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Weekend Ginger: Economy: The Battles That Must First Be Won



  • for except Buhari defeats the Civil Service,  he has lost the war to Salvage the Economy! 

Those wanting the nation’s number 1 citizen,  President Muhammadu Buhari to frontally tackle the Economic crisis may have ignored the fact that until the seven most urgent distractions propping up Corruption are tackled,  Government’s energy and resources may not be unbundled, elsewhere!

We love the Civil Service; and for most Nigerians, especially after the National Youth Service Corps,  some individual have shown interest and  wandered to take up appointments there.
Some were successful.  Most were futile.  We love the civil service; their white collar and most stable job opportunity it offers.  And then,  the fact that once you join,  you are also guaranteed,  except you were unlucky to be in the Railways,  to continue to draw pensions, till death,  after retirement.

Unfortunately, the Udoji windfall came, Nigeria went berserk,  and began to pay money to them,  not for working,  but simply for having their names on the register.  The authorities were not telling them we love them.  The nation was simply out to Spoil them.  We sowed the seeds.



Today,  we have about 23,000 of them,  serving or retired,  guilty of drawing illegal funds as canonized “ghost workers”.  The EFCC would prosecute them.  About 8,000 may refund approximately.  Over 15,000 may not.  And if a prison yard cannot contain more than 5,000 inmates,  then,  the present prison yards,  already flowing beyond capacity,  Buhari may need to build three more ultra modern Civil Servant Prison Yards (CSPY)!

The President would also,  despite the need for a quick attention on the economy,  first account for the protection of the ‘Agatus’!

Available statistics showed that as at this minute,  only about a third of the ‘Agatus’ are still domiciled in their ancestral enclaves.  The rest,  like their equally unfortunate fellow “countrymen”  in the Northeast are already living in certain camps as Internally Displayed Person (IDPs), having been dislocated, traumatized and humiliated by some Fulani groups who allegedly feel that Nigeria could again be made to reenact the quintessential Caliphate stunts!

Observably,  a huge embarrassment to a focused President who undeniably is also from their stock,  the marauders have to their intimidating credit,  terrorized most adjoining nations,  in Jos,  Benue and even the not so close neighbors,  the Yoruba,  as they move their cattle, to and fro; and in the course of doing that,  tearing up families and livelihoods of anyone who tries to stop their animals from feeding freely,  like locusts on the farms!

Or shouldn’t the President first attend too,  to the problem already exacerbated by a most unwary, non-discretional security apparatus sent to quell the Biafran motley crowd of chorus singers in a secondary school,  and rather than shelter the people in the school,  not allowing them to go out until they were hungry and exhausted ; but only swooped on the crowd of youths and women, shooting live bullets and tear-gas!

The IPOB group was far wiser than the security team.  They came with video camera and simply lured the security apparatus to exhibit an uncanny recklessness!  Have you watched the video?  Except stage managed,  the video even showed the anti riot police kneeling to take pot-shot of defenseless women and youths!

Fourthly, or shouldn’t Mr.  President first find a more enduring solution to the fuel crisis.  A chess game with Billionaire investors is not the same as thundering instructions by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to the helpless Osun State teachers; let alone comparable to Rotimi Amaechi strict instructions to Maritime Journalists associations to go and merge!

The fuel importers group are no push over.  Individually,  they have paid their dues,  and acquire teeth comparable to fangs.  And collectively they can do more than bite.  They can make life seriously difficult for the masses.  And a groaning masses can easily further confuse,  infuriate and distract the Government,  doing greater harms than mere derailment!

The fifth and sixth have to do with the war against Boko Haram and then the looters both of which have kept government from doing anything productively, especially in terms of seeing the masses benefit from the dividends of Buhari’s regime.

Finally,  shouldn’t Mr President also first pay prime attention to the festering problems of bunkering, oil theft and piracy in the Niger Delta,  before bombarding the economy,  with it’s Federal might?!

Successive governments have tried to come up with one policy or another in respect of the Niger Delta.  Obasanjo pursued ‘carrots and the big stick’.  Musa Yar’Adua introduced an “Amnesty”. What is Buhari’s blue print on this?

As we enjoy the march towards the Easter celebration,  let no one remain deluded that the Nigerian Civil Service is still innocent,  naive or uninformed.

A body from which about 184 of its best officers are slated to be penalized for budget “padding”  cannot claim to be either neutral or objective.
A body of highly trained and revered people,  harbouring over 23,000 bad eggs,  is to say the least,  subjective.

Just as a body,  like the CBN and Immigration which secretly, selfishly and deliberately allegedly go out of its normal protocol,  in vain bid to protect its primordial instincts,  give selective,  clandestine employments to children,  wards and nieces of the political class,  cannot in any way,  morally claim to be saintly,  but evil.

Is it not for a reason that the Bible tells us that God decreed,  that judgment would start from the House of God?
It is for the same reasons that if Mr.  President would succeed,  and if the battle to salvage the economy would yield the desired positive results, then Buhari must confront the agents of corruption,  beginning with the Civil Service!

Unfortunately,  they are also the authors,  foundations and executors of his policies…

May the President, live forever!


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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