- Israeli Firm Commences $195m Maritime Security Contract
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed that the maritime security contract entered into by the Federal Government and an Israeli firm, Messrs HLSI Security Systems and Technologies had already commenced and was ongoing.
The minister stated this during the unveiling of the 2019/2020 Maritime Industry Forecast by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency in Lagos on Tuesday.
The $195m maritime security contract was signed off by the Federal Executive Council in December 2017 and was for the provision of three helicopters, three airplanes, three big battle-ready ships, 12 vessels and 20 amphibious cars, to aid security of Nigeria’s waterways.
In January 2018, the House of Representatives criticised the management of NIMASA for awarding the contract to HLSI, saying it was a breach of Nigeria’s internal security and defiance of the local content law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in May 2018, cancelled the contract via a memo directing the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to terminate the contract and for the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency to investigate how the contractor obtained security clearance without an end-user certificate.
Buhari also ordered HLSI to supply equipment to the tune of the $50m upfront payment it received from Nigeria.
The Federal Government, however, reinstated the contract in August, according to NIMASA.
Speaking through the Deputy Director, Cabotage and Shipping Development in the ministry, Mrs Gloria Adie-Ayabie, the minister disclosed that President Buhari had put in place many reforms in the maritime industry to promote the safety and security of Nigeria’s waterways, for the benefit of Nigerian citizens and investors.
He said although the sector was faced with various forms of criminality ranging from armed robbery, oil theft, piracy and other forms of unreported crimes, government was making efforts to tame these criminal activities, through the presentation of an executive bill at the National Assembly for an Act to provide for the suppression of piracy and other unlawful acts at sea.
He said, “In addition, the Federal Government has signed an agreement with Messrs HLSI to establish and integrate national security and water protection infrastructure in Nigeria, to ensure security in the national maritime domain, the execution of which is ongoing.”
Pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea have been on the increase in recent times. Last year, Nigeria recorded 30 pirate attacks on ships, the highest number of attacks recorded in the nations around the GoG, according to data from the International Maritime Bureau.
Speaking on the sideline of the event, the Director- General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said if piracy was not tackled, Nigeria would not be seen to be serious about growing the local maritime sector.
“We are very determined to address the issues of piracy and maritime crimes. We are taking very solid steps in terms of providing the right legal framework, acquisition of assets, building the necessary partnership and coalition to fight piracy.
“I believe we are going to achieve a lot of results this year,” he said.
Speaking further, Peterside noted that the 2019/2020 maritime industry forecast dwelt on past trends and the current opportunities for Nigeria in the maritime sector.
He expressed optimism that there would be more demand for Nigeria’s oil and gas along with demand for shipping and allied services this year and the next.
He said Nigeria was equally positioning itself to take advantage of the opportunities by acquiring the necessary assets and growing human capacity.
He said, “At the global level, we look at four key items, the demand for oil and gas, the demand for commodity at expanded level, the trade war between China and the United States.
“We also look at the global economy which is shrinking and will affect the local economy and the revenue that is due to us.
“We have looked at the domestic economy and the impact of the general elections. If the elections end in favour of the incumbent, there will be some consistency in policy, if the elections favour the opponent, there will be a new shift in terms of policy. If they end in deadlock, it will be a challenge.”
He said the forecast also considered the opportunities available in terms of tankers, container vessels, offshore support vessels and other cabotage operations.
It looked at the regulatory challenges such as the effect of the early passage of the anti-piracy bill and the effect of signing into law, the Petroleum Industry bill.
“We have looked at all these factors and backed by statistics or data, we are able to situate what the future is most likely to look like.
“There will be general upward movement in terms of demand for shipping services. There will also be an increase in oil support services, and offshore services.
“More indigenous operators will be operating in the sector.”
BUA, Kainos Exploration to Drag Each Other to Court Over $20 Million Scandal
BUA Group on Monday threatened to drag Mr James Onyejekwe, the Managing Director of Kainos Exploration to court over a publication that claimed the Group was involved in a $20 million scandal.
BUA stated in a statement issued on Monday.
It stated that the publication engineered by Mr Onyejekwe was a “clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu.”
“BUA takes its reputation seriously and we will continue to do everything to protect it from anyone and any entity who obstructs our mandate to conduct business in a proper, legal and socially-responsible manner.
“BUA will, therefore, utilise its legal and human resources to resist every campaign of defamation and distraction,” the statement further said.
The leading cement manufacturing company said its independent investigation showed Mr. Onyejekwe was behind the false story that went viral online.
“We have, therefore, instructed our legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the person of Mr James Onyejekwe who is the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Cavendish Petroleum against our person, with damages,” the statement seen by Investors King noted.
BUA explained that “We deem these actions necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of BUA Group.”
“We see no reason why Mr James Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Processing would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.
“Therefore, BUA finds it absurd that Mr Onyejekwe or anyone else will decide to drag BUA into their issues and/or put out such a malicious and defamatory statement, fraudulently using the name of Cavendish/Mr Mai Deribe without recourse to the truth, facts, decorum or decency,” it added.
BUA Group described the story bordering on allegations of corruption as “false, malicious and spurious.”
Dangote Cement Emerges Best Performing Firm In Africa
The Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KOCCIMA) has named the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, as the best performing company in Africa.
The award was presented to the company in Lokoja at the weekend by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, who represented the State Governor, Alhaji Yahyah Adoza Bello, at the Annual General Meeting(AGM) of KOCCIMA.
Speaking at the occasion, the President of KOCCIMA, Mr. Victor Ibrahim, said the Dangote Cement emerged through a thorough screening process that involved 20 companies.
He said: “Our screening committee considered many criteria before Dangote Cement Plc was selected”.
According to him, the Chamber put into consideration Dangote Cement’s contributions to the state’s economy through Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), as well as its good relationship with KOCCIMA.
Mr. Ibrahim said another criterion that placed the Dangote Cement in good stead is that the company has been environmentally friendly.
“We’ve visited DCP Obajana Plant and we found it complying with global best practices when it comes to the environment. Your parking lot does not constitute any environmental danger. We also considered returns to investors, the welfare of staff, the 43km Obajana-Kabba concrete road, your good relationship with the host community and your positive image”.
He announced that the Chamber of Commerce was planning to host its Trade Fair by year-end and looking forward to collaborating with the Dangote Cement Plc.
The Deputy Governor Mr. Edward Onoja expressed the appreciation of the Kogi State Government, saying the contributions of KOCCIMA and the private sector were crucial to the development of the state.
Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the event, representative of the Dangote Cement Plc Mr. Ademola Adeyemi said the company was elated and that the award will further spur it to continue its support to the state’s economy, KOCCIMA and Corporate Social Responsibility schemes.
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji, A Nigerian-American as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Group has announced the appointment of Chika Ekeji, a Nigerian-American national as an executive to lead the strategy and transformation unit of the mobile network operator.
Chika has a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT.
He will be leaving from McKinsey & Company, where he led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telco, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.
His appointment with Africa’s leading mobile operator will be effective on, 15th of March. In his new role, he will be based in SA.
“We are very pleased that Chika is joining us as we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning,” says MTN Group chief operating officer Jens Schulte-Bockum.
To support the execution of the repositioned strategy, Ekeji joins a group of other recent appointees, including the new group chief financial officer, Tsholofelo Molefe.
In recent weeks, MTN also made changes to the group’s regional structure and the executive committee.
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