Connect with us
>

Archives

USCG: Nigeria Pleads For Review Of “Condition Of Entry”

Published

on

  •   As FG fires 20 FAAN directors, managers

A high powered delegation from Nigeria has visited the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in Washington DC to learn first hand, the procedure for a full implementation of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) code.

Led by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; the group which included the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside; Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman; and the the Director, Maritime Safety and Security in the ministry, Mr. Danjuma Dada, also seized the opportunity to plead for a review of “Conditions of Entry” placed on Nigeria, by the US.

The Hon Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi admiring a brochure being shown to him by the Sector Commander of the US Coast Guard Long Island Connecticut, Captain Andrew Tucci during a reciprocal visit of Nigeria to the USCG in USA recently.

The Hon Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi admiring a brochure being shown to him by the Sector Commander of the US Coast Guard Long Island Connecticut, Captain Andrew Tucci during a reciprocal visit of Nigeria to the USCG in USA recently.

The visit which was at the invitation of the USCG was expected to serve as an exchange programme for the Nigerian delegation, exposing them to the implementation strategies of the United States so as to replicate same in Nigeria.

“Nigeria appreciates the efforts and support of the United States Government in encouraging a cordial bilateral relationship with Nigeria not only in the area of maritime security but also in other areas”, Rotimi Amaechi told the Coast Guard, stressingly assuring his host and subsequently, the International shipping community of Nigeria’s commitment to full implementation of the ISPS code, so as to further institute a strict security regime in the nation’s maritime environment.

The Minister who also expressed Government’s appreciation for the support of the USCG in implementing the ISPS code in Nigeri, noted that since the NIMASA over the implementation of the ISPS code as the Designated Authority (DA) in Nigeria, the agency has performed creditable, moving the compliance level from 9% in 2013 to 79.3% in 2016.

He pleaded with the US Government to revisit the Condition of Entry (COE) earlier placed on vessels that have called some port facilities in Nigeria which were not compliant with the code saying that over 80% of those facilities have since complied with the code and needed to be removed for the COE list.

Receiving the delegation, the Assistant Commandant of the USCG, Rear Admiral Paul Thomas expressed his country’s determination to continue to support Nigeria in its goal of full implementation of the ISPS code.

Admiral Thomas who oversees the USCG directorates of Inspection and Compliance as well as Marine Transport Systems commended Nigeria for its progress in the ISPS code implementation so far saying the visit to the US was aimed at exposing the delegation to some of the strategies adopted by America to successfully implement the code.

In the meantime, about 21 senior officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria were on Wednesday sacked in a major shake-up.

Those affected, including directors, general managers and deputy general managers, were reportedly handed their termination of appointment letters.

Sources at the head office of FAAN in Lagos told our correspondent that no fewer than 10 general managers were reportedly demoted. They were said to have earlier been improperly promoted.

It was learnt from an official of the Ministry of Aviation that the sacking was the first batch of the shake-up planned by the government to reposition FAAN.

Stakeholders said the Federal Government had been concerned about certain issues at FAAN such as the engagement of about 40 general managers, the creation of many directorates that brought about duplication of duties and raised the authority’s monthly overhead to an estimated N800m.

Sources said the government planned to reduce the number of workers by way of restructuring in order to cushion the effects of the current economic crisis.

Some of the general managers were said not to have the requisite qualifications for the sensitive positions they held, as many of them, including deputy general managers, had reportedly left the university about 10 years ago and could not have qualified for the office they held.

Almost all the directors were said to have been affected, while an acting director of finance was said to have been demoted to Grade Level 10 and redeployed to the Department of Information Communications and Technology.

Many of the affected officers were moved from Grade Levels 17 and 16 down to 10, 12 and 14.

Some of the demoted workers were said to have received their letters, authorising them to report to their superiors, who were their subordinates before the exercise.

Meanwhile, new directors of finance and accounts, as well as commercial and business development, have been appointed.

The Federal Government is also reportedly planning to reduce the number of directorates in the aviation agencies as part of the restructuring exercise.

This, it was learnt, would affect the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.

The restructuring at the airports is said to be the fallout of a panel’s report headed by the Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, which recommended the need for a proper placement in FAAN.

The NAMA may get a new managing director before December as its acting Managing Director, Emmanuel Anasi, is expected to proceed on terminal leave by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has said it will hold a public hearing with stakeholders to discuss the proposed concession of some airport terminals by the Federal Government.

The Chairman of the committee, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, stated this in Lagos during the oversight visit by the committee members to the aviation agencies on Wednesday.

He said the public hearing would give stakeholders the opportunity to make their input.

Onyejeocha said, “I do not believe in the concession of the four major airports that we have because I know those four airports are funding the other 18 international airports. And of course, you have to look at the issue of workers and the Nigerian people as a whole.

“We are going to conduct a public hearing where we will take all the issues together; where we will be able to ask Nigerians and of course the key players in the aviation industry, including the workers, and even journalists, to tell us what they think.”

The 18-member delegation said it was in Lagos to see how the sector was faring amid the current economic recession.

Onyejeocha expressed disappointment at the slow pace of work at the new international terminal being constructed by the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company.

According to her, with the current pace of work, the project may not be delivered by December as projected.

“We have three other terminals that we are hopeful will be delivered by December; so what it simply means is that Lagos is lagging behind and we will take it seriously,” she said.

The committee also visited the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, where the regulatory body was asked to do everything necessary to keep domestic carriers in business.

Additional report from Punch

Archives

WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

Published

on

…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. 

Continue Reading

Archives

Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

Published

on

The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

Continue Reading

Archives

Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

Published

on

…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

Continue Reading

Advertisement

Editor’s Pick

Politics