Ogbeifun heads new shipowners’ association, denies quitting NISA

As exclusively reported yesterday by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, a new body of indigenous shipowners has been unveiled in Lagos.

The body known as the Shipowners’ Association of Nigeria (SOAN), was formed to promote the interest of Nigerian-owned vessels and to provide a forum for dialogue among indigenous shipowners, according to its promoters.

“SOAN comprise ship owning companies with proven track records of activities in the industry recognized by upstream and downstream sectors of the shipping industry as well as by the private and public sectors of the industry,” President of the new association, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun told newsmen at the Avenue Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos yesterday.

Ogbeifun, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Starz Group, however said that all members of SOAN remained bona fide members of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA).

He said, “I am still a member of NISA and I am not aware of any member of SOAN that have resigned from NISA. We only formed SOAN to fill the gaps created by NISA.

“SOAN is set up to facilitate participation of Nigerian shipowners in international fora on shipping matters through effective representation in such meetings.

“To cultivate and maintain good relations with the government and maritime authorities by contributing expertise in formulating policies and regulations on national and maritime activities.

“We won’t set agenda for the new government but will only set a road map for them. We are not a pressure group but a group of businessmen with proven track record.”

Also speaking, the former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Temisan Omatseye said the association was set up by shipowners who know how the industry operate and know where the shoe pinches.

“Everybody here owns vessels. We are shipowners; we know where the shoe pinches and we will set agenda for the government.

“We are businessmen and we won’t ask government for money but tell them how to open up the industry,” Omatseye stated.

Members of the newly formed association include former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche who is its Board of Trustees chairman; former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Capt. Adam Biu; Emeka Ndu; McGeorge Onyung; Chub Ike Ugwuibe; Eno William; Mina Oforiokuma and Jean Chiazor Anishere.

Others are Magaret Onyema Orakwusi; Babatunde Folawiyo; Taofik Adegbite; and John Donnachie among others.

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