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Nigeria: Chevron Boss Calls for Collaboration to Achieve N/Delta Economic Growth

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THE Chairman and Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), the operator of the N NPC/Chevron Joint Venture, Mr Clay Neff, has reiterated the importance of partnership to the growth of business in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.

Neff made the comment recently in Washington at the maiden Niger-Delta Development Forum (NDDF) hosted by the Niger Delta Partnership Initiatives (NDPI), a Chevron-supported foundation working to develop new solutions to economic and social challenges in the Niger Delta.

In a statement by the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Deji Hasstrup, CNL stated that the forum was attended by the private and public sectors, NGOs and government representatives from Nigeria and the United States of America.

The forum’s mandate, according to the statement, was to explore collaborative efforts for creating long-term economic stability of the Niger Delta.

During a panel discussion on the topic, ‘Partnering to grow business in the Niger Delta’, moderated by the Vice President of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), Ambassador Robert Perry, Mr Neff stressed the importance of partnership between the public and private sectors for the growth of business in the Niger Delta on Nigeria.

Such a partnership, he stated, must be mutually beneficial and should entail extensive dialogue with all stakeholders.

According to him, “I believe that public and private sector entities should seek mutually beneficial solutions, and at Chevron we are interested in all the solutions available for the economic and social development of the Niger Delta.”

Mr Neff further said that “Chevron has seen first-hand the importance of working with people closely and building solutions where they feel very much a part of the process. It never works to simply ram things through, nothing lasts that way.”

The panelists included the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Initiative for Global Development (IGD) Mr Mima Nedelcovych and CEO of Greenpark Petrochemical, Mr Uwa Igiehon.

The forum was to explore collaborative efforts for creating long-term economic stability of the Niger Delta.

Mr Clay commended NDPI and the Nigerian sister organization Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) for the quality of the projects they have executed so far and the passion of the team to the development of the Niger Delta area.

He described the PIND/NDPI seed grant of $50million followed by $40million made available for 2015 to 2019 as an investment in economic development in the Niger Delta.

As part of effort to encourage young people to go into agriculture, Mr Sam Daibo, Executive Director, PIND, said the foundation has been making agriculture attractive to youths through enlightenment campaigns focusing on the many opportunities in the agriculture value chains.

“It’s not just about going to the farm and planting cassava. You can be the one who supplies the fingerlings for fisheries, or tractors and land clearing services. Agriculture isn’t just one thing. It’s an entire value chain with very real potential to see high income generation for young people,” Mr Daibo added.

PIND was established in 2010 as a non-profit foundation in Nigeria and it serves the operational entity of NDPI. PIND’s main function is to help alleviate poverty and promote peace in the Niger Delta region by building dynamic, innovative programmes and multi-stakeholder partnerships that provide broad stakeholder support for projects in four main focus areas of economic development, capacity building, peace building and analysis, and advocacy.

NDPI on the other hand has a broader function which covers developing new solutions to economic and social challenges in the Niger Delta through a partner-centric approach based on regional knowledge to understand the root causes of economic instability and forge community owned, market-driven results.—Maritime Hub

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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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