpobolokemi, Captain Agaba, Nwakuche, Jun, Udoye) are alleged to have, between October 30, 2014 and May 6, 2015, converted to their personal use N346,844,680.00, property of NIMASA meant for the implementation of Voluntary International Maritime Organisation Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS).

They are being tried on a 13-count charge of stealing and forgery, preferred against them by the EFCC.

The witness testified before Justice Raliat Adebiyi that he was contacted by Mohammed Darlington that his boss, Captain Ezekiel Agaba, wanted to convert some money to dollars.

Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, Daudu said on October 30, 2014, N35,688,000 was paid into his account by Darlington, who claimed to be working for the second defendant.

Later the same day, N61,394,680 was also transferred into his account, he added.

He further testified that the money was changed into dollars and handed over to Darlington.

The matter has been adjourned till today for continuation of trial.

Additional report from Nation

 

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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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