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Nigeria economy got $15.3bn, spent $6.6bn on import in 3 months

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  • As Kwara uncovers 1,071 illegal employees in civil service

The Central Bank of Nigeria has disclosed that total foreign exchange inflow into the economy in the second quarter of 2016 was $15.33billion.

This it said represented an increase of 3.7 per cent above the level at the end of the first quarter but, showed a decline of 35.3 per cent relative to the level at the end of the corresponding period of 2015. The development the CBN said was driven by increase in oil and non-oil receipts.

Oil sector receipts according to the CBN “accounted for 20.5per cent of the total, which stood at $3.15billion, compared with $2.48billion and $3.65billion, recorded in the first quarter of 2016 and the corresponding period of 2015, respectively.

“Non-oil public sector inflow, at $2.74 billion (17.9per cent of the total), rose by 87.7 per cent, above the level at the end of the preceding quarter.

It, however, indicated a decline of 17.5 per cent from the level at the end of the corresponding period of 2015. Autonomous inflow, which accounted for 61.6 per cent of the total, fell by 13.0per cent compared with the level in the preceding quarter of 2016.

At $6.60 billion, aggregate foreign exchange outflow from the economy Rose by 29.4 per cent, above the level in the preceding quarter, but showed a decline of 19.5 per cent, from the level at the end of the corresponding period of 2015.

The development, relative to the first quarter was attributed to the increase in outflow through the CBN. “Thus, foreign exchange flows through the economy resulted in a net inflow of $8. 73billion in the review quarter, compared with $9.69 billion and US$ 15.51billion in the first quarter of 2016 and the corresponding period of 2015, respectively.

The CBN said that foreign exchange that passed through it out of the country amounted to $6.09 billion in the three months of April, May and June 2016 while it got a total of $5.69 billion.

As a result the CBN saw more foreign exchange leaving the country due to high level of importation. During the period the foreign exchange resources in its holding that left the country was $20 million more than what came in.

In the meantime, one thousand and seventy one illegal workers were uncovered in the employ of the Kwara State government, it was learnt yesterday.

The government said it lost N400 million monthly to the illegal workers in the last few months.

Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development Alhaji Musa Yeketi spoke at the book launch of the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Shehu AbdulGafar.

Yeketi attributed the incident to dishonesty among civil servants, adding that appropriate actions were being taken against those culpable.

A lawyer, Malam Yusuf Ali, identified irregular salaries and poor pay as some  factors responsible for corruption and sharp practices in the civil service.

In his paper, Public Service Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Alli lamented that civil servants were aiding corruption.

“In recent times, top public officers have been accused of embezzling gratuities and pensions of retired colleagues. Poor remuneration has exposed civil servants to sharp practices; most of them demand money before rendering their service to the public.

“They keep business letter-headed papers, invoice-receipts of their companies and become suppliers and contractors, even in their offices,” he said.

Noting that no country can develop beyond the capacity of its public service, the legal luminary posited that “there is unfortunately a broad consensus among Nigerians that our public service is both broken and dysfunctional.

“The quality of our public servants and the service they provide are below expectation. Unlike the days of yore, when only the best and brightest competed to join the administrative service, our public service is now seen as the employer of the dull, the lazy and the corrupt.”

Ali called for training and retraining of civil servants to enable them adapt to modern trends, adding that the civil service should be repositioned to be the information pool which commissioners and ministers rely on for effective administration.

Vanguard with additional report from Nation

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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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