Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has come out with a raft of new measures to boost the country’s shipping tonnage.
The measures will also address concerns that majority of the vessels providing marine services to International Oil and gas Companies (IOCs) in their upstream and down stream operations are neither registered with NIMASA nor compliant with requirements under the Cabotage Act
Mr. Temisan Omatseye, director general of the agency who spoke at OTL Africa Downstream Conference in Lagos called on all the IOCs to immediately review their marine service contracting process in a manner that ensures that only fully compliant cabotage vessels are contracted to provide marine services.
He also directed all vessels already in the service of the oil companies but not duly registered as required by the Act to immediately do so within a reasonable time frame from now.
The NIMASA boss specifically noted that by the requirement of the Act, all Floating Production and Storage Offshore vessels (FPSOs), Drilling Rigs and Mobile Production Platforms operating in the Nigeria waters are all required to be registered with NIMASA by virtue of Section 44 of the NIMASA Act.
Omatseye reminded all IOCs operating FPSOs, Rigs and Platforms that are not registered that they are doing so in contravention of the extant law of the land advised them to without further delay, bring them in full compliance with the requirements of the Cabotage Act.
The Agency therefore made the following declarations, which he stated would immediately be followed by formal marine notices: all vessels currently engaged in cabotage trade in Nigeria but are not duly registered in the special register for cabotage vessels are in the main, contravening Section 22 of the Caboatge Act and are therefore liable on conviction to the sanctions stipulated in Section 35 of the Act, including ultimately, forfeiture of the vessel. Owners of such vessels are hereby strongly advised to take immediate steps to comply fully with all relevant provisions of the Act, as the Agency shall henceforth commerce full enforcement of its powers under the Act; shipowners, shipping companies and shipping agents are hereby advised that vessels involved in the importation of petroleum products into Nigeria should henceforth desist from discharging their cargo to non-Cabotage compliant vessels for onward delivery to various points and ports in Nigeria. Such ship to ship transfer contravenes sections 5 and 22 of the Cabotage Act, and is liable to the sanctions stipulated in Section 35 of the Act. All foreign vessels involved in the importation of petroleum products are hereby strongly advised to henceforth deal only with Cabotage compliant vessels. Similarly, all lighter vessels wishing to be engaged in such operations are advised to comply fully with all relevant provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003.
The NIMASA boss also outlined key new areas of focus for the achievement of increased maritime industry value, including a scheme for accelerated acquisition of Cabotage service trading assets, provision of critical maritime infrastructure to domesticate asset maintenance services, and mass production of human capital to meet manning demand and other technical skills.
The statement however said that in the event of unforeseen equipment breakdown during the period, management appeals for calm and understanding, as there would be quick response to fault complaints.
CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns
By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,
In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.
The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.
Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.
Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.
On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
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