Connect with us


Labour tells Buhari : Economy has stopped working



  • As Govt exports 328,897mbs of crude

The organised labour on Sunday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use the opportunity of the planned economic conference to come up with policies that could be implemented to get the country out of its current economic woes.

The two labour centres in the country – the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress – said the economy had stopped functioning.

NLC and TUC believed that the state of the economy had not been as bad as the prevailing scenario since the civil war.

The organised labour demanded quick solutions to the current economic challenges.

The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, and the President of the TUC, Mr. Bala Kaigama, said in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Sunday that the organised Labour was not invited to the crucial economic retreat.

Ozo-Eson said on the telephone that the organised labour and indeed the country were waiting on the government to come up with urgent policies to stimulate the various sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and solid minerals.

He said the expected economic policies should focus on how to transform solid minerals in the country to finished products in order to avoid a repeat of the situation where crude oil was sold without any further step to convert it to finished product.

Ozo-Esan added, “We are not invited to the summit. So, if they are having their summit, we know they should be able to articulate positions, to discuss how to get this economy functioning because right now, it is actually not functioning. And there is a need to kick-start the economy.

“So it is their own, it is a government summit. We await the outcome but what is crucial is that this moment, a quick decision needs to be taken, and policies put in place to make this economy functioning again.

“We await what policies they will articulate in terms of manufacturing, in terms of agriculture, in terms of solid minerals but not just solid minerals, even a long term plan for it so that solid minerals will not also have the same problem that oil has.

“A programme that transforms the minerals into finished products is what will add value to the economy.”

Kaigama added that the economic conference was important because the country was in dire need of economic policies to address the decline in the economy.

The TUC president believed the nation’s economy had not been this bad except during the civil war, calling on the government to come up with policies to remedy the “frightening” situation.

He added, “We encourage them to come up with the economic summit even though we are not part of it, we have not been invited. Nigeria needs a very proactive economic policy now that will address the woes of the economy.

“We are in the worst in terms of economic experiences. We are not in good terms in terms of our economy at all. It had never been this bad except during the civil war. So we hope that the government would take steps to remedy the situation.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government exported 328, 897 million barrels of crude oil in the last four years, the Nigerian Extractive Industrial Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.

The agency,  in a paper  titled:  ‘’NNPC offshore processing and swap arrangements: Revenue loss to the nation’’ obtained at the weekend, showed that the Federal Government allocated 655,235million barrels of crude during the period under review, of which it exported 328, 897 million barrels to generate revenues for the country.

The paper, which gives an account of the number of volumes of crude oil allocated per  year, volumes delivered to the refineries for processing into petrol, kerosene, diesel and other finished products, volumes supplied for offshore processing, and those exchanged between Nigeria and her partners abroad, said the government supplied 134, 387 million barrels of crude oil to the refineries during the period.

In the paper presented by  former NEITI Acting Executive Secretary, Dr Orji Ogbonaya Orji, the government allocated more crude oil for exports since it derives more than 70 per cent of its earnings from oil exports. Giving a breakdown of crude oil dealings during the period under review, NEITI said the country allocated 161,914 million of crude oil in 2009; 166, 523millions in 2010; 164,455million in 2011; and 162,343millions in 2012.

It said the government exported 142, 500 million barrels of crude oil in 2009; 97, 792 million barrels in 2010; 39, 341 million barrels in 2011 and 49, 215 million barrels in 2012. The paper said the government delivered 19, 363 million barrels to the refineries in 2009; 34, 703 million barrels in 2010; 48, 394 million barrels in 2011 and 34, 927 million barrels in 2012. Others include crude oil offshore processing-27,556 million barrels of crude oil in 2010; 26, 688 million barrels of crude oil 2011; and 22, 755 million barrels of crude oil in 2012.

Also, the paper recalled that the idea of swapping crude oil for refined products began in the mid 80s, adding that the idea was introduced to enable NNPC access funds to meet its obligations in the Joint Venture Agreements (JVAs) The House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee  conducted investigation into the Refined Product Exchange Agreement/Crude Oil Swap between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/ Product Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC).

Also, the Committee had planned to invite the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deazani Alison-Madueke for explanation on the issue. The invitation was to enable the former Oil Minister provide   explanations into crude oil swap deals contract extensions granted Duke Oil Company  Incorporated and Trafigura B.V without valid contracts.

Punch with additional report from The Nation


WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…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. 

Continue Reading


Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

Continue Reading


Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…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

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick