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Maritime stakeholders honour the Doyen, as Sarumi clocks 70 years



Ehe nation’s Maritime stakeholders on Monday, assembled at the Eko Hotel, Lagos to honour the master mind of the country’s most successful privatization / concession program, Chief Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi, who Sunday attained the symbolic age of 70 years.

The stakeholders said it was important that the Ibadan High Chief be celebrated, despite his desire to lie low, because he was still mourning his kinsman, the Are Musulumi, Chief, Alao Arisekola, who only a few weeks ago died in the United Kingdom.
Sarumi, the only Nigerian to have both served as CEO of both the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Nigerian Ports Authority consequently acquired unique experiences, all of which he deployed into the development of the nation’s most successful privatization project.
Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi, a revered Ibadan High Chief, was until his retirement on 31st May 2007, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerian Ports Authority, a conglomerate of over 8 port complexes and terminals distributed extensively over 850 kilometers of the country’s coastline and handling general mix of cargo, containers, roll-on, roll-off, and onshore and offshore oil and gas consignment in the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta Region.
Prior to his appointment to the post in 2003, he had served on the country’s Transport Sector Reform Committee, a stint that gave him full grasp of port sub sector reform imperatives, a wealth of experience that assisted him to mid- wife, arguably, the most comprehensive, successful and ambitious reform initiative ever embarked upon in sub-Sahara Africa.
Sarumi who is fondly called today as the father of port reform in Nigeria, deprived himself of so many things, including comfort and time for his family, all in the attempt to ensure the success of the port reform exercise which he inherited while at conceptual stage. Today, the nation is enjoying the fruit of his selfless service as the ports are now generating more funds into the federation purse, besides being more effective and efficient in operation as a result of the reform programme which he pursued with vigor, energy and everything he had. Although, there were some casualties in terms of job loss as a result of the port reform, Sarumi made sure that all those affected were adequately compensated, with their pension fully paid.
Prior to his appointment as Managing Director of NPA in October 2003, he was Managing Director of Nigerian Shipper’s Council for over 7 years, during which period he pioneered extensive reforms in the area of shippers’ protection, enlightenment, information and education. His indelible foot prints at the council are still there for generations yet to come to see. He initiated the inner container deports also known as dry ports in six geographical zones of the country after committing the Royal Hascony to carry out the feasibility studies on dry ports in places outside the littoral states. As a genius in ports operation and maritime trade, he conceived the dry ports to serve not only as a tool to decongest the ports, but as a trade facilitation tools as goods could be consigned to the inner ports instead of having all imported goods at the sea ports and by so doing, reduce cost for shippers
He was between 1997 and 1998 the Chairman of Union of African Shippers Council, a position he used to bridge information and relational gap between providers and users of shipping services in sub-Sahara Africa.

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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. 

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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.

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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

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