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Weekend Ginger: Why Nigeria Needs Magicians Now!



  • The slide on Happiness Scale from 1 to 103 is huge disgrace! 

With power supply truncated five days running and fuel selling at N180 per litre in Ibadan, the global agency measuring each country’s happiness would be free to visit the ancient city to weep,  rather than measuring a fast sliding happiness guage.

Reports showed that Nigeria led the pack 12 years ago as a community with the happiest people on earth.  Last year the ‘Happy People’s’ scale listed Nigeria at 78. And only 12 months later, being this year, the country is listed at 103.

Screenshot_2016-03-27-16-20-211Ibadan today is quiet. A first time visitor would think the people were still mourning the demise of the last monarch,  Oba Odugade; not celebrating the peaceful enthroning of the current Oba Adetunji.

Sadly, if Ibadan is groaning, the entirety of Osun State is mourning.

The reports filed from Osun State shows the situation is sadder.  With unpaid salaries running into several months; and common sense indicating that their Governor, who collected only N6m as the total February’s Federal Allocation,  like Ibe Kachikwu, who can ‘not perform any magic’,  would still be owing salaries come July!

Screenshot_2016-03-24-07-19-31Perhaps,  anyone wanting to know how Nigeria happened to slide down the Happiness Scale,  should first ask,  how Oyo State collected N2.56bn Federal Allocation for February 2016,  when Osun only took home what could not even adequately offset the State’s NEPA bill.

Both Governors were APC gurus. Both were in to their second term stint.  Both are devout Muslims. And both actually pledged to better the Economic conditions of their people!

But,  both were not equally prudent.  One was reckless. Aregbesola was not only reckless,  he also, in a fit of financial misadventure,  dabbled into white elephant projects, like offering free school uniforms and foods; and subsequently ruining his people beyond measures!

The doctors in Osun State Government employ, as educated and dynamic as they were,  can today hardly maintain themselves,  let alone their poor families.  And if ‘physicians’  can no longer ‘heal themselves’,  how much more would the teachers be vulnerable?!

The point being made is that the Happiness of a people is intricately dependent on the quality of decisions made by their leaders. And it makes no difference,  whether the leader came soliciting their votes,  wielding a Malaysian imported broom,  or a giant grandfather umbrella, from China!

When Nigerians voted in Buhari,  it was to enable the APC rule and make the desired difference. Today,  over 50 percent of “PinDiPi” deserters have successfully networked themselves into APC, either to avoid the EFCC onslaught,  or to find relevance.
Was this what the Electorate craved for?
Would an imperfect blend of APC and PDP meet the true yearnings of the masses?
If we continue this ‘a little to the right,  a little to the left’ drift,  who do we actually end up, voting for in 2019?

In the meantime,  let us take the time to thank the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu for being honest enough to avail us the truth: the fuel crisis may continue unabated,  till May 2016?
We need honest people like Kachikwu to know how long we may stay, in the Happiness sliding conundrum! We need people who knows they are no magicians; and are honest enough to publicly declare it, to the media,  thereby daring Mr. President,  to do his worse!

But we also need a soul like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to call Kachikwu’s recklessness to order.

Perhaps,  somebody should also ask: what’s the matter with Tinubu? Is he the President? And the explanation would be,  that Tinubu is like an ‘Investor’; while Kachikwu is like a ‘General Manager’.  A good General Manager can always seek for and get new jobs elsewhere! The pains of a failed project belongs, solely to the Investor!

Where was Kachikwu when Tinubu, in the company of Buhari was criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country, soliciting for votes,  shouting Change, Change,  Change!

Where was Kachikwu when Tinubu and Buhari were dancing to “Doro Bucchi” at the National Stadium,  Surulere Lagos?

And where was Kachikwu,  when the sea of heads,  wielding local and imported brooms,  shouting “Say Baba!”,  “say Baba!”,  in Kano?

Tinubu knows something Kachikwu does not: The APC begged to get our votes!  We gave it to them,  of our own free accord ; and the inevitability of their coming back for mandate renewal,  must not be over looked!

Sadly enough,  rather than apologize and go back to the drawing board,  Kachikwu merely committed another blunder.  He was alleged to have promised to cage fuel scarcity by April 7th. The biggest idiots in the Maritime Industry knows that,  except Kachikwu becomes a magician,  the fuel crisis cannot be wished away, before April 17th!

But don’t pray only for Kachikwu.  Pray also for Babatunde Fashola, as well as El Rufai and the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola!  Brilliant and dynamic lucky Nigerians whose tomorrow’s chances of campaigning for and becoming Presidents,  are today risking being wasted away!

Loved by most Lagosians, and adored by non-Lagosians,  Fashola should not have muted the idea of asking Nigerians to pay for darkness!

Yet,  Fashola is lucky.  The National Assembly helped him,  by nipping the idea in the bud.  Aregbesola may not have similar opportunity. Osun State indigenes would stand in stiff opposition.  And majority of Nigerians would laugh him to scorn!
As for El Rufai,  the Governor of Kaduna State,  he should be encouraged to continue his current disposition on religion,  particularly towards Christianity.  He is providing a good reason to ensure that he would never become a President; and that,  for such a man we sincerely love, wishing he could one day,  rule the whole of this country!
We love  and cherish Aregbesola.  We love Fashola, and would gladly hail him,  any day. And in terms of brilliance,  who can underrate El Rufai!  We once dreamt of them as thoroughbred ‘Magicians’.
Pray, that ideal do not turn into ordeal,  in broad day light!!!


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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