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OGBEIFUN: Leaders of tomorrow identify a Leader of Today

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  •  As NIMASA celebrates its Executive leaders

Future leaders of the continent,  All Africa Students Union (AASU), a body of registered students within the African continent last week honoured the Arrowhead of the Ship Owners of Association of Nigeria (SOAN) and Chief Executive Officer of the STARZS Group, Engr. Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun for what they identified in him as “exemplary and altruistic visions” for the youths.

The award from AASU (PAN-AFRICAINE DES ETUDIANTS) a Continental representative organization of democratic students’ unions founded in 1972 at University of Science and  Technology,  Kumasi  Ghana  with  54  member  unions  from  both the Francophone  and  Anglophone  African countries, was sequel to special recommendation made  by  the National  Association  of  Nigerian  Students (NANS)  nominating  Ogbeifun, for  the “2015  Africa  Leadership  Award” as “Beacon  of  Hope  for Africa’s Development.”

Engr. Ogbeifun flanked by students representing AASU

Engr. Ogbeifun flanked by students representing AASU


The  “2015  Africa Leadership Award” and your subsequent induction into the AASU Hall of Fame”, subsequently gains the SOAN Arrowhead the same recognition with other earlier award recipients which included former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, and John Kuffour of Ghana.

It would be recalled that the AASU was in July 2006, hosted by the then  President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria, South  Africa where the former President  of  Nigeria  Dr. Jonathan  Goodluck  and  former  Governor  of  Nassarawa  State,  Nigeria (Alh.  Abdullahi Adamu) represented former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria to receive this prestigious honour.

In 2008, at the Koffi  Annan Conference Centre, Osu, Accra, Ghana President John Kuffour alongside Governors Ikedi  Ohakim and Emmanuel Uduaghan  of  Imo and Delta States  of Nigeria  were amongst  recipients of  the  2008 Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award Series.

image003The body prides itself on the fact that it only bestows awards, on “eminent sons and  daughters,  institutions,  and corporate concerns of African origin, who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavour”.

“Bearing in mind that Africa is presently faced with the challenges of leadership; the aim of the Honor, awarded every year by  AASU, is to promote all forms of  action of  good leadership  designed  to “construct the defenses of African culture of leadership and integrity in minds of men” by rewarding particular outstanding leaders with vision towards the upliftment of Africa, with the purpose of serving as role model for younger generation in line with the constitution and charter of AASU in the spirit of Pan-Africanism.

While congratulating him for the exceptional honour, AASU stressed that the award/ induction into its Hall of Fame, essentially wishes “to encourage and motivate”  Ogbeifun to higher excellence, taking holistic cognizance of his past and present dexterous achievements as  an “administrator  of  monumental  credibility”,  and a “defender  of  democracy”, especially his  immutable  role  in  the  upliftment  of education, promotion of accountability, and as an advocate of youth skills acquisition, youth empowerment, grass root development and egalitarianism.

“Worthy of our encomium is your track record  of  altruistically placing  masses  welfare  at the fore of your leadership  drive and  aspirations  which has  led to improved productivity and wealth/employment creation in your country – Nigeria and Africa at large.

“This is a monumental honour of dignity for outstanding commitment, dedication and inspirational leadership. It involves the receipt of the Africa Leadership Award plaque, as well as name entry into a commemorative panel that will be placed at AASU Secretariat’s 21st century gallery of achievements Hall of Fame.  The  term  “Hall  of  Fame”  denotes  creativity,  enterprise  and  exceptionality.

“There  are  very  few  persons  and organizations  in  the  world  who  can  claim  entry  into  a  Hall  of  Fame.  The  substantial  Medallion  of  Ribbon  Style commemorative  plaque,  chosen  just  for  the  occasion  is  a  symbol  of  such  a  profound  announcement.  Its  five star international headline and rich appearance demands attention”, the Continental body, accredited with UNCCD and enjoys a cordial working relationship with the UN System concluded.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) also celebrated the Agency’s three Executive Directors appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, as they assumed duty, last week.

Mr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh is the Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr. Joseph Oluwarotimi Fashakin is the Executive Director Maritime Safety and Shipping Development while Mr. Gambo Ahmed is the Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services.

The Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr. Jamoh was until this appointment the Assistant Director in NMASA in charge of Training and Development and has over 25 years of public service experience. He had served in the Kaduna State Government before transferring his services to the then National Maritime Authority (NMA) in 1994.

In NIMASA, Mr. Jamoh has had the privileged experience of serving in the operations and administrative departments at management level and brings this knowledge to bear on his new assignment.

Currently a Ph.D student of the University of Port Harcourt specializing in Logistics and Transport Management, Mr. Jamoh also holds a Masters degree in Management from the Korea Maritime and Ocean University in South Korea with a Diploma in Accounting from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

He has attended management courses at the Said Business School, Oxford University, UK as well as the Institute of Public Partnerships in Washington DC, USA. Mr. Jamoh also holds membership of several professional Associations including the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics, Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria and Institute of Maritime Economists (Canada).

Mr. Joseph Oluwarotimi Fashakin, the Executive Director in charge of Maritime Safety and Shipping Development is a consummate Engineering and Project Management Professional having graduated from the University of Ife with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and the Project Management Institute, USA.

Mr. Fashakin’s working experience spans nearly three decades mostly in the private sector. He was at various times Project Manager, MTN Nigeria, Chief Operating Officer – Hybrid Systems Engineering Ltd, Technical Manager – Mobile Telecommunication Services amongst other engagements.

He is a Member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers and Project Management Institute of the United States of America.

Mr. Gambo Ahmed, the Executive Director of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services holds a Bachelor’s degree in (Business Administration) Actuarial Science from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and a Masters in Banking & Finance from the Bayero University Kano.

Mr. Ahmed who has had a successful career in the private and public service started out as an Investment Banker with NAL Merchant Bank Limited before proceeding to become first, the Principal Secretary to the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, and later the Principal Private Secretary to the Kaduna State Governor from 1980.

He was to later return to his passion of banking in NAL Bank PLC where he served and rose to the enviable position of Executive Director retiring in 2006 following the Banking Consolidation which saw the merger of NAL with four other banks to form Sterling Bank Plc.

He was also a Director and later Chairman, Board of Directors of Mainstreet Bank Limited from August 2012 to December, 2014 following his nomination by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and subsequent approval by the CBN.

Mr. Ahmed, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers has also attended several management training both locally and international.

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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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