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NIMASA defends MoU with Air Force, Navy



The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi has given reasons why the agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and Nigerian Navy (NN).

At a two day maritime stakeholders’ sensitiza-tion conference on the partnership between NIMASA and NAF in Lagos, Akpobolokemi said the MoU was aimed at ensuring the promotion of maritime safety and security.

According to him, it was part of efforts in giving expression to NIMASA statutory mandates in relation to maritime security, safety and search and rescue (SAR). NIMASA opted for collaboration with relevant agencies of government in order to have a seamless execution of these mandates.

He noted that the MoU it signed with NAF on August 26, 2013 was one of the partnerships it started to ensure the execution of its statutory roles and responsibilities.

He explained that this partnership was entered into with a view to further enhancing the agency’s capacity in enforcing extant maritime laws as well as to monitor and secure the Nigeria’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

According to the NIMASA helmsman, the collaboration with NAF and NN was also meant to check rising incidences of piracy and increased sophistication of pirates, armed robbery at sea and other unlawful activities in Nigerian waters.

Akpobolokemi stated that its partnership was further strengthened by the statutory role of the NAF in defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria by air and their establishment of a reputable and efficient maritime capability in the Gulf of Guinea through their ATR 42 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and other platforms, including search and rescue operations as well as the conduct of air surveillance and other operations for the enhancement of safety and security in Nigeria’s maritime environment.

He expressed delight at the collaboration, saying that since the inception of the partnership, the agency has recorded tremendous successes in the area of air and coastal surveillance and the exercise of the right of hot pursuit.

He said the agency will not leave any stone unturned in its quest to secure Nigeria’s territorial waters

According to him, the agency was committed to harnessing the huge wealth the Nigeria maritime sector offers to both the nation and investors through enhanced surveillance and maximum safety for vessels and personnel on its coastal waters.

He noted that while Nigeria is endowed with a maritime environment, it is yet to be a maritime state in the true sense of the word.

He said in view of the huge potentials and wealth realisable on the nation’s coastal waters, the agency has continued to explore partnership with various security agencies such as Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, and Nigerian Air Force which training, competence, and legal backing puts them in strategic position in the overall attainment of its mandate.

While acknowledging the importance of the presence of Nigerian armed forces in the agency’s drive to attain its regulatory and surveillance mandate, he noted that the Act establishing NIMASA empowers it to carry out air surveillance, search and rescue operations among others.

He however said NAF was strategically equipped and legally empowered to enable NIMASA achieve the desired goal of a secured coastal line surveillance.

“While the Act establishing NIMASA empowers to carry out air surveillance, we in NIMASA feel that Nigerian Air Force is strategically equipped, robust and empowered to enable us achieve our mandate. Air surveillance is an essential component of maritime safety strategies in tackling criminality in the coastal area”, he said.

“Therefore, this conference is meant to educate all stakeholders in the industry on the steps, commitment and strategies so far adopted as well as seek their commitment and cooperation towards ensuring maximum security of the nation’s water ways”, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu noted further.– International Trade Monitor

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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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