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Register With CRFFN or Lose Your Operating Licences, Amaechi Tells Customs Brokers, Freight Forwarders



  • As UI withdraws 97 students

It appears to be an end of the road for the Association of the Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) whose members have been at loggerhead with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).

This is following the order issued to all customs brokers and freight forwarders to register with the Council or risk revocation of their operating licences.

Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi dropped this threat in Lagos at a conference on improved ports efficiency in Nigeria organized by the Maritime Correspondents Organisation of Nigeria (MARCON) .

Amaechi said he would liaise with the leadership of the Customs Service to ensure that customs agents who do not register with CRFFN which regulates all customs brokers and freight forwarders in the country are   punished.

He maintained that he saw no reason why some   customs brokers would not want to register with the CRFFN as provided for in the law establishing the council.

It has been reported that   some members of ANLCA have been opposed to registering with CFRFFN.

Amaechi during the conference said the priority of the present administration is   to improve ports efficiency, adding that on assuming office, he discovered that a lot needs to be done to improve ports administration in the country.

He said, “The need to improve ports efficiency in Nigeria is one of the priorities of this administration . Upon assumption of duty, we discovered that a lot still needed to be done to improve ports administration in the country.

“As we are aware, the role of the maritime industry in the economic, political and social development of any nation cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, the fe3deral government is committed to building a virile and efficient platform that will advance the contribution of the maritime sub-sector in the growth of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and also serve as an alternative source of government revenue.

“As we know, seaports are entrances and exit gates through which the trade needs of transit and landlocked countries are met. The nation’s ports therefore provide the interface between land and sea and we are the most cost effective mode of transportation, that facilitates socio-economic , political and cultural integration of persons, countries and regions whose interest they serve”.

The Minister recalled the reasons for the port reform agenda, and said that the positive impacts of public private partnership (PPP) on the nation’s ports have been considerable.

He said the nation now has more efficient port services, upsurge of cargo throughput, reduction of cargo dwell time, improved vessel turnaround time and improved infrastructure.

But he added that despite all these achievements, more needs to be done to further improve efficiency of the ports and make it cost effective to attract more businesses from within and outside the shores of the country.

He said government will continue to implement more policies that will improve private sector participation in the ports to ensure that it contributes significantly to the growth of the nation’s economy.

In the meantime, the Senate of the University of Ibadan (UI) has approved the withdrawal of 97 students for failure to obtain the minimum academic requirements at the end of the 2014/15 session.

The students were from seven faculties. The expelled students were at various levels, including final year.

A bulletin by the Registrar, Olujimi Olukoya, said some of the students had lapsed studentship. Three voluntarily withdrew.

It reads: “Senate at its meeting recently approved that the candidates whose names appear on this list should withdraw from the university for failure to obtain the minimum academic requirements at the end of the 2014/2015 session.”

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has ranked the university first in its latest 2015 ranking.

The first five positions were dominated by first generation universities- University of Lagos (second), University of Benin (third), Obafemi Awolowo University (fourth) and Ahmadu Bello University (fifth).

The ranking showed that the University of Ilorin is sixth and University of Jos (seventh).

Others are University of Port Harcourt (eighth), University of Maiduguri (ninth), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (10th), Lagos State University (11th) Federal University of Technology, Owerri (12th), Covenant University (13th), University of Nigeria (14th), Federal University of Technology Akure (15th), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (16th), Pan African University (18th); Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso (19th) and Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola (20th).

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Abel Idowu Olayinka, said the university is working towards ranking among the top five in Africa in the next few years.

Prof Olayinka said the premier university is positioned to achieve the feat owing to its highly developed postgraduate school with the highest number of Masters and Doctoral students in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Shipping Day with additional report from Nation


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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