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Marine Engineers Blame Industry Deficiencies On Poor Capacity Development‏

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  • As House Orders CCECC, Costain West Africa, Three Others to Refund N2.5bn, of the N1tn Rail Contract

The Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) has today blamed the present failure in the nation’s Maritime sector on the lack of in-depth technical input in maritime policies and their implementation, in line with international best practices and realities.

Welcoming stakeholders and participants to the AMES Maritime Technical Summit at the Sheraton Hotel, the AMES President, Engr. Charles Uwadia also noted that the declining standard in quality and profitability of ships of Nigerian flag  can also be traced to poor technical standards occasioned by ship owners’ reluctance to comply with national and international standards and regulations.

 The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi (2nd, from Right) flanked on his left by Lloyds Ambassador, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori and on the Minister's right,  by AMES President, Charles Uwadia during the AMES Maritime Technical Summit, which held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos... today.


The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi (2nd, from Right) flanked on his left by Lloyds Ambassador, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori and on the Minister’s right, by AMES President, Charles Uwadia and others, during the AMES Maritime Technical Summit, which held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos… today.


“There is a need for a holistic review of the Nigerian Maritime human capacity development”,  Uwadia indicated, stressing that the Government, the institutional platforms and the stakeholders must collaborate, and synergize if the country would ever be able to strategically move it’s Maritime industry forward.

Building smartly on a strong foundation laid by Uwadia, as an attentive audience which included the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi,  former Ekiti Governor,  Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former Ogun State Governor,  Chief Segun Osoba, the founder, Indigenous Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, Senator Olorunimbe Mamowora,  Barrister Kola Adefemi and the Chairman, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN),  Greg Ogbeifun; a Resource person,  Engr. Emmanuel Ilori admonished the audience to refocus, positing that Nigeria by now, based on established tonnage, should be on category ‘B’; even as he grieved that the country was yet to master it’s status on Category ‘C’.

“We should be on the Category B of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)  Council. Nigeria should be able to dominate the African – Atlantic waters”, highlighted Ilori,  a Lloyds Ambassador, pointing out that when we however shortchanged on professionalism, we also discounted, heavily on our ability to compete,  and emphasized the need for going back to drawing board and working for further improvement.

In his own contribution,  former Oron, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Olu Akinsoji stressed the need for the development of a Human /Technical capacity development plan, observing that such would enable stakeholders know where we are, while everyone continues to work towards the next level, in case there was a change of battons at any point.

Akinsoji, in total agreement with the earlier position of Rotimi Amaechi that the rush for the creation of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, was ill-timed, more so since it was to utter neglect of the MAN,  Oron.

He campaigned for stronger political understanding and will, observing that Nigeria has laudably good laws, calling attention to the fact that if human capacity was developed, it’s multiplier effects would directly impact, on both the maritime industry, the people and the economy at large.

In the meantime, six big time contractors who have handled rail jobs have been directed to refund the sum of N2.5bn by the House of Representatives.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma who gave the order Wednesday during the hearing of the Ad Hoc Committee probing the execution of the rail contract award said the refund should be made to the federal government.

Agbonayinma explained that the refunds are the excess payments made to the six contractors, including CCECC, Contain West Africa Ltd, Geo Group Asano, Eser West Africa and Routing Nigeria Ltd.

A breakdown of the refund showed that CCECC will refund handling Jedda to Kano rail line will refund N608million; Geo Group – signaling and communication upgrade – N368million; Eser – Port Harcourt-Markurdi rail line – N339million; CCECC handling Markurdi – Kano rail line – N353million and Routing – N221million.

The House Committee had commenced investigation into the rail contract in October last year, and had met Chairmen of the Board of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) on the issue.

Additional report from Shipping day

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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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