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Weekend Ginger: Tinapa’s waste: Nigerians are the real losers



The Tinapa may one day, not only emerge as the Cross Rivers State Government’s waste, but a pointer to Nigerian  insatiable appetite for greediness and profligacy!



Greediness to make a name or history as the head of a Government that achieved what others could not.

tinapa 2
WP_000845 WP_000847A government garnered Billions of Naira. The aim was to develop a trade hub. But, did the people adhere strictly, to the rules as prescribed the feasibility studies? .Or was there no feasibility studies before such gigantic project was embarked upon?

In any case, as the billions of Naira evaporated, solid structures constructed on serene, hospitable environment grew.

The Governor called his pet dream TINAPA. His enemies called it the TILAPIA. As the governor bows out gracefully, at the end of his tenure, the enviable tilapia lost focus, and neither would swim nor die. Today

The Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort complex in Calabar is today, a good example of a failed dream!

But if the former Governor was myopic; what do you say of the successor? Rather than correct the inherent mistakes of his predecessor and work hard enough to make the TINAPA serve its purpose; he has seemingly, merely distanced himself from it?

But the Governor is also a human being. So, perhaps, also wanting to make his own name,, has also begun the construction of another TILAPIA- sinking new billions of Naira into a stone throw of the earlier tinapa.

In other words, there would now be Tinapa 2, a stone throw from Tinapa 1.
perhaps, to quicken the real death of the fast decaying Tinapa. So that as the new Tinapa grows in status, those who developed the old Tinapa could grow green with envy.

Maybe, the current Government wants to prove a point; to show that he has a better fore sight and managerial skills.. Or to prove that he has no portion in his predecessor; by allowing a project developed and celebrated by his predecessor for Nigerians, through Nigerian money to waste!

Is the Governor in Calabar right? Is he proving a point? Is he wasting the people’s money?
What will happen if tomorrow another Governor comes, ignores his own ‘Tinapa’ (tilapia) to also go in ruins?
What happens if the new project also go into ruins?

Is this the way Governments in overseas reason, and they have advanced, so enviably?

The crew of the Maritime First was Calabar recently. To confirm the reported reaction of Customs Chief who was in a visitor to Tinapa in August, 2014. The Tinapa was truly in ruins.

The Customs Controller in charge of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states Command, Mr. Yekini Atoyebi, had earlier visited the Tinapa, as part of his official assignments: he could not believe what he saw. He was dazed and he wept. It was his first day at the site.

And so, with mist around his eyes, and an imaginable heaviness in his heart  he approached the Government House in Calabar. There, he pleaded that the Government should do something about the old Tinapa.

He wept because of the stupendous amount of billions already sunk: and height of decay, waste and desolation already attained. The Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort complex in Calabar , which ought to have become a huge business hub in Africa was in ruins, under the watchful eyes of those who should protect it.

But Atoyebi is “a big man”. So he could speak at the Government House in Calabar, when he paid his maiden courtesy visit on the State Security Adviser, Mr. Rekpene Bassey.

He said he could not imagine how such gigantic infrastructure could be lying desolate in the country.

“When I went there some people in my entourage said I was crying louder than the bereaved, but to me, I could not imagine how such a gigantic infrastructure would be lying desolate when in some places such infrastructure could be bringing in revenue that can keep a state running for months,” he said.

An officer and a fine gentleman, the Comptroller urged the state government to do everything within its reach to ensure the resort functions.

Atoyebi is a lucky man. The Maritime First crew has no opportunity of speaking to Government officials, so we spoke with cab drivers and artisans.
Emmanuel Ebong wondered why the State should be so unlucky, to have come  in quick succession, under leaderships who would rather, selfishly compete, instead of cooperating.

Just as a man drinking beer at a joint near the Nigerian Ports Authority blamed the development on witches. “My brother, na the witches o. You know they are very strong here!”. He refused to tell us his name.  Perhaps, because of the fear of the witches!
The average man on the streets of Calabar is sad with the development. They all insist the current Governor can do something about it. Our crew agreed. The Government should do something fast, about it.

But would the Government do anything about it?

We know that to the Government, voices like that of Atoyebi could be wasting their time. There was nothing new outsiders can say, that it does not know already!

The Maritime First crew wished the Government of the Cross River States well.
The Governor, like Nero may be playing the flute today, while Tinapa lays in ruin, because he wants to build his own Tinapa. But let him know that historians are also waiting for him. His administration would one day end.

The people of the State are not the real losers. The real losers are Nigerians… It is their resources and dreams that is so far, gradually but consistently going into ruins!

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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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