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Weekend Ginger: Nigerian Laws, Unlike The Medea, Don’t Last!‏

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THE Federal Government in October 2011, through a pronouncement from the then Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala ordered eight, out of the 16 Government agencies out of the Port.  In 2016, the Federal Government officially returned Plants Quarantine and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) back to the ports. Others are expected to soon follow. Nigerian laws, unlike the Medea or Persian laws, do not last!

The Medea enacted laws. Nigerians enact emotions. Ask the National Assembly how many laws they have enacted in the past 10 years. The laws are so many,  most can’t remember, until the books are consulted. Ironically, some of the laws are basically the same, only different in names and year of enactment.

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

Please, don’t ask them how many of the laws are being implemented. Some of the laws would never be implemented. They were no laws. They were codified emotions, wishes and wishful daydream. A good example is the Cabotage law!

How can a group of people who have no functional iron or steel industry make a law, that only ships built in their country would be allowed to carry their goods?
How can a people lacking standard training platform for training recognized cadets make a law, stipulating that only Nigerians would be qualified to man Cabotage vessels?
And how can a country lacking every platform for loan financing in single digit make a law prescribing that all Cabotage vessels must be owned, by Nigerians, 100 percent?
When former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo said “I still dey laugh o!”,  nobody remembered to ask him how long he had been laughing!

IFEANYI UGWUANYI

IFEANYI UGWUANYI

Our strength is, sadly also, our weakness.  Every Government that comes, believes that the one before it was the most stupid, the most reckless and the most fraudulent. It treats whatever they achieved as elementary, inconsequential. Similarly, when another Government also comes, it treats too,  whatever the earlier one held sacred, with disdain!

When the former Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker had allegations of corruption against him, no one asked him to resign. It was okay to accept that every man is deemed innocent, until pronounced guilty, by a competent Authority. When Bukola Saraki has allegations of corruption brought against him, we demand he should resign!
Nigeria has no respect for tradition. Our emotions always becloud our senses!

When two APC juggernauts approached America, and successfully convinced the country not to sell arms and ammunition to Jonathan, peradventure the former President might stockpile and use it, to fight others, in the event of his losing election; it was Patriotism!.

When Governor Ayo Fayose approached China, begging the Peoples with the cheapest types of goods, not to lend us money,  because Nigeria can still survive without putting itself in serious debt yet, his action was pure Madness!

Nigeria has no respect for tradition. Our emotions always becloud our rational senses!

When for several months, the Boko Haram sacked several communities,  killing hundreds before rendering the remaining Agatus homeless, in Benue,  it was termed Farmers – Herdsmen conflict; but when they mistakenly wandered into Enugu, and committed less sacrilege, even Ekweremadu quaked, not only the Federal Government. The reason is simple: the average Igbo, unlike the Agatus would go for serious reprisal! The Indigenous People of Biafra may exploit the situation.

The reprisal would also not be instantaneous. Whereas the Yoruba would make their noise, especially on the pages of the papers, and everything would die there; the Igbo would like the proverbial duck, keep his peace,  bid his time; and then strike, inflicting a more deadly harm!
We rose in one Accord, to speak for the Igbos, not because we love them, but because we dread the magnitude of their reprisal!
Nigeria trades, feeds and celebrate hypocrisy!

A lucky nation. Nigeria is always lucky.  We are lucky the Governor there is Ugwuanyi, a man who could by mere words disarm a battalion. I know a little bit of Ugwuanyi. I was with him at close range at the Grand Hotel, in Asaba.  I was again,  with him at close range in London. We had spent a night together at New Castle. And then, we were back to his hotel in London.  A person with his gifts of words, can foreclose any reprisals!

But, is that a sufficient reason to totally abandon the Agatus, to their fate?! When the maxim says an Injustice anywhere, is an Injustice everywhere!

In the meantime, how far are we sure that those who devastated Benue, as well as the killers who invaded Enugu States are actually Herdsmen and not Boko Haram foot soldiers, masquerading as Fulani herdsmen?
Fulani herdsmen go wherever they go, with the cattle. And for these reasons they usually don’t maraude in a population far more than 25. And they do so, in the company of their cows. Those who reportedly attacked  Benue and the Enugu States were reportedly,  not fewer than 75. They also had no cows
So why do we call them Fulani herdsmen?
Has the Boko Haram foot soldiers having been dislodged from their traditional homes in the Sambisa forest finally decided to bring the battle to us, through the murdering of the rural unprotected population?
Have we truthfully defeated the Boko Haram group or have we merely and wrongfully equated a capacity to rid them from Sambisa to having actually defeated them?
Perhaps it is better, if those who told Mr. President that Boko Haram has been totally defeated also quickly conjure new theory of how herdsmen without their normal or usual herds, traveling long distances armed with sophisticated weapons suddenly qualify to be called Fulani HERDSMEN!
Perhaps our word like our laws, probably do not last!

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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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