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Indigenous ship owners yet to take charge of Cabotage, says maritime lawyer


A maritime lawyer, Mrs Oritsematosan
Edodo-Emore, on Wednesday said indigenous investors in Nigeria’s coastal trade
had yet to take charge of the Cabotage Act since enactment in 2003.

stated this in a paper entitled: “Assessing the Impact of the Cabotage and
Local Content Laws on Domestic Shipping Operations in Nigeria’’, presented at  the closing ceremony of  the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2015.

She said
that the Cabotage Act on coastal trade was a well-intentioned legislation,
which should stimulate domestic coastal shipping in the country.

said that indigenous ship owners were still unable to access the Cabotage Fund,
which would have helped to increase the acquisition of vessels.

The News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage
Act 2003) expresses Nigeria’s intention to take full advantage of the benefits
provided by its coastal trade.

purpose of the Act is to restrict the use of foreign-owned vessels in coastal

“It is
clear that apart from the enactment of this law, more need to be done to
achieve effective implementation in order to deliver maximum benefits to

Oil and Gas industry Content Development Act 2010, popularly known as the Local
Content Act is also a statutory tool to secure the active participation of
Nigerian citizens,’’ Edodo-Emore said.

maritime lawyer said that 12 years after passing of the Cabotage Act and five
years after the Local Content Act, the laws had not fully impacted on domestic
shipping operations in the country.

said that Nigerian-owned vessels and shipping companies had yet to take charge
of the coastal trade and unable to access the Cabotage fund which would have
helped to increase the acquisition of vessels.

Cabotage law is designed to benefit Nigerian operators and turnaround foreign
domination of coastal shipping.

research carried out in the industry in the first 10 years of the
implementation of Cabotage Act, (2004 to 2013) shows that foreign domination is
still a reality.

the period, more foreign-owned vessels were hired for Cabotage services than
Nigerian-owned vessels,’’ she said.

said that foreign-owned vessels in the 10 years of the Cabotage regime had
earned higher revenue than Nigerian-owned vessels.

however, said that the results of the research also showed that there were
other steps to be taken which would bring benefits of Cabotage Act to the
people it was designed to benefit.

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