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Cabotage implementation: NIMASA, stakeholders move to achieve five-year waiver cessation plan

Former Director General,
NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omatseye; Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage
Services, NIMASA, Mr. Gambo Ahmed; Head, Cabotage, Mr. Victor Egejuru; Director
Maritime Labour, Mr. Ibrahim Jibril; Director General, Nigerian Chamber of
Shipping, Mrs. Obi Obiageli; and Deputy Director, Western Zone, Mrs. Irene
Macfoy, after a meeting between NIMASA and maritime industry stakeholders on a
five-year Cabotage cessation plan in Lagos. March 19, 2019

part of efforts to actualise the full implementation of the Cabotage Act, 2003,
which aims to promote indigenous participation in shipping in Nigeria, the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and key industry
players have mapped out a plan to end Cabotage waivers for non-indigenous ship
owners within the next five years.

proposal emerged during a meeting earlier in the week in Lagos between NIMASA
and the stakeholders
on the need for collaboration to facilitate optimal implementation of the
Cabotage law.

during the meeting held at the NIMASA headquarters, the Director General of
NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the Agency was determined to ensure that
Cabotage waivers were stopped in the next five years.

: “NIMASA’s mandate is all
about promoting and regulating shipping in Nigeria and we have no intentions to
stifle anybody’s business.Rather, we are committed to promoting, protecting and
providing the enabling environment so that the local ship owners can grow and
compete with their international counterparts.
are, certainly, determined to work with our stakeholders.” 

DG, who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage
Services, Mr. Gambo Ahmed, told the stakeholders that part of the strategy to
bring an end to the issuance of waivers was to develop infrastructural capacity
and human capital with respect to training of seafarers to attain global

called on the stakeholders to cooperate with the Agency to realise the Cabotage
implementation, saying it holds a huge potential to create jobs, add to the
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and bring about a boom in the economy. 

at the occasion, Mr. Temisan Omatseye noted that NIMASA was the only Agency
recognised and mandated by the government to regulate and enforce shipping
activities in Nigeria. Omatseye urged the Agency to use the powers bestowed on
it by law to ensure total compliance with the Cabotage Act and apply punitive
measures against erring shipping companies.

we don’t begin to enforce the Cabotage law, the use of the Cabotage Vessel
Financing Fund (CVFF) will be defeated,” Omatseye added.

his part, Mr. Neeraj Kumar of TMC Shipping Pvt, India, commended the efforts of
the Agency to ensure the implementation of the Act, stating that the ports are
critical to economic growth. Kumar pledged India’s willingness to collaborate
with Nigeria, especially, in the area of shipbuilding.

stakeholders who spoke at the event were Mr. Mike Igbokwe, SAN; Barrister
(Mrs.) Obiageli Obi; and President of Nigerian Indigenous Ship owners
Association (NISA), Mr. Aminu Umar.

unanimously applauded the efforts of the present management of NIMASA to
actualise a robust maritime sector through various stakeholder-oriented
programmes and promised their full support and cooperation.

They also called on the Federal Government to
support the Agency to ensure greater indigenous participation in the maritime

III, section 9-11 of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003
provides for waiver on the requirements for ownership and manning of Cabotage
vessels by Nigerians and also building of such vessels in Nigeria, where
capacity is lacking.

in order to encourage more indigenous participation, which is the essence of
the Act, NIMASA is desirous of stopping these waivers and has put in place a
strategic plan in that regard. 
It includes the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy
(NCCS) under which certain categories of waivers have been suspended.

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