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Operators Positive About Turnaround for Local Shipping in 2019



Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
  • Operators Positive About Turnaround for Local Shipping in 2019

Operators in the local shipping industry are optimistic that 2019 will signal a positive turnaround in the development of the industry.

The President, Nigerian Shipowners Association, Alhaji Aminu Umar, expressed this optimism to our correspondent in an exclusive chat on Monday.

He said that the rising freight rates in the upstream petroleum sector were already having positive impact on the Nigerian industry.

Although Nigeria is one of the biggest oil producers in the world, Nigerian vessels are not involved in lifting of the country’s crude.

Lack of a national shipping line and poor local participation had created a shipping industry dominated mostly by foreign shipping lines.

The downstream sector, however, has a lot of local players and Umar expressed the hope that the sector would be deregulated this year, so that business could boom for owners of service boats.

He said the number of operators would increase with the deregulation of the sector.

The sector had also witnessed increase in the number of service boats from 9,418 in 2016 to 12,243 in 2017.

In 2018 and the years prior, the local shipping industry was bedevilled with challenges of low capacity utilisation and paucity of funds.

Operators mostly blamed lack of funding for their inability to participate fully in the shipping business.

They intensified their quest to access the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, which was set up in 2007 and which was derived from the annual contributions of individual shipowners.

The purpose of the fund was to assist shipowners in the acquisition of new vessels and maintenance of existing ones.

The amount, according to published reports, has accumulated to $124m as of end of last year.

The President, Shipowners Association of Nigeria, Greg Ogbeifun, said the number of local shipping companies had dropped by 42 per cent between 2015 and 2018, as a result of the funding challenge besetting the operators.

He regretted that with the steady and painful contraction of shipping companies, a multitude of seafarers were also reluctantly thrown into the labour market.

According to him, unfavourable maritime policies in Nigeria have made shipowners weak, vulnerable and grossly incapable of adequately pulling their expected weight, in the task of building up the economy; even as some areas of ship scrap yard in Port Harcourt now look like a mortuary for ships.

He said most shipowners were currently fighting for survival amid staggering and intimidating bank debts.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others



Transcorp hotel

Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.

Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.

For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.


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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director




Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations




FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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