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SOMO Blacklists Three Crude Oil Tankers

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  •  As Prof. Ango Abdullahi affirms:  Nigeria’s unity negotiable

Iraqi national company State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) has blacklisted three tankers which had been shipping crude oil from Kurdistan, according to Reuters.

Namely, the company earlier noted that it would not allow the 1995-built oil tanker Maran Centaurus, the 2001-built Four Smile and the 2010-built SN Olivia to enter ports in Iraq or export the country’s crude oil.

The move comes amid preparations for new discussions on oil revenue sharing in the region between Baghdad and Kurdistan, after Iraq resumed crude oil shipping operations from its Kirkuk fields to Kurdistan.

World Maritime News contacted SOMO for details on the matter, however, the company is yet to reply.

In the meantime, a former Minister of Education and member of the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has said if Nigerians has found it difficult to live together in peace, the component units should find it convenient to go their separate ways.

Accusing the elite of being the cause of the nation’s multifaceted challenges, Abdullahi believed that if the amalgamation of the country in 1914 by Lord Lugard was a mistake, “each region should go separately.”

Abdullahi stated these on Tuesday in Abuja during the public presentation of two books:  Boko Haram: The Charade vs Reality and The Life and Times of Umaru Turakin Bauchi, written by a former Diplomatic Editor of the Voice of America and now visiting Professor in ABU, Zaria, Hadiza Wada.

The former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu bello University, Zaria, and former Adviser on Food Security to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, also called on the Federal Government to fight the Niger Delta Avengers before fighting members of the Boko Haram sect.

He said, “The Batures (whites) have brought us together. They tried what they could before they left in 1960 to see whether this country could become a political unity that is stable because without political stability, it is impossible to stabilise any aspect of our socio-economic development. They succeeded up to a point but they were very lucky, they found our forefathers and founding fathers, who were honest.

“Take for example, India that became independent in 1948, before one or two years, Pakistan was born and in another one or two years, Bangladesh was born out of Pakistan because there had not been sufficient basis on which India would stay together in the first place and later Pakistan would stand together as Pakistan, even though they have so much in common. Bangladesh and Pakistan are Muslim countries and so on. There are so many areas of disagreement.”

The ex-minister added, “So, this is what we have with our independence and our forefathers did so much. But our greatest challenge today is political instability, created, unfortunately, by politicians and the Nigerian elite. We are responsible for the conditions we are experiencing today and that we have experienced over the years.

“This is the basis on which we have made slow or no progress in our development.”

Abdullahi argued that the elite were in the vanguard of calling for the restructuring of the country.

He stated, “We are hearing about the restructuring of Nigeria. We’re hearing about secession; we are hearing all sorts of things(sic) and who are the promoters of this rhetoric?

“These are from elite of the country. They’re right to say their minds, but they should also leave me to say my mind when the time is right.

“If Lord Lugard made a mistake in 1914, let’s correct it now. Why not? If Nigerians cannot live together and allow peace and development to take place, then let’s go our different ways and to our different places, so we can concentrate and develop our children and grandchildren in peace.

“There’s nothing wrong with that. So many countries have gone through that before.  So, I don’t believe in all this emotion and sentiment that Nigeria is indissoluble. There’s nothing like indissolubility in any country.

“Take Britain, they’ve been a model for 1,000 years of democracy; and then, a year or two ago, Scotland, that had been in the United Kingdom for about 350 years, opted to go for a referendum to get out; same problem with Ireland. Soviet Union was only a superpower many years ago; today, 12 or 13 countries are there.

“So what is so special about Nigeria?  If we find truly that we cannot develop and guarantee the welfare of our people as a nation and the solution is to go our separate ways, why not? So you see, this is the thing we have to always discuss at all times honestly.”

Speaking on Boko Haram, he said, “You ask the question: where did Boko Haram get their sophistication and articulation from?  No doubt from external connections, but external connections can only thrive if they have internal connections in the country itself.

“But the real offence: people who ‘knew’ and should have spoken out did not do such.

“Some of us, including my teacher and I, went to see (former President Goodluck) Jonathan to discuss it. Some days later, we heard there was going to be dialogue but then two weeks later, a state of emergency was declared and Boko Haram was banned. So, the question is: who are you talking with if you have banned Boko Haram?

Abdullahi believed that the Niger Delta Avengers and Boko Haram belonged to the same camp of terrorists.”

He stated, “Yes we accepted Boko Haram for those who described them as ‘Islamist  terrorists’, fair enough; but what about economic terrorists?

“In the Niger Delta, for example, people who came out openly and said they’re avenging something and that they’re fighting to avenge something, they’re worse than what’s happening in this country; they’re worse than Boko Haram.

‘‘If you’re not going to fight Avengers, then stop fighting Boko Haram.”

Also, an elder statesman, Alhaji Maitama Sule, commended the author of the book, Wada, on her painstaking research on the Boko Haram insurgency.

Wada said government needed to do more in the area of further research on Boko Haram.

World Maritime News with 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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