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NIMASA Restructures Ship Registration Process, Issues New Certificate

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NIMASA

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has commenced the issuance of new certificates of ship registration while simultaneously phasing out the old permits. This is in a bid to ensure the utilization of secured statutory certificates and prevent the entry of unseaworthy and sub-standard ships into the Nigerian flag.

Director-General of the Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said, “We are restructuring the Nigerian Ship Registration Office to serve you more efficiently and effectively. We are determined to grow our national fleet and tonnage to an enviable height.”

According to Jamoh, “We are committed to ensuring that our Ship Registry remains of International Standard and this is why we have enhanced our certificates with more security features that would stand the test of time. The all-encompassing process of issuance will ensure robust screening of vessels that would visit our waters.”

The new regulation, which took effect from July 1, involves the Certificate of Nigerian Registry, Provisional Certificate of Registry, Certificate of Nigerian Registry for Bareboat Chartered Vessel, Fishing Boat and Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Wholly Owned Nigerian Vessel, among others.

The Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Bareboat Chartered Vessel; and Foreign Owned Vessels are also affected.

Others are Certificate of Cabotage Ship Registry for Joint Venture Owned Vessel, Deletion Certificate, Bill of Sale and Transcript of Registry.

The Certificate of Mortgage to Secure Account Current and Certificate of Freedom of Encumbrance has also been changed.

All existing certificates issued by the Registrar of Ships before the commencement of the new regulation remain valid and should be carried onboard vessels until their expiration. But vessel owners or Masters may apply for the re-issuance of their existing certificates

The Merchant Shipping Act, 2007 makes it mandatory for the Originals of Certificates of Registry to be carried onboard vessels at all times.

It should be noted that issuance of these certificates is a fulfillment of Section 30 of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 which provides, inter alia, that “the Registrar of Ships shall on completion of the registration of a ship, issue a certificate of registration in such form as may be approved by the Agency”.

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IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected

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The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.

Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.

IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.

Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.

Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.

The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.

While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.

Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.

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Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse

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Eternal Oil - Investors King

The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.

In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.

President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.

Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.

The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.

Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.

The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.

However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.

As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.

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Developers Reject Federal Government’s Cement Price Reduction Agreement

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Real estate developers across Nigeria have voiced their strong disapproval of the recent agreement between the Federal Government and cement manufacturers to reduce the price of cement to a range between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50kg bag.

This decision has been met with skepticism and criticism from key players in the built industry.

Dr. Aliyu Wamakko, the President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, expressed his concerns, stating that the proposed reduction would not bode well for the economy.

He pointed out that cement is a fundamental component of construction and lowering its price to such levels would not be conducive to addressing the country’s housing deficit, currently estimated at 28 million units.

Wamakko referenced an earlier commitment by the Chief Executive Officer of BUA Cement, who pledged to reduce the price of cement to N3,500 per bag by January 1, 2024.

He questioned why the current negotiation was proposing prices significantly higher than what was promised earlier.

Other stakeholders echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the need for more affordable building materials to enable the construction of housing units accessible to low-income earners.

They criticized the reliance on imported materials and advocated for the exploration of locally sourced alternatives.

The discontent among developers underscores the challenges posed by rising construction costs and the implications for housing affordability and development in Nigeria.

As discussions continue, stakeholders are urging a reevaluation of the proposed cement prices to better align with the goal of addressing the country’s housing needs.

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