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IMO To Tackle Industry Challenges By Enhanced Stakeholders Communication

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  • As FG puts up N7bn presidential jets for sale

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Secretary General, Kitack Lim has stressed the need for enhanced communication, particularly between stakeholders, noting that improved communication, backed by comprehensive but simplified regulatory framework would entrench enduring mutually beneficial solutions to developing challenges.

The IMO Secretary General made the observation in a 13 -minute Keynote address, delivered at the first Malta Maritime Summit, which held in Valletta, Malta, while speaking on the theme: Legislating for the Maritime Industry.

“I also place great value on communication, between all stakeholders. The more we talk to each other, the better we can understand each other’s problems and the easier it will be to find common ground on which to build mutually beneficial solutions”, Kitack Lim stated, noting that from practical perspective, he also strongly believe in decision-making based on detailed analysis of real data, hence his resolve to strengthen IMO’s ability to support its members in that respect.

“In essence, my vision is one of strengthened partnership – between developing and developed countries ; between governments and industry, between individual IMO Member States and regional organizations. I see IMO acting as a bridge between all these stakeholders.

Describing the search for growth in the maritime sector as a whole as a balancing act, Lim acknowledged the existence of many varied and sometimes conflicting stakeholders, all of who have a legitimate interest in the process, while the overall health of the seas themselves remains a common concern.

“An integrated approach, with a long term focus is required; an approach that responds to the world’s resource, climate and environmental challenges. As a Maritime community, we need to ensure that growth is coordinated and planned, with input from all relevant stakeholders and that opportunities for synergies are identified and taken.

“As the only truly viable means of transporting the vast majority of global trade, shipping is indispensable to the world. It is central to the concept of sustainable growth, which is at the heart of the UN’s post – 2015 agenda. As such, the mission of IMO, to continually improve the safety and security, efficiency and environmental performance of Shipping, is one that reaches out far beyond the organization’s immediate constituency and touches the life of nearly everyone on the planet”, Lim highlighted, noting that when it comes to Legislating for the Maritime Industry, the extensive network of global regulations that IMO had developed and adopted over the years actually means that, today, shipping is safe and secure mode of transport ;clean, environmental – friendly ;and very energy -efficient.

Kitack Lim praised Malta for the initiative of the Maritime Summit, stressing that though a small country by size, it’s strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea actually means Malta has been a beacon for traders and seafarers throughout history. “In the modern era, Malta has one of the World’s largest ship registries is a global centre for ship repair and ship supply, and a valued contributor to the work of IMO”,he observed further.

Highlighting that IMO’s mandate was originally limited to safety – related issues, Lim expressed satisfaction that this has subsequently expanded to include environmental considerations, legal matters, technical cooperation, security and maritime crimes, as well as issues that affect the overall efficiency of Shipping.

“Today, IMO has developed and adopted more than 50 international conventions and protocols, supported by more than 1,000 codes and recommendations. Between them, they govern just about every facet of the shipping industry – from the designer’s drawing board to the recycling facility.

“But the really important thing about IMO regulations is that they are global – global in terms of their creation, global in their adoption and global in their application” he pointed out, adding that these features have also ensured a level playing field for everyone by denying any particular players from taking undue advantage of others, either by cutting corners or by imposing unilateral requirements.

In the meantime, the Presidency on Tuesday confirmed that newspaper advertisements for the sale of two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, were duly authorised by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement made available to journalists.

Shehu said the decision to sell the jets was in line with the directive of the President that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.

He explained that the reduction would not end with the sale of the two jets.

The presidential spokesman said some aircraft in the fleet would also soon be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations.

Shehu said, “When he campaigned to be President, the then APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the Presidential Air Fleet with a view to cutting down on waste.

“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he likes to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice-President and other government officials that go on special missions.

“This exercise is by no means complete. I am sure the Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet will any time from now call you to a ceremony at which he will hand over some other aircraft to the Air Force for their operations.”

According to the Presidency, PAF currently has 10 aircraft. These are: Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or AirForce One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.

Each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 by the Federal Government for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m, a former Minister of Information, the late Prof. Dora Akunyili, had said.

The price of other aircraft in the fleet could not be ascertained. But according to Wikipedia, price.wescrawler.com and airline executives, the factory price of other aircraft in the fleet are: Boeing Business Jet, $59m; HS 4000, $22.9m; AgustaWestland 139, $12m; and AgusatWestland 101, $21m.

This brings a combined estimated value of Nigeria’s PAF to $347.4m (N106.13bn).

Quoting a document from the Presidency, SATURDAY PUNCH had reported recently that despite the biting economic recession in the country, the Federal Government spent N5bn on the 10-aicraft PAF in the last 15 months.

According to the document, the Presidency put the amount so far released for the fleet since the inception of the current administration in May 2015 at N5bn.

The breakdown of the sum showed that N2.3bn was released for PAF by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation between May and November 2015.

That figure included releases for personnel costs, overheads and capital expenditures; out of the N5.19bn appropriated for PAF in the 2015 budget.

Of the sum, the Presidency said N99.715m was spent on aircraft maintenance, spares and subscription services.

The sum of N98.5m was also spent on operations; N165.373m on training and N85.5m on personnel medicals and overheads.

During the period, the document claimed that PAF spent N1.350bn to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from 2014 while N500m was refunded to the NSA for financial support rendered for the maintenance of the Fleet prior to release of funds.

According to the newspaper advertisement announcing the sale of the two aircraft, the Falcon 7X with registration number 5N-FGU and serial number 090 is currently located in Abuja.

It indicated that the aircraft entered into service in 2011 and had completed 2776:47 hours and 2363 cycles.

The advertisement read in part, “Take off at sea level — 5, 555 ft; landing distance — 2,070ft; certified ceiling — 51, 000ft; cruise speed — 488kts; Easy II Avionics 1A Complainct/Satcom. Interior: Passenger capacity — 16, crew seating capacity — 3; forward and Aft lavatories; four large screen monitors; six small adjustable seat mounted monitors and fully automated media centre.”

The second aircraft, Hawker 4000 with registration number 5N-FGX and serial number RC 066 entered into service in 2012. It has completed 1178:15 hours and 1146 cycles.

Its details were given thus: “Range — 3190NM; take off at sea level — 5,068 ft; landing distance — 2,475ft; certified ceiling — 45, 000ft; cruise speed — 482kts; Honeywell Primus Epic Avionics/Satcom. Interior: Passenger capacity — 9, crew seating capacity – 3 with detachable jump seat; Aft lavatories; two monitors; power outlet in cabin and cockpit and fully automated media centre.”

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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