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NileDutch Flags Off Two Loop Upgraded Services For W’Africa

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  • Oil price rises to $39, beats budget benchmark

NileDutch, the container carrier specialised in connections to and from West Africa, is determined to flag off, starting from tomorrow  March 9, 2016 upgraded two loop operation  services from Europe to West Africa.

The existing West Europe – West Africa Service, known as WEWA, will be upgraded to weekly sailings and will start on March 9, with the following port rotation:
Antwerp – Le Havre – Leixoes by rail to Lisbon – Lisbon – Algeciras – Tanger – Pointe Noire – Luanda – Lobito – Namibe – Abidjan – Tanger – Antwerp.

A new service to Dakar and Abidjan will provide extra loading ports. This new Europe West Africa service (EUWA) will start on March 6 with the following port rotation:
Dunkerque – Tilbury – Antwerp – Dunkerque – Le Havre – Montoir – Tanger – Algeciras – Dakar – Abidjan – Dakar – Algeciras – Dunkerque.

NileDutch’s West African network
Pointe Noire (Congo) will serve as NileDutch’s hub for shipments to and from Douala, Libreville, Bata, Malabo, Boma, Matadi, Cabinda and Soyo.

NileDutch Africa Line BV (NileDutch), headquartered in Rotterdam (NL), is a major container shipping company, focussing on links between West Africa and the rest of the world. The company has over 30 years’ experience of working in Africa and has a large network of offices and agents.

This presence in the region means NileDutch is familiar with the needs of the African market and can respond quickly to changes in the situation and offer their customers a reliable service.

The company’s fleet of vessels provides efficient access to smaller ports in West Africa.

In the meantime, global crude oil traded above $39 per barrel yesterday, surpassing Nigeria’s budget benchmark price of $38 per barrel.

This came as experts on the economy have cautioned the Federal Government to be frugal with the revenue accruing from the rise in oil price, in order to steer the country from the current economic downturn.

The price of Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, rose to an all-year high of $39.50 yesterday, from $27.10 on January 20 – the lowest for Brent in 2016. The price of Nigeria’s crude has not been quoted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but sources say the price may surge to the budget benchmark region of $38.

Nigeria’s 2016 budget was benchmarked at $38 per barrel against major criticism across the nation, following December 2015 prices of about $34 per barrel. Experts caution Wilifred Iyiegbuniwe, professor of finance at the University of Lagos, said though the increase will have a positive impact because the inflow of foreign currency will improve, the benchmark should not be reviewed.

He said: “Any recovery of the oil proceeds should go to a special fund. The economic team and the Federal Government should determine what should be done with it. “Such excess revenue should be used to diversify the economy into such areas as agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing. However, the benchmark should not be reviewed.”

Also, Henry Boyo, an economist, said: “What happened every time the price was high above the benchmark? Was there greater employment? Was there relief in exchange rate? Was there improved productivity? We should think collectively as Nigerians, who are stakeholders in the polity.” Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister for National Planning, had initially said low crude oil prices would not affect the 2016 budget, insisting that the budget is achievable.

“Our budget is achievable; we have ongoing reforms targeted at diversifying our revenue base away from single oil commodity economy,” Udoma said in January. A week ago, Udoma said the country may have to review the budget benchmark as early as June, based on the recurrently low crude oil prices.

“The benchmark of $38 per barrel of price of oil is not sacrosanct because of the subsisting global environment,” he had said. “If at mid-year there is no improvement, we will come back to you for mid-term review. The review may come as quickly as June this year.”

Additional report from Vanguard

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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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