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NPA Begins Trucks Registration, Vows To End Container Related Accidents

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  • As Osinbajo Insists: Creating Jobs For Unemployed Graduates Still Tops Government List

The Nigerian Ports Authority has begun the registration of trucks that would be allowed to enter the ports and lift containers in Lagos ports, in a determination to significantly reduce container related accidents.

The General Manager, Western Ports, Chief Michael K. Ajayi confirmed this in Lagos, stressing that the NPA management is bent on ending the wave of accidents, either induced or related to container-laden trucks.

General Manager, Western Ports, Chief Michael K. Ajayi

General Manager, Western Ports, Chief Michael K. Ajayi

“A situation where a man closes from work, and he can not get to his home as a result of container related accidents must stop.

“From the 1st of March, 2016, trucks that are not registered with the NPA will not be allowed to enter the ports to do business”, he stated, adding that only trucks, in very good conditions, registered and issued non-transferable stickers would be allowed to lift cargo in the ports.

Speaking further, he gave a breakdown of requirements which must be met before a truck would be allowed to pass through the proverbial”needles eye” to include a meticulous examinations of the truck heads, particulars, main body or carriage unit; tyres, breaking system, lifting jacks, wedges, engines, batteries, break lights, trafficator lights, fire extinguisher and other warning devices, like horns and caution signs.

It would be recalled that an accident occurred late last year, in which an improperly fitted container fell off a truck along the Western Avenue, Lagos killing an entire family in a Jeep.

In the meantime, the priority of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is to create jobs for the nation’s unemployed graduates, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.

He added that as soon as the 2016 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly is passed, the implementations of programmes aimed at addressing unemployment would start.

The vice president, who spoke at the inauguration of some legacy projects at Aiyetoro in Yewa North Local Government Council, Ogun State, assured residents that the Buhari’s government has the interest of Nigerians at heart.

Osinbajo, an indigene of Ogun State, arrived in the state yesterday and joined the state government in marking the 40th anniversary of the state creation in 1976.

He also inaugurated some of the projects executed by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

Buhari was also in the state on a two-day official visit, where he met with former President Olusegun Obsanjo, traditional rulers and also inaugurated some projects before leaving for abroad.

According to the vice president, the campaign promises of the President’s administration would be fulfilled.

He noted that the Federal Government has specific programmes for the women, traders and the down-trodden.

He lauded Amosun for his achievements in the state within the last four years  and eight months, describing the governor as the best the state has so far witnessed.

“All of us that witness 40 years of our state today will witness 60 years by God grace. I’m happy to be with my people and glad with all what I have seen so far.

“Let me say this, all what we promised to do at the Federal Government level will be fulfilled. Our administration priority is job employment for our teeming youths, especially the graduates.

“What we promised as little incentive for our youths will be done but not as a free gift. We will recruit 500,000 youths and train them as volunteer teachers.

“Also, we have programmes for the women and our market people, even, the down trodden. All what we promised, by God’s  grace, we will fulfill them,” Osinbajo said.

Amosun, who addressed residents in Ota and its environs, hailed them for their support for his administration.

He appealed to the people to remain peaceful and resilient, promising that on – going projects would be completed while more would start soon.

Additional report from The Nation

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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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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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