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Expert decries ‘grace period’ for single hull tanker phase out in Nigeria

 Capt. Fola Ojutalayo, a Senior
Lecturer at the Federal Colege of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos, says
the ‘grace period’ given for single hull tankers to operate in Nigeria was not
economically beneficial.

Ojutalayo said this in an interview with the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

NAN reports that the Nigerian Maritime Administration
and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had in April extended the phase out period of single
hull tanker to 2020 from an original 2015 deadline.

NIMASA had explained that the five years grace period
was to allow the ship-owners some time to replace their fleets.

Ojutalayo said the extension would deny indigenous
ship-owners the opportunity of participating in any trade outside of Nigeria.

“What is wrong with us that we cannot go with the
international standard? That has been part of the problem that we have had over
the time.

 “Our ship-owners
run substandard ships; this is largely caused by corruption that is in our

“It’s not as if ship-owners cannot afford to get good
ships, but there is a lot of connivance that go on underground.

“They go and get this rickety ships, in the process
they make a lot of money and when they bring the ship back to Nigeria to come
and work, because they have made some money already from buying those scrap
ships, they don’t even want to run their ships in a professional manner.

“At least we have been hearing about this single hull
that it will be phased out, we should have a template that we are following.

“By now it should not be an issue for us to flow with
the global trend in maritime.”
Ojutala said that indigenous ship-owners would not be
able to work with international shippers who bring in petroleum products if
they still operated single hull tankers by the original deadline. 

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