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NISA Election: 2011 Resignation may hurt Ogbeifun’s bid



… As stakeholders lauds Labinjo’s fight against Omatseye, over Greg’s vessel

There is a strong fear that the abandonment of the Indigenous Ship- Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) in 2011 by one of the contestants,  may now hurt the present political ambition of, Chief Greg Ogeifun in the election slated for tomorrow.

This emerged as industry watchers rated the chances of the three contestants comprising of the NISA General Secretary. Dada Olaniyi Labinjo, Greg Ogbeifun and the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) , Temisan Omatseye in their bids for the presidential seat of their association.

Ogbeifun, an off-shore vessel operating guru, who was said to have joined the association in 2009, following ISAN spirited support to save one of his vessels which had some issues in South Africa was indicated to have resigned in September 2011 and withdrew from ISAN as a member of Executive Committee and Port Harcourt zonal coordinator, until his return in 2013, two years later.

While our respondents all commended the contestants, for being capable of leading the body, they nonetheless, made critical appraisals, based on their perceived understanding of the gladiators.

“When you are at an executive level of an association and you suddenly resign, to go and midwife another parallel body, how do you think the majority of the members will see you?” asked one the respondents, Emma Ugonna, stressing that on such return, if one immediately bids for the highest position, the notion may be generally given that one has come back to hijack the body.

“I love his person. He has a remarkable personality but, I know that some people definitely, may not be too comfortable with the idea of resigning today and coming back tomorrow to bid for elections” he said.

Speaking on the same vein, another frowned on the recent declaration by Greg , that he would relocate within 24 hours, the NISA secretariat to Port-Harcourt if elected presidents.

“I hope I am wrong but honestly, I don’t think that was the best time to announce it, especially when you know that most of your members are residing in Lagos”.

“Except he was quoted wrongly, that statement may make one look like being Lagos- phobia.  Why did you think Chief Earnest Eloka did not relocate the secretariat of the customs brokers’ umbrella body, ANLCA out of Lagos?” he asked, noting that the statement actually gave rise to genuine fear of future high-handedness.

But another respondent, Anthony Emeordi, in his contribution, explained that the resignation might not be unconnected with disagreement which follows NIMAREX 2011 outing especially on bickering that followed alleged registration of NIMAREX in an individual person’s name as MD/CEO. He maintained that while the Chief may have done so in good faith, some of the members did not take kindly to it, because the fund for the registration came from NIMAREX.

“I gathered that he became an ISAN member in 2009; and when it was time to create the NIMAREX, he was asked to anchor it. But, it was like he subsequently registered it with himself as the MD/CEO, a move which was stiffly opposed, hence his resignation”, he said adding that he also believed that even when he walked away, the NIMAREX documents were still allegedly with him”, Emeordi said.

However, they all praised Greg Ogbeifun’s business acumen, his amiable nature and the un-spared commitment he brings, to whatever he believes in, especially the marine engineers and master marina society he was said to have midwife in Badagry.

However, when the view of the immediate past NIMAREX chairman Chief Margaret Orakwusi was sort, she debunked the story of anyone registering NIMAREX under personal name as MD/CEO.

“It cannot be true, it is only a rumour. It must be a part of the negative campaign being used as a result of the ongoing election” she stated, explaining that it could not be true that anyone would register the NIMAREX title, something  belonging to all with himself as MD.

Similarly, the Maritime First also spoke with Chief Greg Ogbeifun seeking to know why he resigned from the ISAN in 2011; and kept away for two years. Bit, the shipping magnate declined comments, advising that such questions should be directed at the executives of ISAN, now NISA.

Zeroing on Temisan Omatseye and other contestants, the group of respondents said they could not say much as they were not aware of what Temisan did for the association especially when he was the director general of NIMASA. Most posited that while the former DG is undeniably a very good and intelligent person, it was doubtful if he adequately used his strategic position as a DG for the cause of ISAN.

“He is a very brilliant person and very sharp witted; but except he tells us, one may not easily know much of what he did for the association, beyond the fact that on one occasion Captain Labinjo almost fought him over Greg Ogeifun’s vessel when the ship had hiccups in South Africa and the ISAN executives approached Omatseye for an intervention fund from the CVFF and he was not forthcoming” Emeordi stated further.

However, as the ratings by respondents continued, they also slammed the Jolapamo-led executive, for allowing the NIMASA to change the goal post, leading NISA by the nose while using the notion of granting the body a national carrier status, as a bait.

While, they praised Labinjo for his strength, consistency and total commitment to the cause of the association, the respondents felt that the body should have fought the NIMASA to a standstill rather than acquiesced every time the agency came up with its evasive strategies, including the assertion that except the agency supervised the current election, it would neither believe it as democratic nor grant them the national carrier status.

When the Maritime First asked for Labinjo’s view as to whether he indeed fought Omatseye over Ogbeifun’s vessel, he confirmed it, but added that he would not want to make further statement on the issue so that his explanation may not be regarded as negative campaign.

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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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