…As Engr. Greg Ogbeifun Is Re-elected As SOAN President
In a bid to resolve the problems reduced indigenous participation in crude affreightment, the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has set up a committee to deliberate on crude affreightment.
The President of SOAN, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun revealed this yesterday shortly after he was re-elected as SOAN’s President for the next two (2) years in an election that saw him as the only presidential candidate.
Also, six other members were elected unopposed except for the position of the Vice President which was tightly contested between Dr. MkGeorge Onyung and Mr. Alfred Okoigun; MkGeorge got 9 votes while Alfred got 8 votes meaning one vote was sufficient for MkGeorge to be re-elected the Vice President of the association.
Other elected officers include Mr. Lucky Akhiwu, Chairman of the Technical Committee, Capt. Joseph Awodeha, Chairman of Training and Capacity Building Committee, Mr. Sunny Eja, Chairman of Ethics and Privileges Committee, Mr. Nnamdi Obiagwu, Chairman of Finance and Membership Committee and Mr. Eno Williams who was elected the Financial Secretary/Treasurer of the association.
However, it took the intervention of the Returning Officer for the election, Barr. Margaret Orakwusi to designate a non-existing position of the 2nd Vice President to accommodate Mr. Alfred Okoigun who lost in the election, development members accepted and acknowledged at the occasion.
In his acceptance speech, the re-elected President of SOAN, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun expressed gratitude to God and all those that made the election a success adding that his joy was that the election was able to produce leaders without rancor and in a free, fair and transparent manner.
He disclosed that in this dispensation, that SOAN was going to engage the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) positively to see that the agency facilitates the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) to their members who he described as being eminently qualified fund the fund.
According to him, “The first thing we are going to drive is to engage NIMASA on the issue of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF). NIMASA cannot act on that fund by itself, but people need that fund. So, we are going to engage NIMASA. A lot of our members are eminently qualified for that fund, almost all our members contributed to it and we think that we need to be given an opportunity to grow our fleet.
“Another issue is the collaboration that we are having with NNPC for the actualization of the Nigerian Crude Tanker fleet; we are going to drive that vigorously for the benefit of our nation. I want you to know that we will create a platform that we have been looking for to train our cadets in international trade.
“The cadetship scheme which we will not stop to talk about, without them there will be not ships; there will be no future of our maritime sector. We are to crystallize and articulate a strategy of bringing all our vessels for the training of our cadets working with NIMASA and working with the Maritime Academy, Oron and other maritime institutions in the country to see that the standard id maintained and it is global.
“I want to congratulate the members of the new executive, the Chairmen and all other elected executive, in fact the wisdom of the Returning Officer to create the position of the 2nd Vice President is most commendable because from my experience in the last two years, there are occasions where both me and the Vice had course to be away from town at critical moment but this time we now have a third person who will always help keep the leadership in focus. Mr. Alfred thank you very much for accepting that position and the constitution will obviously be amended to accommodate that”.
In a related development, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun has announced the appointment of a former Managing Director, Ship Manning Company of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Dr. Grant Akata as the Secretary-General of SOAN.
Ogebifun who made this announcement while addressing members of the association said Dr. Akata would see to the day to day running of the SOAN Secretariat alongside other Secretariat staff as most of the elected officers were businessmen and entrepreneurs who may not be on ground to administer the Secretariat as required.
He disclosed that while the new Secretary-General would soon be introduced to the maritime industry, he was already working with SOAN especially in the area of the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation which he said was ongoing between the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) and NIMASA.