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Jamoh admonishes Marine Surveyors to embrace integrity, professionalism for enhanced maritime safety.

Eyewitness reporter
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has advised marine surveyors in the industry to shun any form of compromise in the discharge of their duties but embrace integrity and professionalism that will enhance maritime safety.
Dr Jamoh gave the advice Wednesday in Calabar, Cross Rivers State capital while declaring open a two-day Marine Surveyors meeting/ workshop.
The NIMASA DG, who was represented by Engr. Olu Aladenusi, Head of Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standard Department, noted that marine surveyors both from the flag and classification societies form an important part of the fundamental resources required to ensure the sustenance of maritime safety and environmental protection within the industry.
“As you focus on conducting effective flag and port state inspections within the provisions of our enabling Acts, Regulations. Guidelines, I encourage you
all to always demonstrate undiluted integrity and professionalism, avoid unreasonable compromise and encourage practical knowledge transfer and appropriate mentorship/succession planning within the marine surveying profession”
“It is crucial for us to remind ourselves that International Shipping has remained a highly competitive and profit-driven business that needs
to always comply with safety and environmental protection standards.
“Maritime safety standards must always be adhered to and there should be no compromise from ships, seafarers, vessel managers or operators etc.
“Maritime safety standards must always be adequately considered from the design stages of a vessel to the construction
stages, the competency of seafarers manning the vessels and down to operational stages and also in the decommissioning stage of the vessel”
“We should always ensure we work with integrity and endeavor to improve the quality of our surveys by applying available technologies.
“Our collective determination and the way we go about our inspection/survey activities must earn us a positive image globally.
“We all have a mandate to promote safe, secure and reliable shipping, so let us do it together, he declared.
Dr Jamoh warned that without credible and integrity-driven flag and port state inspections, “companies may want
to operate their ships at levels below the internationally acceptable standards and this, we all know could have unredeemable
consequences, such as; equipment failure, loss of lives, fatalities and even massive marine pollution amongst others”
“To avoid such unredeemable consequences, an effective maritime safety administration is highly necessary to attain and maintain
accepted standards”, the NIMASA DG noted.
He however commended the marine surveyors for sustaining the conduct of ship inspection/ survey in accordance with maritime safety standards as well
as the digitization of processes to promote sustainability, accountability and professionalism.
He noted the importance of the workshop which he said aligns with NIMASA’s  drive to actualize the maritime safety arm of the agency’s tripod-S management strategy (Maritime Safety, Security and Shipping Development) which is currently boosting the growth of the Nigerian maritime industry.
The NIMASA DG, therefore, assured the marine surveyors of the agency’s continued support to perform their duties effectively.
“I would like to mention that the current management will continually strive to build the required technical capacity to meet the Agency’s maritime regulatory obligations in order to make our waterways safe and devoid of pollutants from vessels.
He asked the surveyors to therefore take advantage of this opportunity by continually working with the agency’s Training Unit in
achieving this feat.
Meanwhile, the Head of Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standard Department, Olu Aladenusi expressed hope that participating surveyors at the workshop will find the technical sessions highly valuable in implementing their port and flag state duties.
“I am also sure that the interactive sessions and shared experiences will be most rewarding as we continuously strive to improve Nigeria’s maritime safety regime.
Mr Shehu Ahmed, Executive Director, Marine Operations, disclosed that the technical forum of marine surveyors was last held in
July, 2021 during the COVID 19 era.
He noted that Nigeria as a nation accounts for a significant volume of domestic shipping activities and seaborne trade within the West African Region.
“Our nation is and has remained potentially a great maritime nation.
“The Nigerian maritime domain also has a lot of offshore activities via the operation of FPSOs, FSOs, FSUs and other specialized offshore vessels with some of these vessels currently ageing and operating beyond the design
life span.
“Surveyors must endeavour to have adequate regulatory frameworks for key maritime-related subject matters and
ensure they work within appropriate enabling laws and regulations.
“For effective Flag and Port State Control, relevant IMO Conventions must be ratified and an efficient Maritime Safety Administration capable of discharging its responsibilities as a Safety Administration is very pertinent.
“Presently, this dispensation has sustained the drive to domesticate all ratified conventions and the enabling Acts that empower us to regulate the maritime industry are currently in the National Assembly, which some of us are aware of.
“As a Safety Administration, we will continue to put structures in place to effectively regulate the maritime industry and also build capacity, digitize our processes and engage with our stakeholders
“The gains of this workshop to all delegates here will make a remarkable impact in our maritime safety domain and this
will usher us into a new era for socio-economic growth and development within the maritime sector” he declared.
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House of Reps gives NIMASA green light to disburse CVFF –appoints audit firm to coordinate, monitor  disbursement

Hon. Legor Idagbo
The eyewitness reporter
The House of Representatives has given the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) a clean bill of health over the controversial Cabotage Vessels Financing Funds(CVFF) and consequently directed the agency to disburse the funds.
It would be recalled that the lawmakers, a few weeks ago, halted the planned disbursement after long and painstaking groundwork made by the Ministry of Transportation and NIMASA towards the disbursement process.
The House had raised concerns over the funds, said to be about #700m, and decided to ask its committee on Nigerian Contents Development and Monitoring to investigate the funds.
This followed a motion during its sitting last month on the matter and subsequently directed the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to stop the planned disbursement of the fund.
However, after concluding its investigation, the House found tenable the need to disburse the funds to the eligible indigenous ship owners.
Addressing journalists in Abuja Thursday, the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Legor Idagbo said that its investigations indicated that due process was followed, informing that the disbursement can now be made.
“The House of Representatives at its sitting on Tuesday, 4 May 2023, deliberated on a motion on the Planned Disbursement of $700 Million Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund, and investigate the Total Accrual of the Fund, and referred same to the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring to, amongst other resolutions, investigate and urge the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to immediately stop the planned disbursement of $700 million to Nigerian citizens and companies and to lay before the floor of the House, an audited statement of account showing all monies that have accrued to the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund not later than fourteen (14) days from the date of this resolution.
“The Committee requested the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Ministry of Transportation to provide detailed information on the total amount accrued to the Fund and disbursements since inception.
“The Committee met with the Minister of Transportation and the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ({NIMASA) on Thursday, 11 May 2023 to find out about the details concerning the matter.
” After a thorough analysis of the various submissions on the matter coupled with the explanations given by the Ministry and NIMASA, the Committee discovered that due process was followed in the planned disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund.
“The Committee notes that the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) is a fund that was set up in 2003 by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act.
” The Fund was established for the purpose of developing indigenous ship acquisition capacity, and to provide financial assistance to indigenous shipping operators.
“The Committee further notes that there is a lack of Capacity amongst indigenous/ Domestic Coastal operators in Nigeria, thus the reason Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) still awards contracts to foreign shipping Companies in contravention of the Cabotage and Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.
“Some of these awards have been previously investigated by the Committee which led to their cancellation.
“It was also discovered that the total funds of $360m in the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) represents 50%, while the remaining counterpart funds of 50% is from stakeholders and Banks which is 15% and 35% respectively.
“NIMASA should go ahead with the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) in compliance with the extant laws and laid down guidelines for the said disbursement.
“To ensure the disbursement does not violate any of the extant laws made by the National Assembly, the following persons were nominated to supervise the disbursement process:
“Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Legor Idagbo  – Chairman ii. Hon. Henry Nwawuba – Member iii. | Mrs. Kehinde Bolade Olaiya – Committee Clerk.
“An Audit firm, Stratford Hill and Co. was appointed by the committee as the coordinating enforcement auditor for the CVFF.
“The Committee applauds NNPC for its commitment to awarding the shipping contracts to indigenous companies that have built capacity to the level where they can successfully execute these contracts.
“The Committee is grateful to the leadership of the House for the confidence bestowed on it to carry out the investigation”.
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President Tinubu appoints Gbajabiamila Chief of Staff

Gbajabiamila , Tinubu
 President Bola Tinubu has appointed Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as his Chief of Staff.

An authoritative source in the Presidency confirmed the development on Thursday.

The source said the president finally made the decision after wide consultations on the contending candidates.

Gbajabiamila has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2012 and has just been re-elected to the House in the last elections.

The choice of Gbajabiamila by the president is not a surprise to many political pundits as he has been a very close ally to the president.

They are part of the brains behind the formation of the All-Progressives Party (APC).

He will now have to forgo his seat in the House of Representatives if he accepts the appointment.

Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila CFR, is a Nigerian lawyer and foundation member of the APC.

He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2019.

Gbajabiamila was born in Lagos in 1962 and attended Igbobi College for his secondary education and the University of Lagos as part of his education.

He is married to Salamatu Gbajabiamila.

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Maritime media, NUJ mourn as Ray Ugochukwu passes on to glory

Ray Ugochukwu
The eyewitness reporter
The media confraternity of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council and the maritime media, was thrown into a deep shock and mourning Thursday at the sudden demise of Mr Ray Ugochukwu, a crack journalist of international repute.
The entire members of the NUJ and the maritime media, his immediate constituency, received the news of his death, which was broken by Mr Leye Ajayi, the Chairman of the NUJ Lagos council, in a terse message posted on the council’s WhatsApp platform, with mixed emotion of sadness, shock and disbelief.
Shell-shocked, most colleagues of the deceased, who thought the announcement was a joke taken too far, make frantic calls to the NUJ council officials who confirmed the unfortunate incident.
As the rude reality of the death of the erudite maritime journalist sank in, many of them paid glowing tributes to the man widely regarded as the encyclopedia of the maritime press and a repository of wise sayings.
In its statement on the death of Mr Ugochukwu, Leye Ajayi eulogised the huge reportorial qualities of the deceased who has practised journalism for over 30 years
“With heavy hearts, we mourn the death of a media giant, a versatile Unionist and a brilliant journalist, Mr Ray Ugochukwu who passed on on Thursday.

“The death of Ray came as a big shock to the union.

“We are going to miss his courageous attributes and mentorship.

“He was also one of the pillars of the Lagos Council of NUJ and served the union meritoriously in his capacities as the Chairman of, the Seminar Committee; and as a Member, the Committee on Milestone Recognition of Media Icons In Nigeria.

“He spent most of his life in ensuring the advancement of Maritime Reporting as well as the welfare of Journalists.

“He worked in several media houses.

“Among his giant strides, he was a former President of the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN); President, Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN); and a former Chairman of the Daily Times Chapel of NUJ.

“The legacies of Ray are indelible and will exist forever.

“May God grant his soul eternal rest” the Lagos NUJ said in a statement signed by Leye Ajayi, the Council Chairman and Tunde Olalere, the Council Secretary.

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