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NNPC: Baru pledges greater support for Indigenous Stakeholders in Oil Sector

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…Economists warn: Nigerians will overtake Indians as world’s poorest people***

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru has pledged to deepen his organisation’s support to indigenous companies and stakeholders, especially those operating in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Baru indicated this on Wednesday in Abuja, in a statement issued by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division,

Mr Ndu Ughamadu, highlighting that Baru made the pledge while commissioning the Lagos Midstream Jetty (LMJ) at the Apapa Harbour in Lagos.

“NNPC will continue to support all players in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry toward efficient product supply and distribution across the country,’’ he said, reiterating NNPC’s commitment to continuous collaboration with the private sector and urging the private companies to develop innovative and profitable solutions that would not only aid development, but ease the way of doing business.

He noted that the development of the much-needed critical infrastructure should not be seen as the sole responsibility of government.

“Good infrastructure plays a critical role in ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity among the citizenry.

“The reality is that we all have a role to play in developing and moving the economy forward, an economy that will benefit us all today and generations yet unborn,’’ Baru said.

He commended Oando Plc for initiating the idea of the LMJ, saying the jetty was an encouraging example of Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The statement also quoted the Chairman OVH Energy, Mr Wale Tinubu as saying “the N54.4 billion worth LMJ was conceived as an innovative industry solution to the perennial challenges marketers faced in the importation of petroleum products’’.

“Today, we have delivered a first-class engineering piece that meets global standards.

“It is the first of its kind in the sub-Saharan Africa and will be of invaluable benefit to the industry and nation at large,” he said.

Tinubu also thanked the GMD for encouraging indigenous participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

Conceived by ASPM Ltd, a subsidiary of OVH Energy Ltd (an Oando Plc Licence), the LMJ is West Africa’s first privately owned mid-stream jetty located at the Lagos Apapa Harbour.

The LMJ will allow up to 45,000 Dead Weight (DWT) vessels to berth and discharge products while easing out congestion around the Apapa corridor.

The Jetty which is also available for the use of players in all sectors, including peers and competitors, is expected to boost the delivery of petroleum products to Terminals around the Apapa axis and the nation at large.

In the meantime, a non-governmental organisation in Vienna, World Poverty Clock, funded by the German government and led by Homi Kharas, deputy director of the Brookings Institution in the US, and Wolfgang Fengler, a World Bank lead economist, is predicting that Nigeria will overtake India as the country with one of the world’s poorest people.

A Financial Times’ report below revealed that an estimated 47m people, almost equivalent to the population of Colombia, are likely to escape extreme poverty this year. But that will not be enough to get anywhere near the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of ending extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1.90 a day at 2011 purchasing power parity prices — by 2030.

By 2030, there will be 200m fewer people living in extreme poverty than there are today. However, 438m, or 5 per cent of the world’s population, will still be below the extreme poverty line. This year, for example, the extreme poverty level is rising in 30 countries; in these nations a total of 9m more people will be living in extreme poverty at the end of 2017 than 12 months previously.

“Very few countries in Africa are making fast enough progress on ending poverty, and in two large countries, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, their populations are growing faster than their economic growth, so poverty will likely continue to rise,” Mr Kharas said. “We need a dramatic break from current trends in over 30 countries in order to end poverty worldwide.”

Nigeria’s population in extreme poverty is rising by 5.7 people per minute and that in DRC by 3.6 people per minute. The rest of Africa is reducing poverty by 4.7 people per minute. The situation in Nigeria is such that in February next year it will overtake India as having the most people living in extreme poverty in the world, at 82m, the clock predicts.

The forecasts are compiled from hundreds of data sets, including figures from national governments, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Mr Kharas said it was important to address the challenge, “not in global terms, and instead to look at it country-by-country”.

“We may be able to accept that small pockets of poverty remain in some countries — in fact some poverty is present even in the richest countries — but we want to avoid any individual countries, even ones with small populations, being in deep poverty,” he said.

The UN’s SDG is unlikely to be met because, globally, the rate of poverty reduction is slowing — largely on account of Asia getting close to ending extreme poverty. Meanwhile, many parts of Africa are making insufficient progress, the clock reveals.

The extreme poverty rate in Africa will drop from 34 per cent this year to 23 per cent in 2030, the clock predicts. But the absolute number is likely to be only slightly lower than what it is now because of population growth.

Additional report from The News

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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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