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NPA: Hadiza Rejigs Media Unit, Redeploys General Managers

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  • As Floods, windstorm wreak havoc in Lagos, Ogun, Sokoto

There is a strong indication that the current Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman is interested in harnessing the full benefits of the social media in the dissemination of vital information to core stakeholders.

Specifically, the media – savvy Co founder of the Bring Back Our Girls (#BBOG) initiative has directed a rejig of the Authority’s Public Relations Department in line with modern day media reality, even as she redeployed the General Manager Western Ports, Chief Michael Kayode Ajayi back to the Public Affairs, a man who rivals the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency in terms of positive media reportage, far beyond the reach of NPA headquarters.

Chief Michael K. Ajayi

General Manager, Public Affairs, Chief Michael K. Ajayi

An insider opined that hardly had she settled down than she picked holds in the system on ground, and offered worthy counsel on how deployment of information and communications technology (ICT)  could be significantly improved.

Subsequently, the Public Affairs Department, as advised by the Managing Director, began on Thursday, August 25, 2016, a three-day retreat that aims to review and entrench new vision and renewed determination in timely and accuracy of reportage, especially of the Authority’s activities in terms of dynamism, commitment and efficiency.

In the meantime, the Managing Director,just this weekend, redeployed 19 top staffers, particularly those within the General Managers cadre.

Aside from the Public Affairs Department formerly headed by Capt. Ebubegu Ihenacho, but which now is to be anchored by Chief Michael Ajayi, as Ebubeogu moves to Monitoring and Enforcement, M & E, Western Ports; the General Manager ND & JV, Mrs Madubuike Ugowho, has now emerged GM, Special Duties; while Talabi Tolulope whose last post was GM, C&SP is now GM, NB&JV; when the GM, Marine and Operations, Goje Abdulahi Aliyu, is now GM, Eastern Ports.

Also affected were the GM, London Office, Abdulahi Buhari who is now GM, SERVICOM; GM, Abuja Liaison Office, Mohammed Nasir Anas, now becomes GM, Admin; Kabir Edward is now GM, M&C Eastern Ports; GM PP&D, Yusuf Ahmed, GM, HSE,

In the same vein, the GM, M&O Obinomen Peter Micheal, was moved to become the General Manager, Capital Projects; GM, Eastern Ports, Asanga Joshua becomes GM, MO; when Mallam Mohammed Ahmed Rufai, General Manager, Capital Projects now becomes the General Manager PP&D..

In another development, thousands of Lagos and Ogun residents have been displaced and property estimated at billions of naira destroyed after downpours on Saturday and Sunday left many streets and homes flooded.

PUNCH Metro learnt that many Christians could not hold their Sunday service as their churches were flooded.

A heavy windstorm in Tundun Yan-Dogo village of Dange-Shuni Local Government Area of Sokoto on Saturday also destroyed filling stations, cars and uprooted some poles in the community.

Our correspondents gathered that the worst hit in Lagos were residents of Oworonshoki, Bariga, Ketu, Ikorodu, Lekki areas, while more than 50 houses were affected in the Ita Oluwo area of Ogun State alone.

A pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Alapere, Ketu, Lagos, Pastor Bola Bolawole, told one of our correspondents that he could not hold church service due to the situation, adding that three of his members were trapped in the floods.

He said, “We could not access our church on Sunday even as of 2pm. The road was completely flooded and we were covered up in water to the waist level. We had to stand by a shop to hold the service, but the rain still drove us away from the place.

“After that, I went on visitation to some of my members and I saw many of them scooping out water from their homes. You can’t go to some parts of the community right now. Water has completely taken over Bakare and Oriola streets and other parts of Alapere. Televisions and fridges were submerged by the floods. Many people have been cut off from their homes.”

Bolawale explained that some residents were afraid that if it poured again, some of the buildings could collapse, calling for urgent government intervention.

A resident of Bariga, Bolatito Ibiyemi, said some parts of the community were not accessible due to the floods.

She said, “The rain has been intense. Places like Oko Oba, Amodu and Arobadade streets and Ilaje Road, have been rendered completely impassable. A church in Ayedun Street was flooded and the members could not hold their service.”

The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Michael Akindele, said the agency received distress calls from residents of Oworonshoki, Ifako, Ikorodu and Lekki areas.

He said, “Several property and items worth millions of naira were damaged, but no life was lost.  The affected streets around the Oworonshoki area include Fasasi Ojomu, Ogunyomi,   Abiola, Akewusola, Adebanmwo, Unity, Oduduwa and Agberin streets, among others, while Hassan Street in Owutu and some other streets were affected in the Ikorodu area.

“LASEMA’s Emergency Response Team was dispatched for the assessment of the affected areas to avert further disaster. The flood was exacerbated by blockages of some of the major drainages in the affected areas.”

The Lagos State Government has, however, called for calm among residents, saying necessary steps are being taken to avert flood disaster in the state.

The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, in a statement on Sunday, explained that the state government had carried out a tour of some of the flood-prone communities to clear up blocked drainages and canals.

He warned that the government would no longer tolerate the building of illegal structures along drainage paths in the state.

He urged residents living on wetlands and flood-prone areas to relocate.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 200 residents were displaced after floods took over about 50 houses on Unity Estate in the Ita Oluwo area of Ogun State.

It was learnt that the estate was submerged around 12pm on Sunday after the fence of InoPlast – a nylon producing company in the area – collapsed.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the fence served as a barrier, which prevented water coming from Ogijo, a neighbouring community, from flooding the estate.

A lot of valuables were said to have been trapped in the floods as most of the dwellers had gone to church when the rain started.

The Chairman, Community Development Association, Mr. Femi Abolude, said 50 houses were affected by the floods.

He said, “This incident first happened about two years ago when the company’s fence fell. We reported the situation at the state governor’s office and the fence was reconstructed. But we queried the quality of the fence and after some time, water started streaming under it. The same fence fell again today (Sunday). The whole community was affected and about 50 houses were seriously flooded.”

Another resident, Paul Idogu, a lawyer, said all his credentials and property were destroyed by the floods and called for a quick intervention from the state government.

He said, “When I woke up around 12pm, I saw floods entering into my house. I was totally helpless. All my credentials and documents were submerged by water. We went to the company but none of the officials came out to speak with us. The police officers we met there told us to come back on Monday.

“When the fence fell two years ago, the company assured us that they would build a stronger one. But what they did was shabby. We wrote them while they were constructing the fence that it was not strong enough, but they didn’t listen. The government should find a way to save the situation. Proper drainage should be constructed.”

A landlord, Cosmas Okoro, said, “All our property has been destroyed. I am just praying the house should not collapse because water is everywhere. I don’t know where to start from. It was my daughter who came to call me from the church. We are just hanging around now; we don’t know where to go to”

An engineer, Christopher Okoro, said he was only able to salvage his television, which was hung on the wall.

“All other valuables, including my laptop, clothes, my wife’s credentials, were destroyed. As I speak with you, I don’t know what to do; I am stranded,” he added.

Additional report from Punch

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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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