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Secure Women’s Future Through Proper Mentoring Alwis Tells WILAT



  • As SERAP, SANs tell Dogara, others to step down, over Budget padding

A seasoned member of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and WILAT Sri Lankan chairperson, Mrs Gayani De Alwis has observed that the future of women development lies in effective mentoring, even as the new Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Hadeza Bala Usman acknowledged that, having immensely benefited from Hajia Amina Waziri, current INEC’s Commissioner, she owe it a duty to also mentor others.

“Mentoring involves the impacting of knowledge and experiences from older women professionals, over a period of time, on younger professionals”, indicated Mrs Alwis, while speaking in a note address at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Thursday last week, as she took participants through a presentation on the theme of the conference, while emphasizing WILAT’s mentoring program in Sri Lanka.

Mrs Gayani De Alwis- Speaking on the main theme of the WILAT conference: Mentoring: The irreplaceable ladder to sustainable development.

Mrs Gayani De Alwis- Speaking on the main theme of the WILAT conference: Mentoring: The irreplaceable ladder to sustainable development.

Referred to ‘Ignite’ in Sri Lanka, Mrs Alwis revealed that women mentoring has become so well established now, that the mentees are now mentoring other younger professionals; more so, as everyone now knows that it is the most viable opportunity for younger professionals to actualise their career development and dreams.

Mrs Gayani highlighted that with more women at work, the families benefit more.

Speaking in the same vein, the NPA Boss, Hajia Hadiza Usman commended the founder/global convener of WILAT- Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, for her foresight in initiating WILAT, to specifically encourage women in logistics and transport to excel at their place of work and in sustaining the growing clamour for more women in public and private service.

Students of Queens College, Yaba at the mentoring program of WILAT.

Students of Queens College, Yaba at the mentoring program of WILAT.

Hajia Hadiza Usman acknowledged Hajia Amina Waziri, the INEC’s Commissioner, for mentoring her and, stressing that as a mentee, she would also owe it a duty to mentor others.

The NPA Managing Director pledged to support WILAT on its mentoring program as well as other related programs, shortly after which alongside other industry juggernauts to unveiled and launch the WILAT’s Impact mentoring Program (WIM).

Hajia Hadiza Usman- MD of NPA sharing her Mentoring experiences with participants.

Hajia Hadiza Usman- MD of NPA sharing her Mentoring experiences with participants.

Earlier, the global convener of WILAT, Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim spoke of WILAT’s activities, which include, but not limited to material support for women entrepreneurs, encouraging women worldwide to always work their ways up, to the top positions of their organizations, the continuing expansion of WILAT activities into several countries, including China etc., after which a minute silence was observed for the loss of a founding member – Mrs Lucy Damachi Ita.

In her contribution, the Women in Logistics and Transport (WILAT) Vice President, Mrs Ogochukwu Ugboma, a lecturer at the School of Transport, Lagos State University described mentoring as “deliberately creating” one or two hours to give life experiences talk to the younger professionals to adopt and work at, so they can also improve appreciably, adding that WILAT was already mentoring two students of LASU/SOT, Christiana and Adeola; and had already given them WILAT’s overseas sponsorship to international conferences.

Both girls who later shared their experiences from the conferences in Dubai and Arusha, Tanzania confessed that the program had really benefitted them so much, with those met at such conferences remaining in contact, to continuously share their various countries’ information.

Speaking in the same vein, the Arrowhead of Seaport Terminals Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess (Dr) Vicky Haastrup also assured of her personal supports and commitment to the success of the WILAT, noting that it was due to the tenacity of purpose, and insistence of Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim that she attended the conference, as the timing conflicted with her travel plans abroad, and she had no option than to reschedule her travel, at great costs, to honour WILAT’s invitation.

Princess Haastrup commended Hajia Ali-Ibrahim’s resolve to sustain the organisation, which she also noted was already, fast expanding into other countries and throwing up many more women in commanding heights of industries. She got a wild ovation, when she, in recognition of all these strides, suggestively pronounced Hajia Aisha as a life Patron/President of WILAT.

There were several goodwill messages from WILAT Ghana, South Africa and some invited guests which included Mrs Chinwe Ezenwa, a retired federal civil servant, and CEO of Oceanstar logistics ltd; Engr Mohammed Rufai, General Manager, Engineering capital projects of NPA; Hajia Amina Waziri, former Acting Chairman, INEC and now Chairman, logistics and operations committee of INEC; and Hajia Lami Tumaka, the Corporate Communication guru and director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

In the meantime, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and some eminent lawyers on Sunday called on the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, and other principal officers of the House, who were alleged to have compromised the integrity of the 2016 budget, to step aside for proper investigation to be carried out into the allegations.

A former House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who was removed as the committee chairman two weeks ago, had alleged that the four principal officers requested the inclusion of N40bn projects in the 2016 budget.

Aside Dogara, other principal officers named in the budget padding saga are the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun; the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and the Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor.

A human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), in an interview with The PUNCH, said leaders of the House, who had been implicated in the budget padding scam, should step aside from their positions in order to give way for thorough investigations.

Falana had, earlier in a statement on Sunday, urged the police and the nation’s anti-graft agencies to take over the investigations into the alleged scam from the Department of State Services.

He also told one of our correspondents on the telephone that all those involved in the scam should step aside the same as Jibrin, who was also accused of padding the budget with N4bn projects for his constituency in Kano State, was removed.

“Since Jibirn has stepped down. It is logical that others, who have been implicated in the scam, to step down,” Falana said.

But the human rights lawyer, in his statement, said the DSS lacked both “the moral and legal rights” to carry out the probe.

He said the DSS had, by its recent acts, could not be trusted with such responsibility.

He cited the DSS recent arrest and detention of the principal officers and administrative staff of the Zamfara State House of Assembly for attempting to commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Abubakar Yari on the grounds of alleged corrupt practices

He noted that there was no legal backing for the DSS to embark on such investigation as the agency, according to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, by virtue of the National Security Agencies Act, is strictly limited to the “preservation and detection within Nigeria of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria.”

He also said the police as well as other anti-graft agencies should be allowed to get to the roots of the scam and bring the culprits to book.

Falana said, “Curiously, the State Security Service (Department of State Services) is alleged to have usurped the statutory duties of the police and the anti-graft agencies by taking over the investigations into the padding of the budget.

“Having regard to the recent activities of the SSS and the clear provisions of the relevant laws on investigation of corruption and other economic and financial crimes, the SSS lacks the moral right and legal powers to interfere in the investigation of the criminal allegation of padding of the budget in any manner whatsoever.”

Falana also demanded that the investigation should be extended to an alleged diversion of over N300bn in the name of constituency projects by past and serving federal legislators.

“At the end of the investigations, all the suspects, who are indicted, should be charged to court while the funds allegedly stolen by them should be recovered.

Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, said even though it was the “honourable” thing for the affected lawmakers to do, there had been no public officer, who had, on his or her volition, decided to quit an office over corruption allegation in Nigeria.

In an open letter to the Speaker, SERAP asked Dogara to step aside to allow investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other agencies.

The letter, dated July 29, 2016, was signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni.

It stated, “Following confirmation received by SERAP from the EFCC that it has taken up and looking into SERAP’s petition to the body on the allegations that the leadership of the House of Representatives padded the 2016 budget to the tune of N481bn, SERAP is now writing to request you to immediately step aside from your position as the Speaker of the House of Representatives pending the outcome of the investigation.

“We also urge you to ensure that other principal officers of the House, suspected to be involved in the alleged padding, step aside from their positions to allow for the investigation by the EFCC and other agencies to go ahead unhindered.”

According to it, the case  deserves a thorough, transparent, independent and effective investigation by the EFCC and other agencies.

The Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, believed that the current budget padding scam in the House, had also underscored the belief that corruption had become deep-seated in the country.

He said “Unfortunately, the budget has been signed, which makes it a law that cannot be investigated. There is, however, a moral burden over the weighty allegations that require coming clean by the leadership of the House.

‘‘People are, however, not oblivious of the fact that until we deal with the architecture of corruption, the scourge will be dancing from one spot to another and we will only be screaming when the symptoms manifest.”

Additional report from Punch


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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