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NIMASA to Certify Naval Officers, Ratings in Line with STCW

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  • As MAN Oron declares 7 days of mourning

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to certify Officers and Ratings of the Nigerian Navy in line with the requirements of Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).

This was made known by the Director General of the Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside when the Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) Rear Admiral Ifeola Ogunmola Mohammed led a delegation to NIMASA.

The DG who said that training was pivotal to the development of an excellent officer also assured the FOC that the Agency will immediately commence the process of certifying the officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy who have satisfied all the requirements.

According to him, “training is the way to go in order to ensure professionalism in responding to marine incidences. If we must achieve our shared objective of securing our maritime sector, synergy is key and as the Regional Coordinator for Search and Rescue in West and Central Africa, we have to ensure that our training conforms to the needs of protecting our maritime space”.

The DG who said that the Agency welcomes the suggestion by NAVTRAC to train some of NIMASA personnel further assured the Navy of continuous collaboration for the overall growth and development of the Nigerian maritime industry.

Earlier in his remarks, Rear Admiral Mohammed called on NIMASA as the Agency in charge of certification of seafarers to certify officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy trained by NAVTRAC so as to become useful to the maritime industry even after retirement from the Navy.

The FOC also reeled out areas of cooperation between NIMASA and the Flag Command to include training in search and rescue operations and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). He said the Navy has dedicated ships and simulators amongst other relevant training equipment which NIMASA staff can take advantage of.

In his words, “we will need to synergize with NIMASA in some specific training such as Search and Rescue type training, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) training and other relevant trainings which would make officers competent and rise to the challenges that can be faced during the course of working at sea now and after retirement”.

Rear Admiral Mohammed agreed with Dr. Peterside that NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy operate in the same jurisdiction and therefore there is the need for the two Agencies to foster a closer working relationship and understanding for the benefit of securing the Nigerian maritime domain.

In the meantime, Maritime industry stakeholders are still in shock over the death of the Acting Rector‎ of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Anthony Ishiodu yesterday.

Some of them who spoke with Shipping Position Daily yesterday wondered if the deaths were ordinary or there were other things beyond the ordinary to it, considering the fact that Engr. Ishiodu’s predecessor; Joshua Okpo also died mysteriously.

But, the Academy also yesterday confirmed that the late Rector had actually been battling with a health challenge and that he only recently travelled abroad to seek help.

According to a statement from the Academy’s public relations department, “about five weeks ago the Acting Rector proceeded to England for treatment, after having been granted special permit to do so by the Federal Government, and returned to Nigeria in less than a forthright ago.

He was being expected to resume work when the sad news of his demise struck Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron as thunderbolt”. The statement added that the Academy’s community had to cut short its prayer session as soon as news filtered in that the Rector had passed on.

It added that it was the Registrar of the institution, Mr. M. A. Mkpandiok, who “informed the Management that the Head of the institution could not overcome the ailment he suffered from. He lamented the unfortunate incident, even as members of the Management Team present expressed shock at the devastating news”.

Reacting to the death of Ishiodu, a former president of the Merchant Navy Senior Staff Association, Capt Thomas Kemewerigha lamented the death of the rector, saying that ‎death is a natural occurrence and a price every man must pay.

“The Rector has played his role and he is gone, whoever is coming next should toe the line of the positive actions he had in mind, we saw the handwriting on the wall that he was to take Oron to greater height”.

“The change of hands or heads of parastatals affect our growth in the maritime sector, so whoever is coming on-board should not come with new programmes, he should rather go back and access what the last rector had in mind so that we can have continuity”.

“His death is a big setback to the industry because he is one man we saw working for the interest of the academy‎”.

“Every death has a name, something must kill somebody, in this part of the world we so much believe in our tradition so high that people might believe their own person must be made Rector of the Academy”

“The longest serving rector which is from Oron did not really take the academy to where it should be before he was removed”, he added.

Capt Kemewereigha said that the Oron community sees the academy as their own personal resources; hence governance should look inwards and appoint a professional from the area to head MAN Oron.

Also speaking with our correspondent, President of Association of Stevedoring Companies, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola said it was unfortunate that MAN Oron lost two rectors in such a  quick succession.

“It’s unfortunate that the rector died, coming from the background that the one he replaced also died suddenly in office.  I commiserate with the family and I say may his soul rest in peace” he said

Sunmola however lamented that MAN Oron as an academy has not been living up to expectation and this was why people seek training outside Nigeria.

The Rector was the first ex-cadet to have risen to the high office of Rectorship in the institution.

He was appointed Acting Rector in mid-December, 2015 following the sudden demise of his predecessor in office, Ambassador Joshua Enun Okpo. In his seven months on the saddle, late Dr. Ishiodu steered the Academy’s ship in the direction of System Sanitization, the projection, promotion and enhancement of Cadets’ Affairs and Curricula Review.

Engr. Anthony Ishiodu was a pioneer ex-cadet of the School of Marine Engineering , he was also trained in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt.

He further obtained his Ph.D in the specialty of Maritime Transport from the University of Calabar, Cross River State.

He was a Staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) before joining the Academy in 2000.

Shipping Day with additional report from Shipping Position

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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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