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WEEKEND GINGER: Dikko House, Shittu; a testimony against Nigeria leaders?‏



The secretariat of the Association of Nigerian Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA) popularly The Dikko Inde House may for long remain a testimonial against industry leaders, of the tons of opportunities so far recklessly wasted.

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Not necessarily because, up till now, the actual cost is yet to be established, as it has been variously valued between N190 million and N300 million, or because it was built when the association as usual had no money, but because it actually proves strongly, that good ideas frequently attract the money for its development.



The idea of an ANLCA Secretariat was first muted, in the late 1990’s, during the reign of Alhaji Sani Kamba, as ANLCA President. The idea was good. But the approach was weak. The effort died a stillbirth. It helped to prove what Machiavelli was stressing in his book, The Prince, that anyone who must come up with a good idea, must be prepared for a stiff opposition and fight from the beneficiaries of the old order  (arrangement) and a very weak support, if any, from the potential beneficiaries of the new order..

Since inception, the office of the ANLCA President had become an exclusive preserve of its rich members, because the winner must also maintain a Secretariat.

Three days ago, the current ANLCA President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu marked his 64th birthday. The association was formed in 1954, when Shittu was only four years old.
From a Princely background, he might have had shoes; but then, most people would also recognise that shoes at that time, was not definitely as important as having food on the table.

Last month, the ANLCA Secretariat was formerly opened and ‘named Dikko Inde House, in a ceremony which also witnessed the honouring of past leaders with awards.

Alhaji Sani Kamba, now a Senator, cancelled his engagement in Germany, to attend it, joyfully praying for Shittu, for helping to make his dream a reality.

In the next three years Shittu’s tenure as President would lapse. But the Dikko Inde House would remain.  Younger, youthful, dynamic but, not so “well to do” members may now come up, vie and win elections, without being bogged down by consideration of how to fund a secretariat. That is what legacy is truly about.

The Maritime First learnt Shittu severally tasked his members, after all, charity must begin at home. He then broadened his base outwards, declaring that any outsiders who donated the most or assisted in attracting the largest funds would have the Secretariat named after him.

Narrating the story of the Dikko Inde House to Maritime First, Shitti recalled that the association started by writing letters out, since they didn’t have a dime budgeted for it in the beginning.

“This House would have been Capital House, and not Dikko House.”, he indicated, noting that he called a general meeting where he pleaded with members to, in addition to their supportive prayers and contributions, but must also bring in their high-net- worth friends and clients, with a caveat that anyone with the highest donor or attracting such would have his name attached to it; adding that shortly after, “Ifranyi Ubah, capital Oil called me on phone”.

But sadly enough, the day the body was to meet Ifranyi Ubah, the gentleman was confronted with a personal problem, as the enemies of the business guru ensured that financial investigators came calling. Though sad, the group continued their forage, creating a lesson in perseverance and unrelenting commitment. It was these traits that took them to Sifax Boss, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi and later Dikko.

But while Dikko did not give money, he pleaded with some of his friends who did. But Afolabi gave, alongside, several others persons.

The group also, variously organized funds raising for the building, and successfully garnered several millions.
Today, you have inside the Dikko Inde House, a Dr. Taiwo Afolabi Hall, a Murtala Mohammed Airport hall, etc. The edifice, came via other people’s charity, and the dogged commitment of the leaders!

A former Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro told a group of journalists, when we visited his office that 10 percent of Ghana’s annual budget was usually taken care of by outsiders’ charities or donations. Yet, Ghana does not only enjoy a very stable power supply, but may soon start exporting same, to Nigeria, her senior, but prodigal brother!

Ghana does not have money, yet the Lever Brothers, the Dunlop groups, etc fled Nigeria to take abode in Ghana, throwing several country-men, into the labour market.

If Shittu did not build the Dikko Inde House, then why was Sani Kamba so excited praying for him? If Shittu did not have money, yet mid-wifed the creating of Dikko Inde House, then how many opportunities have we as a country, frittered away, as a result of crass and myopic leaderships?
If Ghana would now export electricity; (and perhaps later too, refined petroleum products), what moral rights, aside from demographic advantages do we have, to call ourselves the continental giant, with more than half of the entire country in darkness and in hunger?

The image maker of Bahrain Maritime regulatory agency was asked why was his country deliberately lenient in its tax administration; his response was that there was a deliberate policy by Government to attract enough foreign companies, before crude petroleum, the mainstay of the country would lose value. Now, is that, not a country with genuine foresight?

The Djibouti, a small country near Ethiopia, has only its two ports, in addition to common rocks and salty waters, yet its people feed fat, enjoy electricity far better than Nigeria!

Thank God we have crude petroleum in abundance. But, those who know, insist that in the next six years, the item may attract a value, slightly higher than cocoa!

Our major customer, the USA is reportedly undergoing a “transformative moment in the history of energy.”  That means they wouldn’t be buying as they used to.

Already, Nigeria’s crude oil exports to the US, for example, fell to just 61,000 barrels per day last July; meaning that, exports from Nigeria have plunged 94% since 2010.

This is because, the U.S. companies are presently extracting around 8.5 million barrels of oil per day; and which is projected to increase to 9.5 million barrels per day, by next year (according to the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook). Perhaps, it would soon be a matter of time, before Nigeria begins to shop for new buyers; at further reduced prices!

According to a financial reporters and Managing Editor of Energy & Capital, Keith Kohl, in  2008, OPEC’s net revenue from exporting crude oil topped $970 billion. Three years later, higher oil prices pushed the value of OPEC petroleum exports to $1.15 trillion; in 2012, that value climbed to a staggering $1.26 trillion.
Perhaps, countries like Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia have gradually converted it. Adequately preparing for dooms day, so as to take the bite out of it?

It is a debatable argument if ever, there is a country more blessed than Nigeria. But there is no argument on the fact that Nigeria has more citizens, far more than any country on the globe scattered globally, with many of them doing menial jobs!

The monumental things were mostly achieved, when governments of old ran on poor budgets. The Cocoa House, the Benin -Oore Expressway, the Third Mainland Bridge, the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, etc.  Stupendously rich governments merely repair, rehabilitate or patch-patch!

Shittu has proved a point: what we lack in Nigeria is selfless leadership. The Dikko Inde House, a N300 million edifice built by every -day Customs agents led by Shittu may remain for long, the testimony, against this country. And it has nothing to do with, whether or not Shittu had shoes as a toddler!

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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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