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INAUGURATION: Labinjo assures Nigeria of bringing back NISA jobs

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… As he extends the olive branch to Ogbeifun, Omatseye

The President, Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA), Capt. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo has reiterated the need to adopt all legitimate measures to bring back NISA jobs, presently in the hands of foreign operators, adding that he would also, fully collaborate with relevant Government agencies to do this.

 

From Left: The new NISA President, Capt. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo with the Executive Secretary/ CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, at the inauguration of the new executives of Nigerian Indigenous Shippowners Association (NISA), on the arrival of the NSC. Boss at the Rovkview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, venue of the inauguration ceremony...on Tuesday.

From Left: The new NISA President, Capt. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo with the Executive Secretary/ CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, at the inauguration of the new executives of Nigerian Indigenous Shippowners’ Association (NISA), on the arrival of the NSC. Boss at the Rovkview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, venue of the inauguration ceremony…on Tuesday.

The first elected NISA arrowhead, Labinjo made the statement on Tuesday, in an inaugural speech at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, emphatically extending the olive branch to aggrieved members, particularly, his co-contestants in the election, pleading for their total support, because the battle to “bring back the jobs”, must be collectively fought and won.

 

From Right: The new NISA President, Capt. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo, his beautiful wife and family friends, shortly before he was sworn in as the NISA Arrowhead, at a. Ceremony which held at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa Lagos....on Tuesday.

From Right: The new NISA President, Capt. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo, his beautiful wife and family friends, shortly before he was sworn in as the NISA Arrowhead, at a. Ceremony which held at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa Lagos….on Tuesday.

“This day, marks the beginning of a new era, an era of consolidation. We are consolidating across  the Maritime board”, he stated, adding that the new NISA leadership would work, with a determination to build, both on the vision of past leaders, as well as the unfolding opportunities of the present, especially the elongation of Patrick Akpobolokemi’s appointment,  in a bid to take the nation to its rightful place.

From Left: Mrs. Bola Labinjo and a Nigerian Shippers Council Director, Ms. Shall-holma, at the event, on Tuesday.

From Left: Mrs. Bola Labinjo and a Nigerian Shippers Council Director, Ms. Shall-holma, at the event, on Tuesday.

“For the new Executives our task is very clear. The Consolidation that the new Executives of the Association will bring about will be such that our jobs, taken up by foreign ship-owners, are brought back and Nigerian Ship-owners henceforth will provide the shipping services and ancillary and associated maritime services to the Nigeria Oil and Gas communities.

“We are confident that we shall succeed in this effort as we shall be embedded from now on with all the Government Maritime Agencies, particularly NIMASA and NCMB. We need them as much as they need us for the benefit and growth of Nigerian Maritime Economy.

“This is the right time to recover Nigerian Shipping Services for Nigerian ships given the dwindling fortunes and the decline in oil and gas trade and the need to develop alternative to oil and gas. It was the decline in foreign trade that forced USA to adopt the restrictive shipping policy of Jones Act thereby abandoning the “free ship policy” of the protagonists in the 20th Century! The intendment and spirit of the Cabotage Act, 2003 and Nigerian Content Development  Act, 2010 are to similarly restrict the provision of shipping services to Nigerian shipping services providers.

“Our members and the new Executives are aware that the task ahead is not a simple one. It is going to pitch us against those who are benefiting from the domination of our maritime space by foreign shipping services providers and will not like to see a change in the status quo even if it means undermining or breaking Nigerian laws. The good news is that we are prepared as an Association to protect our investments and the Maritime economy of Nigeria. After all, Nigeria is the only country where we can undertake the shipping services as the Greeks, Indians or Americans will not admit us to come near their coasts to share in what is reserved exclusively for their citizens.

“At this juncture, I will like to make a passionate  plea to Nigerian Shipowners and ancillary maritime services providers not to sit on the fence any more but to join the Association forthwith so that together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, we can make the Maritime sector a veritable replacement to Oil and Gas in the contribution to the Nigerian economy. 

“And, still on this, I will like to appeal to those our members who felt aggrieved by the outcome of the election particularly my good friend and brother who I have a great admiration for, a smooth and suave operator, Gregory U Ogbeifun, the Chairman of Starsz Group, to please join me in the new effort to rid our waters of usurpers. The same appeal goes to Temisanre Raymond Omatseye, the vibrant and ebullient Executive Chairman of Polymaz Shipping Ltd whose participation in the NISA Election added glamour and colour to the exercise. We shall require of your respective experiences and reach in the task of bringing our jobs back.

He described the maritime transport sector as a critical infrastructure, for the social and economic development of a country, with strong impetus for influencing the pace, structure and pattern of development. 

“Maritime infrastructure which includes ship building and ship repair, major ports, national waterways and inland water transport must be impacted by the growth in the Oil and Gas industry”, he posited further, noting the benefits of the stability in the management hierarchy of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Local Content Act.

“The stability in the management hierarchy of the Flag Administration (NIMASA), as the DG has been re-appointed for a record second term of 4 years. Mr Patrick Ziakede Akpobolekemi thus becomes the first DG to be so appointed since the establishment of NIMASA formerly NMA in 1987; and the great strides Nigeria is making in the Nigerian Content contribution to Oil and Gas development in Nigeria”, he indicated further.

Labinjo tasked the industry stakeholders to collaborate and synergize in a bid to make not only the inauguration ceremony a memorable one, but even also the date.

“The inauguration of the elected NISA Executive  Members today is significant  and auspicious  for many reasons.
Firstly, it is the first of its kind in our Association in 12 years! We are therefore very thrilled.

“Secondly, the inauguration falls on the Remembrance Day, a day set aside to honour all our fallen heroes. They paid the supreme price in the defence of our country. But for them we would have no country where you and I can  ply our businesses peacefully. And still on that, our hearts and prayers go to our gallant men and women in the Armed Forces currently fighting in the North East to rout out the inglorious Boko Haram who have killed several thousands of harmless Nigerians and are holding on to over 200 young girls seized from Chibok.  Just as we in NISA, in our own small way, have been fighting off the foreigners and their collaborators who dominate the cabotage trade reserved for Nigerians only.

“The other significance of this day is that the founding Chairman of the Nigeria Shipowners Association, Chief (Dr) Isaac Morakinyo Jolapamo, is a year older today! 

“But for all the sacrifices, physical, emotional and financial, of this amiable, pacifist per excellence but dogged, visionary and uncompromising Nigerian, there would not have been a Shipowners Association determined to rescue Nigerian maritime economy from those holding it hostage and there would have been no ceremony today. Though he has handed to me the NISA ship, he is not abandoning the ship. He has promised to be there for the Association at all times which is gratifying.

“I will therefore, like to end this comment by quoting from the Report of the United States Maritime Commission on American Shipping before the Civil War:
   “Shipping is our oldest industry; it is also one of our most complex—– it is, so far as the United States is concerned, an instrument of national policy, maintained at large cost to serve the needs of Commerce and Defence.”

“Nigeria, like United States of America, must see shipping as an instrument of national policy to be maintained at whatever cost to serve the needs of our Social, Economics and Defence”, the new NISA President concluded, thanking dignitaries in attendance, for their physical presence,  at the  inauguration.

In his own remark, the outgoing NISA Chairman, chief Isaac Jolapamo said he was satisfied and honoured to have not only led the association for about 12 years, but to have also, in the process, established a foundation, strong enough to withstand future challenges.

Jolapamo who on Tuesday turned 66 years, admonished his members to remain united, committed and proactive, stressing that he was confident that the current leadership would take the body to new heights.

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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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