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No more vessel waivers, NIMASA warns


Dr. Dakuku Peterside, DG NIMASA

clampdown on erring vessels.
After several warnings, the Nigerian
Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA has commenced clampdown on
vessels that do not comply with the provisions of the Cabotage Compliance
Strategy introduced in 2018 to ease the implementation of the Cabotage Act
2003 in Nigeria.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr.
Dakuku Peterside, said the Agency would 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 large.
“Our laws
forbid foreign vessels operating in our territorial waters save for compliance
with the Cabotage Act. There shall be no sacred cow when we commence clampdown
on erring vessels. We 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,”
he said
A detention order for a Motor
Tanker, MT NAVIGATOR CAPRICORN, which is a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
Carrier has been approved for contravening sections of the Cabotage Act.
The vessel was first boarded in
October 2018 and all infractions of Cabotage non-compliance were noted and
communicated accordingly to the charterer/Owners representatives with a 90 days
grace period to comply. 
The 90 days expired on the 31st January 2019. It is
noteworthy that Owners made undertaking to remedy the notable infractions when
the vessel was issued a detention warning in October 2018.
While NIMASA is currently engaging
the owners and charterers of the vessel on the need to comply with the laws of
the land, MT NAVIGATOR CAPRICORN has been moved to Lagos Anchorage to allow
space for other LPG vessels to discharge at the NOJ Jetty.
For the records, the NIMASA DG
had led members of his team to meet with the Oil Producers Trade Sector (OPTS)
in Lagos where 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.
Also, in August
2018, NIMASA introduced a new Compliance Strategy for Cabotage Implementation
in Nigeria to ensure full implementation of the Cabotage Act, 2003 to secure
jobs for qualified Nigerians in the maritime sector.
The Agency via a Marine Notice
suspended considerations for applications of grant of waiver on manning for
prescribed categories of officers in vessels engaged in Cabotage trade. 
Agency no longer consider application for grant of waiver on manning
requirements for vessels engaged in coastal trade with regards to 2nd officer,
2ndengineer, 2nd mate down to able seamen, ratings and stewards.
Special applications for Captains,
Chief Engineers, Chief Officers, First Mate in the absence of qualified
Nigerians are considered on merit, but on the condition that such organization
make plan to train a Nigerian and put in place a transition plan to ensure that
the Nigerian takes over the job within one year.
The whole essence of this was to
ensure that Nigerians are not deprived of the jobs due them on showing
requisite qualifications for the job.

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