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Cabotage: No more waivers, Dakuku tells Oil Coys

…Charges IOCs to play their part in industry growth
…Says Agency ready to enforce strict compliance to regulations
DG NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside
The Director-General
of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku
Peterside, has said the Agency will no longer encourage the application of any
form of waivers under the Cabotage Act, particularly from the oil firms operations
as such does not help the growth of the Nigerian maritime sector and economy at

Speaking during a
meeting with the Oil Producers Trade Sector (OPTS) in Lagos, Dakuku said NIMASA
was on the verge of ending such waivers. He urged industry players to draw up a
five-year strategic plan for the cessation of application for Cabotage waiver
and also pursue the utilization of Nigerian-owned vessels for marine contracts.
According to
him, “Our laws forbid foreign vessels operating in our territorial
waters save for compliance with the Cabotage Act. We also want to increase the
number of Nigerians who participate in the marine aspect of your business and
we are working closely with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring
Board (NCDMB) to have a joint categorization of vessels operating under the
Cabotage Act in order to ensure the full implementation of the Act.”
Dakuku urged the
international oil companies (IOCs) to support NIMASA’s bid to ensure full
implementation of the Act, adding that it would equally be of more benefit to
the investors in the sector as it will be cost effective for them to engage
Commenting on the
previous resolutions with the OPTS, Dakuku stated that there was need for the
trade section of the oil producers to fulfill their own part of the agreement.
He said NIMASA will not compromise the growth of the maritime sector,
especially when it comes to the issue of enforcing statutory regulations
enshrined in the Agency’s empowering instruments.
Dr. Dakuku further
stated that in NIMASA’s bid to grow the industry, it would not hesitate to
wield its powers where necessary, adding that the agency’s mandate is strictly
regulatory. But he also noted that NIMASA preferred the method of engaging key
players in the industry for symbiotic benefits.
“We don’t want to
change our rules of engagement to a confrontational one because the mandate we
have is that of the Nigerian people, to grow shipping for our economic
benefits. In this wise, we urge you to cooperate and collaborate with us where
necessary so that we can have an all-inclusive maritime sector,”
 the Director-General stated.
Dakuku said the
Agency was taking necessary steps to ensure that there were no gaps in the
sector, especially as it concerns needed human capacity. He said the Nigerian
Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), which is an interventionist programme
of the Agency, was making serious headway in creating sea time for the over
2,000 graduates of the programme.
In his own remarks,
the Executive Director of OPTS, which comprises major oil companies, Bunmi
Toyobo, said the trade section was ready to comply with all directives of
NIMASA. He said the information required by the Agency to build and harmonise
its data for better regulation of the sector will be provided by OPTS.
The meeting, which
was well attended by OPTS, had managing directors and representatives of major
oil firms, including Total, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Agip amongst others.

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