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Japan Wants More Oil from Iran

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  • APC is broke –Oyegun

Following the sanctions lifting against Iran on Friday, Japan plans to extend its deal on crude oil purchase from Iran until April 2017, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said.

Japan also intends to increase the amount of crude oil from the current level of 110,000 barrels per day, however the exact increase amount was not disclosed.

The announcement comes on the heels of the long-awaited lifting of the US-led sanctions against Iran as the country met  all the requirements  to curb its disputed nuclear program. The move has seen numerous international delegations flocking to Tehran with the aim of striking energy and trade deals.

NIOC said that over the past month Iran hosted several visits from Japanese oil delegations to look for the ways of returning to the previous status of oil relations with Iran.

Separately, Iran is working toward exporting its natural gas to Oman, where it would be converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG) intended for exports to international markets. Qalhat LNG plant is most likely to receive the cargo and convert it to LNG.

To this end, Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zangeneh visited Oman last week to follow up talks on energy cooperation including a project to pipe Iran’s natural gas to Oman.

According to Alireza Kameli, the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC), around 30 percent of the gas that Iran plans to export to Oman will be used for producing LNG.

The deal dates back to 2013 when the two parties agreed to ship natural gas via a sub-sea pipeline yet to be constructed.

The proposed amount to be exported per day is 28 million cubic meters (mcm).

In the meantime, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC),  Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the party is suffering from “strains of funding,” but it does not intend to bother President Muhammadu Buhari as raising funds for the party is not part of his national assignment. Oyegun, who stated this at an interactive session with newsmen at the APC headquarters in Abuja, said the party was working to raise funds within itself.

“The party is suffering from  the strains of funding. “We are working to raise resources within the membership. We have not asked for rescue from the president because it is not part of his national assignment,” he said.

Oyegun also commented on the general state of the nation, lamenting that the present government inherited a prostrate economy. “Buhari inherited a collapsed economy. What we are doing is to clear the debris. There will be plenty of good news in the next few months.

We have to put up with the present deprivation. But, we will smile tomorrow,” he said. Speaking on the anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari administration, the APC national chairman said government was not selective in its fight, but, added that the probe of the immediate past PDP administration was necessary because the erstwhile ruling party held Nigeria down for 16 years.

“We are investigating yesterday. Let tomorrow investigate us,” he added.

Also, Oyegun pleaded with Nigerians to exercise little patience with the party, assuring that the current hardship experienced by Nigerians will soon be over in few months. The APC boss admitted that the party was equally feeling the pains and agonies many Nigerians are currently passing through, even as he attributed the hardship to the misrule of the opposition party in the last 16 years.

“Let me start by saying that our party, the APC is very much aware of the hardship Nigerians are going through. It is as a result of the 16 years misrule the PDP government has plunged this country.

“Apart from the party, I must also say that one of the main concerns of Mr President is that he is fully conscious and aware of the tough times people are going through. I want to give you the assurance to pass to the people that everything is done to stabilise the economy and ameliorate the sufferings and deprivations that people are going through.”

“I want to think that many Nigerians understand why things are the way they are today. The Buhari administration inherited a prostrate economy. Nobody envisaged that there would be near total collapse of the price of crude oil.

“When you juxtapose that with our consumption habits where we intend to import virtually everything from toothpicks to the choicest Champagne products, all of these put pressure on the foreign exchange stock of the nation which as a result has given rise to lots of the issues that Mr President is dealing with today…”

World Maritime News with additional report from  The Citizen

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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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