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‘Lack Of Funding, Bane Of Maritime Dev’

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It has been observed that failure of the federal government to establish funding sources for Maritime industry has hampered indigenous participation in the local content regime of the cabotage act.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of J.D International Shipping Agency, Chief Joe Ubaka made the observation on Wednesday during an interview with The Tide at the Port Harcourt Port Complex.

According to him, there is the Bank of Industry (BOI) created specifically to fund the industrial sector and the Nigerian Agricultural Co-operative and Rural Development Bank also created to fund the agricultural sector, but wondered why maritime sector is left out of the scheme.

He noted that there is a public outcry in the sector that foreigners have taken over the maritime operations in Nigeria. This, he said, is largely because of the huge amount of money involved in the business. “Indigenous operators are poor and can not have access to funds, the banks are not giving loans any more, even when they were lending, the 25 percent interest rate charged by banks is quite on the high side and does not encourage local-content participation, it rather paves way for foreigners to monopolise the sector to their own advantage”, he lamented.

Chief Ubaka urged the federal government to create avenue for Nigeria ship owners and indigenous maritime operators to have access to loans, saying that no amount of policy framework can be effectively implemented without access to fund. He pointing out that the local content policy of the cabotage Act can not be fully effective because most of the indigenous operators can not meet the required international standard due to lack of funds, a situation, he said that requires urgent attention by the government.

He maintained that the maritime industry remains one of the highest employers of labour and if an enabling environment is created for the sector to boom more jobs would be created for the unemployed youths.

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Maritime

Oil Spills From Aiteo’s Well For Two Weeks

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Oil has been spilling from a well owned by Nigeria’s Aiteo Eastern E&P and state-run NNPC for two weeks in southern Nigeria, local residents and politicians said on Friday, saying it threatened the environment and local economy.
Aiteo said on Nov. 9 an “extremely high order” oil spill had started on Nov. 5 and that the pressure on the wellhead meant it was impossible to halt it immediately. It had no immediate comment on Friday but said a new statement was being prepared.
NNPC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Local residents shared videos with Reuters from Nov. 13 and Nov. 14 showing oil spewing from the wellhead in the Nembe area of the Delta, one of the most polluted places on earth after decades of spills that have hurt farming and fishing.
They said the oil was still gushing out on Friday, two weeks after the initial spill.
“Governor Douye Diri is gravely concerned that if the high volume of crude being spill continuously is not stopped immediately, it will spread to many more communities and undermine the economic life of residents,” his spokesman said.
The spokesman also said in a statement that Aiteo had not yet taken “any concrete step” towards stemming the leak.
The well, which is not in production, was purchased from Royal Dutch Shell in 2015.
Aiteo previously said it had not determined the cause of the leak but did not rule out sabotage or an attempt to steal crude, both common in the restive, economically deprived area.
Community leader Nimibofa Degi told Reuters that Aiteo had ignored the community’s initial reports of the leak and said locals had said they could see corrosion in the wellhead casing.
“Rather than look inwards at their safety procedures for such high pressure wells they are pointing accusing fingers at innocent people,” he said.

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Maritime

Police Vow To Reduce Crimes In Eastern Ports

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The Eastern Ports Police Command has promised to curtail the spate of crimes and criminality in all the four ports in the region.
The Command also said the peace and security of the ports remained its top priorities.
Commissioner of Police, Eastern Ports Command, Tami Evelyn Peterside, stated this during a courtesy visit by members of Energy and Maritime Reporters (EMR) in Port Harcourt.
She noted that the Command under her watch would ensure that crimes and all forms of criminality in the ports were brought to its barest minimum, as to allow business to thrive in the ports
The commissioner noted that the maritime economy is one of the ways the nation generates revenue to run the economy, assuring that her proactive styles of policing the ports would reduce the menace.
“We are working towards achieving some goals in the country; as police, we police everything to curtail crimes and make things work. We make sure there is peace and security in the ports, the ports generate revenue and make the business environment workable for both the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), operators and investors.
“I do not like crimes and criminality. I will try and bring it to its barest minimum in the Eastern ports.
“We will continue to do our work and ensure that these vandals, criminals do not kill the businesses here in the ports”, Peter side declared
On the two suspects arrested for stealing key Aprons from the BUA terminal in Rivers Port Complex, Peterside said the suspects had been charged to court including those caught stealing wheats from the port.
Earlier, the chairman of the Energy and Maritime Reporters Corp, (EMR), Martins Giadom, said the essence of the interactive session was to create friendship that would be of mutual benefits to the group and the command.
He said that EMR would be an information asset to the Nigerian Ports Authority, International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other stakeholders in their reportage.
He commended the Police Commissioner and her team over the arrest of key Apron vandals and wheat thieves in the Eastern Ports Command.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Navy Warns Ship Owners Against Illegal Marine Activities

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The Nigerian Navy Service (NNS) has warned ship owners and companies operating in the Niger Delta communities to shun illegal marine activities or risk seizure of their vessels.
The Service also appealed to ship owners and other stakeholders to seek and obtain all necessary approvals before embarking on any maritime activity in the region.
NSS made this known in a statement by its Executive Officer, NNS, Delta, Navy Capt.Levi Deyin, while handing over a vessel, MT Madam Esther, that was allegedly impounded to its owner, Snow White Energy Limited.
The Service explained that the vessel, MT Madam Esther, was impounded in respect of alleged illegal activities at Escravos in Delta State.
Deyin said the vessel which was released to the representatives of the company at the Warri Naval Base, was seized in January 2020 in Escravos by the Naval personnel following its alleged involvement in illegal activities.
He said that the vessel was released to its owner following the conclusion of the case and approval from the Naval headquarters.
“MT Madam Esther was arrested by the Base in January 2020 for its involvement in illegal activities.
“Following the conclusion of the case and the approval from the Naval headquarters, I, Capt. Levi Deyin, on behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), hereby handover the MT Madam Esther to you.
“You are hereby warned to desist from all forms of illegalities in the future and to always obtain the necessary approval for your activities’’, Deyin said.
The statement added that the manager of the company, Mr Okpoi Iteimo-owei, accompanied by some staff were present to receive the vessel on behalf of the firm.

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