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NISA: Shipowners Set for Court to Halt Hasty CVFF Disbursement 



NISA: Shipowners Set for Court to Halt Hasty CVFF Disbursement 

… May Invite EFCC to ensure veracity of intent***
The Nigerian Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA) is set to go to court to get an injunction and stop what it referred to as the federal government’s hasty plan to disburse the $350 million Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF).

The association equally planned to embark on strike action to drive home its point and prevent the disbursement of the CVFF without adequate arrangement.

Members of NISA at a meeting in Lagos on Thursday agreed that they have to take these steps as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Ministry of Transportation have disclosed the total amount currently in the Fund.

Chief Isaac Jolapamo, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), NISA, recalled that the association last year wrote to NIMASA and its supervisory ministry via lawyers who relied on the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to demand the total sum collected under the CVFF without getting any reply from both parties.

Jolapamo said the letter was written because confusing figures of the amount so far collected as CVFF are being given.

According to him,  the federal government should account for money that should conservatively be above  $2 billion.

“CVFF was set up for a specific purpose. Ship-owners won contracts and got paid for their services and a percentage of their earnings was collected to enable them to buy vessels. So, the question of ownership of the fund isn’t debatable”, Jolapamo said emphatically.

The BOT chairman stressed that after ship owners waited for almost two decades for the disbursement of CVFF, they cannot but be more concerned about the content of the fund, possible misappropriation, and secrecy, rather than the actual disbursement.

Also Read: CVFF DISBURSEMENT: Mu’azu Sambo vows to Break Jinx that Makes Amaechi look Clueless

To show its seriousness to know the account amount so far collected under CVFF, a six-man committee was established by the team to explore all avenues to ensure accountability in the CVFF disbursement, as well as demanding an audit of the CVFF collections since inception in 2003.

The Managing Director of International Bulk Cargo Logistics, Mr. Jubril Rowaye restated that strike action should be sought by the group as a matter of urgency as the government may have long decided the persons and companies to benefit from the fund before the declaration made by the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo last Saturday.

“My fear is that the government has already decided the companies to receive this CVFF disbursement and I wouldn’t be shocked to find that the companies that would benefit would be registered within the last six months or one year. 

“We know how government abandons all bureaucracies when an administration is about to end and they want to speedily get things done. This time things no longer have to go from bottom to top but accelerate from top to bottom. 

“We should get a court injunction to stop this administration from disbursing CVFF,” Rowaye said.

Engr. Emmanuel Ilori suggested that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be invited to carry out investigation on the management or perhaps mismanagement of CVFF over the years.

He averred that ship owners are not being carried along ahead of the impromptu announcement by the Minister.

He equally wondered why the government has suddenly decided to hurriedly disburse the CVFF in a few weeks when it had over seven years but didn’t do anything.

In his own speech, Mr. Jegede Paul agreed with the views about the need to know the actual sum collected under CVFF but drummed up the need for all ship owners to come together irrespective of their differences and associations in order to fight for their collective good.

“It is when we have ship owners under one umbrella that we can take a strong decision on this delicate issue of CVFF and other pertinent issues affecting our sector. Ship owners have a right to know what has been collected and if some persons have misused the fund. The federal government isn’t doing us a favour by promising to disburse, but we can achieve so much more if we team up. All aggrieved NISA members as well as those in the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) should come together. Let’s stoop to conquer,” he posited.

After much deliberations the association agreed to have its next election on January 26th, 2023 as the group encouraged the Steering Committee to reach out to all aggrieved members in order to bring them into the fold before the elections. 

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Healing Initiative: Customs CG Hosts Maiden Retired Management Team Reunion



…Pledges Welfare Boost***

The Comptroller-General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR has flagged of a structured healing process, as he initiated a maiden retired Management Team members of the Nigeria Customs Service, stressing that they have so much to offer in terms of experience, and shared legacy of diligence and commitment. 

Addressing a momentous gathering at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Saturday, 25 November 2023, the Customs Comptroller General said he recognised and appreciates their importance, contributions, and dedication; and would ensure their relevance is honoured.

Adeniyi disclosed ongoing discussions with the Minister of Finance to champion a bill establishing a dedicated Pension Scheme, adding that the Service has received the best from them and intends to honour.

“Today marks a momentous occasion as we come together for the first-ever reunion of Customs’ seasoned leaders”, Comptroller General, Adewale Adeniyi stated, in a heartfelt address, adding:

“This strategic initiative reflects foresight in securing the financial future of leaders within the Nigeria Customs Service”.

He reassured the retirees of comprehensive measures to elevate their welfare with a plan to integrate them into the Nigeria Customs Service’s healthcare programs. 

Specifically, he also emphasized his genuine commitment to sustaining bonds beyond active service; emphasizing the wealth of knowledge within the room and the need to strengthen the roots connecting the past, present, and future of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Highlighting the retirees’ significant contributions, Adeniyi stressed crafting customized programs for seamless collaboration, ensuring the service continues to benefit from their expertise; and described the gathering as a definitive avenue for connecting with successful leaders who have played pivotal roles in shaping the organization.

Optimistic about the impact of the reunion, the CGC expressed confidence that their coming together would contribute to greater efficiency, enhanced regulatory compliance, and entrench stable economic development goals for the country. 

 “I am confident that with your continued support and guidance, we will overcome challenges and achieve greater heights”, he further said.

Those present at the occasion included the immediate past Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Ahmed Ali (retired), Dr. Abubakar Musa, Bernard Nwadialo, and a former sole administrator, Major-General SOG Ango (retired).

Also in attendance were many retired Deputy Comptroller-Generals of Customs and Assistant Comptroller-Generals of Customs.

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33rd IMO General Assembly: Jamoh To Market Blue Economy



…While Oyetola announces vision to international audience***

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh has indicated that he would meticulously market the Blue Economy, once he arrived in London, as part of Nigeria’s delegation to the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly.
He also said the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, who is leading Nigeria’s delegation will announce Nigeria’s Blue Economy direction to the global audience while participating at the IMO 2023 General Assembly.

*Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, (right) and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

The Maritime First First was told, that Over the next few days, the global maritime community will be better informed about the efforts of President Bola Tinubu’s Administration to harness Nigeria’s maritime potentials in line with Global Best Practices.

*R-L: Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, Abdul Dirisu; Director, Maritime Safety & Security, Babatunde Bombata; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and Deputy  Director, London office, William Bwala during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

“NIMASA, as IMO’s focal Agency in Nigeria, remains resolute in administering Safety and Security in our maritime domain”, Jamoh explained.

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Maritime Expert Unveils Book For Pupils On Career Path



Olaitan Williams says book is to motivate pupils to explore the Blue Economy sector’s huge potential***

A book, “Some Career Opportunities in the Marine and Blue Economy Workplace” was on Monday unveiled by a maritime expert, Mrs Violet Olaitan Williams, in a deliberate move to motivate pupils to explore the huge job potential in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.

The book was unveiled during the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation’s (OAF) fifth Educators and Maritime Stakeholders Lecture and Award; and 4th nationwide virtual Maritime Quiz Competition in Lagos.

Williams said she initially had a book that had a compendium, a compilation of lecture series for the past six years, but discovered that an 18-year-old girl did not know the colour of water not to talk of careers therein.

“To this extent, what we are trying to do in essence is to make sure that an elementary school boy or girl will fashion out their career in the marine and blue economy in the early stages.

“So, I had to simplify it and try to get the ABC of it so that with the new ministry of marine and blue economy, it will be easier even at the top to understand because the ministry is new,” she said.

Williams, a former board member of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, noted that most people who got into the maritime industry, as we all heard them today, got in accidentally.

“But we want a sustainable industry so that it will not be an accidental entry, it will be a purposeful entry with sustainability.

“We only have the platform now, the framework, but the impetus to continue is sustainable and must start from the cradle, and that is what informed me,” she said.

On plans to inculcate this into the school framework, Williams noted that in 2022, she wrote to the Ministry of Education and fortunately got a reply from their agency that deals with curriculum and that was where we are now.

“But with the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, they should take it up because we were advocating for a blue economy industry and now that we have it, they should take it up.

“We have done our beat, they should now invite us to ask where we have stopped because we have stopped when it comes to curriculum,” she said.

Earlier, while reviewing the book, Mrs Carolyn Ufere, the Independent Maritime Practitioner and former General Manager, the Nigerian Ports Authority, described Williams a lone fighter trying to push the industry forward.

Ufere noted that Williams’s focus on educating the girl-child and getting the best out of them motivated her to write the book.

“The book contains several elements that will compel the younger ones into the field, the title is clear and the forward highlights the significance of the ocean as a source of work for mankind.

“The book presents the maritime sector as an arena where issues are addressed and she charges the young ones to sell the blue economy to the world, selling its gains,” she said.

Ufere noted that information was power, adding that the book contained tools that would be used to empower the young girl and likewise the boys.

“I recommend the book to every institution, organisation where great minds are nurtured as it will be a book that will turn around our nation,” she said.

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