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NIMASA, Air Force MoU, to boost Nigeria’s security – Akpobolokemi



The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has pledged to continue to deliver on its mandate as a safety agency, noting that it was for this reason that it entered into new understanding with the Nigerian Air Force.

The NIMASA Director General, Mr Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi made the observation in his goodwill message to the 10th All Nigerian Editors Conference, which ended in Katsina state at the weekend, adding that the gesture was to complement the MOU already entered into with the Nigerian Navy all in  a bid towards further safeguarding the country’s maritime domain.

“As we all know, safety of lives and property is a significant prerequisite for the growth and investment in any institution, sector or society. This is why maritime safety and security is engrained in us in NIMASA. It is a way of life; an aspect that is never compromised”, he indicated in an address delivered by his Deputy Director, and Head of Public Relations, Isichei Osamgbi.

He stressed that the agency in furtherance of this goals of effectively covering Nigeria and eight other countries under the Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, has also put in place a robust maritime domain awareness and response system, culminating in the birth of the NIMASA Satellite Surveillance Centre.

“Our desire is to provide safety for all those doing business within Nigerian waters. With the NIMASA Satellite Surveillance Centre, the Agency is now able to respond to any distress call on Nigerian waters and even beyond. The new 24-hour Satellite Surveillance equipment has the capability to detect boats, ships and objects of predefined cross-section floating on water,” the Director General further said.

He also reiterated the NIMASA’s commitment to human capacity development, which he said, was demonstrated in the recent launch of the Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, to complement the Agency’s sponsorship of maritime institutes in four universities, namely the University of Lagos; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State; and Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State.

Taking a hard look at the state of the nation, the Director General tasked attendees to use their platform to encourage civility and respect for free and fair elections, saying that a stable democracy, through credible election would engender, strong and vibrant economy capable of enabling  citizens fulfil their individual and collective aspirations.

Mr Akpobolokemi expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy was growing in leaps and bounds as demonstrated by increasing volume of trade and foreign direct investment, and  noting that it would experience further growth given the consciousness to further strengthen the country’s democracy.

He lauded the theme of the conference – Credible Elections and Good Governance, the Role of the Editor – pointing out that it was quite apt at a time when Nigeria was putting finishing touches to the next general elections, even as maintained the Nigerians have reasons to be optimistic about the future as the economy, especially in her desire to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.

“Nigeria was ranked 52nd in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product at purchasing power parity. But the country’s ranking improved to 40th in 2005 and 26th in 2014, making it the largest within Africa.

“Nigeria is recognized as an emerging market with expanding financial service, communications, and entertainment sectors. Its re-emergent manufacturing sector is the third-largest on the continent, and produces a large proportion of goods and services for the West African sub-region.

“This is why we, at NIMASA play a key role in ensuring that international and local operators have absolute confidence in the Nigerian maritime environment”, he explained further, highlighting that the country was already classified among MINT countries projected to be future economic leaders which included Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey.


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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