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Recession: Apapa Customs’ September Revenue Slides By N2b

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  • N’Assembly invites Buhari over economic recession

In spite of all efforts to the contrary, the Nigeria Customs Service revenue from its Apapa Command shrank by a whooping N2b in September 2016, showing that either the magic wand which netted Col Ali Hameed N34.9b in August was waning, or the harsh reality of recession had sneaked there.

The mother Port Command, though surpassed its monthly target, it nonetheless only collected  N32,947,903,912.38 for the month of September 2016.

Subsequently, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Willy Egbudin has urged all officers and men of the command to step up efforts in ensuring maximum collection of government revenue through appropriate valuation, necessary issuance of debit notices (DN) and strict anti smuggling efforts.

Customs, Willy Egbudin

Mr. Willy Egbudin

Specifically, he also tasked his officers, particularly those in charge of terminals and their subordinates to maintain increased vigilance against any form of concealments, under declaration and smuggling; in addition to strict application of the directives of Controller General Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) by all officers on outright seizure of any cargo or consignment falsely declared with the intent of duty evasion, reminding officers to see themselves as good examples for others to emulate as the command is ranked number one for many good reasons.

”Consider yourselves privileged to be serving in a sensitive Area Command that adds value to national income and revenue. We must continue to sustain our maximum revenue collection tempo and not betray the trust reposed on us”, Egbudin charged further, calling attention to relying on intelligence.

”At this period of national economic recession, we must apply intelligence, tact and legitimate enforcement in detecting and plugging all possible areas of revenue leakages”, he encouraged, stressing the need to make Apapa Command a no go area for any form of lawless activity, as the command must continue in its drive for higher revenue without compromising national security.

In the meantime, the National Assembly has passed a motion to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to address the legislature on efforts being made by his administration to resolve the current economic recession.

The Senate, on Thursday, passed the motion in concurrence with the House of Representatives, which had earlier on September 22, 2016, resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to liaise with the Upper Chamber, with a view to inviting the President to brief a joint session of the National Assembly on the current economic downturn.

The motion partly read, “That the Senate do concur with the House of Representatives’ resolution passed on Thursday, 22nd of September, 2016, to wit: to invite the President and Commander-in-Chief to address a joint session of the National Assembly to intimate it on plans to get the country out of the recession to enable the House to take further legislative action.”

The Senate unanimously passed the motion when the President, Senator Bukola Saraki, took the vote.

The National Assembly is expected to officially communicate the invitation to the President soon.

Also, the House of Representatives on Thursday backed the Senate, asking President Buhari to forward an economic stimulus bill to the National Assembly on how to lead the nation out of the current recession.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Rules / Business, Mr. Orker Jev, told The PUNCH that a clean copy of the resolution would reach Buhari next week.

He did not give a specific date, but gave the assurance that the resolution would reach him.

On when Buhari would come to the National Assembly, Jev replied, “Well, that is left to the President to decide. That is not our decision.”

At its sitting on Thursday presided over by Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, the House adopted the Senate resolution on the economy, which read, “The Executive should, as a matter of urgency, prepare an Economic Stimulus Bill containing all the Fiscal stimulus packages, investments and incentives deigned to pull the country out of recession, to the National Assembly for accelerated consideration.

“The House took the decision following a motion moved by a member, Olayiwola Kazzim (All Progressives Congress/Ogun State) and titled, ‘Urgent Need to Address the Economic Downturn in Nigeria.”

The House, after a two-hour debate by about 30 lawmakers on the recession, agreed that Buhari should brief the legislature on the efforts by his administration to take the country out of the economic crisis.

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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