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Weekend Ginger: Osun Workers Swoop On Ibadan As ‘Change’, Turns To ‘Chain’!

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Ibadan is gradually becoming a ‘Mecca’ of some sort,  for Osun State Government workers, particularly the teachers, moving in,  in droves, to do ‘Kabukabu’, or such menial services, because their State Government cannot pay!

For the State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the tea party is over,  and one of the teachers confirmed that he told them, in unambiguous words, the best the Government could do for now, was to pay them, once in three months.

bhjbdcicIn other words, everything being equal, and baring any miracles, the State workers would be lucky to earn salaries only four times, in a year.

The State Governor is unhappy about the development. Forget the ‘bragado’.  It shows on his face. The workers have refused to see this. But, what can the amiable and zealous Governor do?

IMG-20160408-WA0000What is most pathetic about the situation is that Osun State is a ‘Civil Servant’ enclave. The State has an unfair share of industry; except for the petrol stations and private schools, what else would gross in, the kind of IGR capable of bailing the Aregbesola administration out of the current predicament?

The circle is vicious. The State collects it’s Federal allocations, pay the workers,  who in turn, swoop on markets, buying, stockpiling, and paying fees. While the use of taxi and ‘okada’ is a daily affair,  the senior officers patronize the mechanics, and other artisans!

Month in, month out; it was a rhythm!  The equilibrium was established. Everyone was happy; until the crude price nosedive, igniting a fuel / Federal allocations crises which finally exposed the Governor’s imprudent management skill as below standard. This is a contestable remark; and the only question would be: Why couldn’t he pay? Why did he collect only N6.7m as February 2016 monthly Allocation,  when Oyo State collected N2.56bn?!

For every father out there,  failing to do whatever he ought to; is like Rauf Aregbesola, unduly exposing his wards to avoidable risk, pains and penury!

But beyond that, the Governor has also turned the State into a ‘Cherry pick’ for any adventurous politician. The APC as a party cannot be sure of winning any election today: a direct confirmation of Sunny Ade’s song: Omo alai lo owo, o di omo olomo!’ (meaning that the son of a poor man would soon become another man’s son)

I met two of the teachers at Yiidi area of Agodi Ibadan.  One, a headmaster, who had been noted for wearing clean trousers, long-sleeved shirt and a matching tie, was wearing a dirty’ Buba and a more dirty sokoto’.

The second one,  a youth of about 37 years, having turned his car into a Kabukabu, told me he took to Kabukabu, when it finally down on him that the State’s ailments has no healing or curable date in sight!

He also told me that a Principal of a school in Ikire died recently, because he couldn’t afford the sum of N4,000 (four thousand Naira) only,  being cost of a “waider test” (typhoid)  and treatment!  And then he told me of how everyone that visited the bereaved family “prayed” for the Governor!

He took to running Kabukabu, after two of his friends lost their wives to crisis; and the possibility of his own becoming the third, stared him on the face!

To the traders in the State,  the ‘CHANGE, CHANGE’ mantra of the APC has become ‘CHAIN,  CHAIN’!

And the venerated “body language” of the leadership has become “body Odour”!

When the children of Israel were exposed unduly, to harsh sufferings in the Wilderness,  they remembered Egypt,  as they questioned MOSES, whether his mission for taking them out of Egypt, was to kill them in the wilderness. A distraught Moses, sadly approached his Father,  and pronto: help came!

Aregbesola has a father. The APC is not an Orphan. And this is where the President, Muhammadu Buhari must intervene, Urgently!

Homes are breaking.  Children have stopped schooling. Families are shattered and scattered, for no fault of the once, “hardworking”  husbands!

The Boko Haram members are killing their victims in a way Yoruba would call “a pa re orun” (kill and die); the war in Osun State is killing the people in “a pa si aiye” and “a pa die-die”. It makes the once ebullient people look like a ghost of their former self!

We thank Mr.  President for taking care of Boko Haram. We thank Mr.  President for offering lifeline to the Agatus, by containing the Fulani herdsmen excesses. We want to thank You, President Buhari, for finding “Manna” for people living in States like Osun and elsewhere. The humiliation, the ongoing suffering is enough!

The solution must go beyond a temporary suspension of Loan deduction!

There must be something more enduring, in the event that we cannot declare the entire loan as bad debt!

In the meantime sir, when are we fixing power as pledged during the campaigns.

May the President, live for Ever!

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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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