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Weekend Ginger: The Rogue, His Mother And Other Distractions

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Now, they mock us.
They publicly mock us, as the most fantastically corrupt country in the world, because we washed our dirty linens on the pages of the newspapers. Sadly, ironically, it is the same ‘mother’, in whose custody, a substantial fraction of the ‘loot’  is stashed that mocks us loudest!

The Yoruba has an adage: Eni gbe epo l’aja nikan ko ni ole…. Eni tii o gba sile gangan, ni Baba ole! (It is not only the one who stole the palm oil, from the ceiling that is thief… Even the one,  that assists the thief in ensuring safe-keeping, is the ‘fantastic’ Baba thief! ‘)

Nigeria was looted blind. But a substantial percentage of the loot is in the custody of our’ mother’!

If Charles Darwin were alive, perhaps the primordial instinct may get better explanation: the child steals, be it biro, pencil or crayons, and where does he take it to?  Most often it is the mother!

Similarly, unscrupulous Nigerians loot the nation; and where do they first consider as a most favorable ‘Ali-Baba’s Cave’?  Of course, it is Britain!

Some years back, a notorious, deadly and dreaded armed robber, Anini terrorized the people of Edo State, operating like the legendary Robbin hood,  and making the Nigerian Police look like minions. One day, he was caught, everyone had one bad thing or another to say of Anini, except the mother. A news hound approached the mother and inquired while Mama Anini was still pleading for the life of the deadly rogue and he got the most remarkable response: “Eh… I can’t curse him o. I can’t curse him o. Anini is my son o!”

Perhaps, the truth is that the ‘orphan’ has no ‘brother’,  ‘sister’ or ‘uncle’. So,  how can the orphan have a ‘mother’?! What is more?  Nigeria was even placed on the same footing with a failed State, Afghanistan!

In 1 Kings, 13 V 26; a big Prophet publicly mocked a small Prophet who was slaughtered by a mysterious lion: because it was only the Big Prophet that knew secrets of the small Prophet!

Perhaps, it’s only our ‘mother’  that knows the depth of our Secrets, the true and mind-boggling size of the nation’s loot in their custody.  Which goes to imply that rather than fight them,  we should plead with them, especially, towards ensuring that Nigeria can ferret out all the loots, including the ‘crayons’ and ‘pencils’, whether with or without ‘erasers’!

Now, that said and done, shouldn’t we also spare a little thought and time for the EFCC, which has ended up making a ridicule of a great country, called Nigeria, especially in its total lack of any discretion. One year into the life of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration,  every Nigerian has been made to look like a common criminal, before the International community, even when the EFCC was yet to convict any ‘big fish’!

We thank the EFCC today again, as we have severally done in the past, for helping us to attract the country, the latest award of being the’ Most Fantastically Corrupt Country”.  We have played and danced to the gallery, far beyond the scope and demands of an anti graft outfit, perhaps, probably to convince Buhari that we are indeed doing the ‘job’!

In the meantime, shouldn’t we also spare a second to understand how Government intends to contain the nation’s latest threat, the Niger Delta Avenger!

We thank the Government for hiking the fuel price!  It is to make sure that Government acquires the financial muscles to repair the roads, put drugs in the hospitals, build more Universities and pay the lecturers!

In other words, like we have heard in the past, Nigeria would soon become a cherished Eldorado, following the new petrol price hike. Would that mollify or pacify the restive youths, in its true essence?

The frightening thing about this Avengers group is that they sound youthful, urbane, carefree and un-intimidated about issues of coercion. In other words, even when Government finally contains them, the havoc wrecked would be of gargantuan proportion!

Can we really afford it?

Pray we do not have to contend with Boko Haram in the Northeast, the Avengers, by whatever names, in the South South, the gallery playing EFCC at the centre, and the distracting fuel price protesters in the Southwest!
Now, how far can Armageddon still be?
We pledge our loyalty to PMB.. May the President live forever!

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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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