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Open Letter To Dr Goodluck Jonathan



Dear Mr President,

First, please pardon me Your Excellency for writing you at this tense political moment in our country history, a time when you have serious political campaigning to do. Obviously this is not the best time to write this kind of letters but I feel compelled to write after the postponement of the general elections and the backlash that followed.

Wherever I have travelled, be it in Africa or overseas, the first question people asked as soon as I have introduced myself as a Nigerian is, “How is corruption in Nigeria?” This is a question that always confuses me regarding what the various questioners really want to know about the country. It is also a question that often steals the limelight from me, as people seemingly want to know more about the level of corruption and insecurity in the country, rather than the huge potentials in country.

In 2010, we watched you do your thing as leader of our republic, and as has been the reality over the past 5 years of your rule, there were as many people singing your praises as there were those excoriating you for all that is not right with our beloved country. Mr. President, we have been listening to speech after speech from you where you invariably promise us a better life, better leadership, corruption-busting, jobs, a better economy, freedom, justice and a “new” Nigeria where young people can aspire and prosper.

Indeed, our hopes as Nigerians are that we would finally get to have a feel of the good life during your government, and not endure the pain and indignity of watching our relatives, friends and acquaintances living in other countries doing well and showing off to us.Among other things we hoped for, Mr. President, during your historic election in 2011 were: fixing the potholes on our roads, constant electricity supply your promised would be achieved within a few years, among others.

But you failed to meet our aspiration and the pain of the populace has become unbearable, making your departure through the ballot box almost a certainty. But you should leave honourably instead of trying to buy time by postponing the election. The postponement will do you no favour, surely. If the army could not defeat the insurgents in six years, then only a fool would believe 6 weeksextensionwill be the answer. Even the world super powers have not defeat any kind of rebellion in six weeks.

Mr President, we all remember how you promised to create job opportunities for Nigerians, but what you rather did was sending our beloved graduates to their early graves. The immigration recruitment tragedy is something that I will never forget in my life, and the families of the departed souls can’t wait to avenge their loss through the ballot box come March 28th.Mr. President you may want to know that many of my colleagues who graduated same year you were elected president are still unemployed up till today, and they have also failed to secure loans to start their own businesses. Their percentage on the total numbers of eligible voters may be small, but they have resolved to ensure it makes the needed difference come March 28th.

Rightly or wrongly, many people see you as the catalyst behind their success or failure, and I understand it could be difficult carrying the burden of having to make the wishes of over 170 million people come true.I do not have much to ask, but that you keep your promise of handing over come May 29, 2015 if you lose the election. Our desire is to try something new, something different from the PDP. And no amount of bribery can stop it; we need to save the future of our children and that of the unborn generation.

It is the hope of many Nigerians that the men and women you chose to help you run the country in Cabinet will deliver as expected of them, and not spend so much time gossiping about each other and politicking mindlessly.All eyes are again on you this year, as they have been for the past 5 years, hoping that we finally say goodbye to your government that has brought us so many agonizing and painful experiences; we have had enough of impunity, fake promises, insecurity, and unemployment that has become the trademark of your administration.

Finally, I’m also patiently looking forward to you handing over to General Muhammadu Buhari come May 29 and offering an unreserved apology for failing a nation of over 170 million people.

Most respectfully,
Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman (Kiev Ukraine)


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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…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



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…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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