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SOAN takes a Swipe on NIMASA for failing to arrest foreign vessels at Nigeria’s expense



Platinum Jubilee: SOAN Fine Tunes Arrangements For Dr. Onyung's Birthday Bash

Dr. Mkgeorge Okon Onyung
SOAN Arrowhead

… Says Messrs UNIBROS registration of 14 foreign flagged Coastal tankers, is a breach of Nigerian Content laws***

Consistently frustrated by a lackluster and flatfoot agency’s unwillingness to make the Cabotage act work, the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has taken a swipe against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), stressing the agency’s uncooperative posture, despite efforts of the Nigerian Local Content, to do the needful.

A letter issued by the SOAN Arrowhead, Dr. Mkgeorge Okon Onyung and dispatched to the NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of State, Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki amongst others, specifically encapsulated what the Ship Owners described what SOAN sees as a breach of Nigerian Content and Cabotage laws, in the award of Contract to foreign vessel owners for Coastal Shipping of petroleum products in the downstream petroleum sector.

Also read: Registration of Foreign Vessels: SOAN Protests NNPC’s deliberate breaking of law

The revered body said it was at a loss at NIMASA’s unhindered restraint, to promote the registration of foreign-flagged vessels, instead of actually curbing their adventurism in the nation’s Cabotage domain.

“Recall that we have held multiple levels of dialogue on the above-mentioned subject with the NNPC top management and the Senate Joint Committee on Downstream, Local Content and Legislative Compliance.

“In line with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is crystal clear that NNPC is empowered statutorily to create commercial opportunities as an enabler towards the enhancement of in-country capacity in the downstream petroleum supply chain, as it has successfully done in the upstream sector of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry

“It is on public record that NNPC pledged to support indigenous shipping development and tonnage capacity growth in line with the Nigerian Content (NOGICD) Act in order to reverse a nearly 60-year trend of foreign ships’ domination of our maritime Industry.

“This news was welcomed with great applause from maritime industry stakeholders, but to our greatest disappointment and the total dismay of Nigerians at large, NNPC has proceeded to award the Coastal and Bunkering Vessels Service contract to a foreign shipping company, Messrs UNIBROS with 14 foreign flagged coastal tankers, in total breach and impetuous disregard for Nigerian Content laws, the Coastal and

Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act and the Presidential Executive Order No.5 to the exclusion of Nigerian Shipowners and operators.

“The SHIP OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN (SOAN) hereby register our protest to this show of bad faith and lack of patriotism displayed by NNPC despite the fact that Nigerian Shipowners and operators have demonstrable capacity to operate this contract exclusively and have expressed willingness to accept freight payments in Naira whereas UNIBROS will only accept US Dollar payments resulting in a further drain on our extremely scarce foreign exchange resources.

“We point out to you Sir, that this contract award will result in amplification of capital flight, valued in excess of $100M annually and to the detriment of our economy and employment loss. In addition, no Customs import duty has been paid for any of the 14 vessels in question, again in breach of our nation’s fiscal and monetary policies.

“Nigerian owned and flagged vessels are made to pay full Customs duty and appropriate taxes on earnings which foreign shipping companies have continually illegally evaded.

“Also note that no Seafarer training or local content strategic plan whatsoever is in place in line with the NOGCID laws.

“In terms of Capacity Building, neither UNIBROS nor any foreign Shipowners or shipping company is made to comply with one of the major pre-qualification requirements for consideration in the Coastal and Bunkering Vessels Service tender process, this being the submission and approval by NCDMB of: *a Nigerian Content plan that demonstrates full utilization of Nigerian labour and services with a detailed description of the role, work scope and man-hours in order to achieve the minimum target as set out in the requirement of the NOGICD Act 2010”, the letter highlighted, identifying some of the vessels by name.

Registration of Foreign Vessels: SOAN Protests NNPC's deliberate breaking of law

Expatiating further, Dr. Onyung also indicated the ship owners’ scope of the investigation.

“Our Investigations have shown that this shipping company and the vessels in question have been in the country for many years deploying the tactics with unfair business practices of multiple vessel name changes to evade NIMASA, Customs and fiscal monetary policies and our nation extant laws.

“We, therefore, implore you to use your good offices to:

*1 Prevail on the GMO, NNPC and to reverse and cancel this contract which was not a public tender in line with the public procurement procedures and the Cabotage Act. 2003.

*2. Investigate the unfair illegal sharp practices of multiple vessel name changes and Cabotage registration abuse with total disregard to vessel IMO numbers.

*3. Apply the statutory sanctions on ailing shipping companies in line with the Cabotage law”, the body averred.

He expressed the delight of his members who are already standing by with Medium Range (MR), Long Range (LR), and Handysize oil tankers to meet the coastal and Import shipping requirements within short notice, subject to bankable contract terms and conditions.

“SOAN believes that a genuine collaborative synergy with NIMASA, NNPC, the largest employer of labour, will unlock the economic prosperity of Nigerians.

It is a truism that shipping is 90% of Global trade and without shipping, there is no global economy!, the SOAN leader concluded while looking forward to a favorable response from the Agency.

The Agency is yet to come up with any response!





Unstable Economy: UK Firm Presents Solutions To Nigerian Business Leaders



SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation

Nigerian business leaders are to benefit from the programme of United Kingdom-based leadership development organisation TEXEM UK on how to win despite the exodus of staff, very high inflation and turbulent operating landscape.

TEXEM’s Director of Special Projects, Caroline Lucas, said on the organisation’s website,, that the programme with the theme “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success” is slated for April 24 and April 25 in Lagos.

According to Lucas, in today’s volatile and disruptive business landscape, organisations face numerous strategic challenges.

“TEXEM’s programme, “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success,” offers tailored solutions to address these pressing issues.

“Senior leaders grappling with skyrocketing costs, high currency risks, and disruptive technologies require practical insights and tools to navigate uncertainty effectively.

“This programme provides actionable strategies for sustainable success amidst turbulent times,” she said.

Lucas asserts that exceptional crisis management skills are essential in the face of staff exodus and geopolitical disruptions.

“TEXEM equips participants with the necessary leadership capabilities to lead through crises, ensuring organisational excellence even amidst adversity.

“Innovation becomes imperative in turbulent waters.

“TEXEM’s programme fosters a culture of innovation and provides guidance on harnessing adversity as a catalyst for profitable growth,” she said.

According to her, participants will learn to turn challenges into opportunities, driving sustained profitability.

Lucas said resilience and effective risk management are crucial in today’s volatile landscape.

She said through interactive sessions and case studies, TEXEM helps senior leaders develop unshakable qualities, enabling them to navigate uncertainty and confidently mitigate risks.

“Optimizing resource utilisation is paramount amidst soaring costs.

“TEXEM offers insights on managing resources efficiently, ensuring optimal impact even amidst cost pressures. Decisive problem-solving is paramount.

“TEXEM enhances participants’ decision-making capabilities through peer learning and observation practice, empowering them to make better decisions that drive organisational success,” Lucas said.

She said that beyond the curriculum, networking opportunities with industry peers enrich the learning experience, abound.

“Professional exchange provides valuable insights into different approaches to overcoming challenges, enhancing overall learning and impact.

“TEXEM’s programme aims to develop leadership strategies for optimum performance in an era of uncertainty.

“By helping participants understand how to manage and deploy resources more efficiently, it equips them with the skills needed to thrive in turbulent times,” Lucas said.

Saying that adversity is the mother of innovation, she added that TEXEM empowers individuals and organisations to thrive in volatile times, fostering innovation and sustained profitability.

“At the end of the programme, participants can expect to develop leadership skills for better decision-making and possess survival skills to navigate crises effectively.

“Through its comprehensive approach and proven methodology, TEXEM ensures participants unlock their potential, foster innovation, and drive sustained profitability in today’s challenging environment,” Lucas said.

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Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges



Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called for the use of innovative technologies in resolving the economic and social challenges of the country.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Wednesday during the pioneer graduation of the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy (LJLA) at Konga Place in Lekki.

He said that the new platform of globalisation and Internet of things must be significantly employed to resolve new challenges encountered in the course of improving the living standards of citizens.

30 students, 15 men and 15 women, between 18 and 35 years, graduated from the academy after a one-year course and mentorship in leadership.

The Lagos Leadership Summit (LLS) is a pivotal platform dedicated to empowering Nigeria’s young professionals with the skills and insights essential for success in various leadership roles.

With a focus on leadership excellence, ethical governance, and youth inclusion in governance, the summit offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage with renowned leaders and industry experts.

” You have to be able to innovate for us, you are here as leaders of not tomorrow but today. Proffer solutions that the government can use as a tool, to solve the challenges that we are facing today but more importantly to solve global issues.

“And that is why we started the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy. For us as a government, we felt how well can we honour a man than for us in public sector to set up a cream of new leaders.

“So we set up this school that has the first set, the one-year fellowship, who indeed have not only shown us that we took the right step, they have been outstanding individuals,” the governor said.

The guest speaker and former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, noted that it was important for followers to trust their leaders for a successful outcome.

“The people need to trust the government, they must know the capability of their leaders so that when issues beyond human expectations happen, the followers can show empathy to the plight of their leaders.

” I have always been an advocate that believes that the process is as important as the result, the end shouldn’t justify the means, the process is crucial, it serves as a blueprint for others coming behind,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, who spoke on “Leadership And Community Engagement”, stated that to achieve effective leadership in Nigeria, there was the need to navigate complex political, economic and social landscapes.

Hamzat urged the citizens to be involved in governance while stressing the need for collaborations with private stakeholders and the public sector.

According to him, community engagement with government at all levels is pivotal to the nation’s development.

In her address, Mrs Ayisat Agbaje-Okunade, LIJA’s Executive Secretary, noted that the challenges faced required leaders who are not only capable but compassionate, visionary, and adaptable.

According to her, leadership must transcend rhetoric and manifest tangible outcomes.

“We need leaders who inspire confidence, foster unity, and drive transformation.”

Agbaje-Okunade urged the participants to embrace the responsibility that comes with leadership and pave the way for a generation of new leaders.

The keynote speaker, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, said that leadership is about leading people on a new purposeful journey.

Suleiman said being a strategic thinker and a transformational leader was what makes leadership different from management, adding that the future is being crafted in leadership.

“In essence, as a leader, you must be able to lead people to the future hence, you must be convincing for people to be bold to follow you, able to trust and believe in you.

“For one to be a leader, the people must be able to believe and trust you to take them to the future where you have never been to,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunbosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, stressed that leadership had nothing to do with being young or old but having good values and character.

The commissioner advised the participants to pursue excellence in their various career paths to succeed in life.

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Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth



Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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