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Nigerian waters safe, FG tells investors in US

…As Dakukiu says special tax regime under consideration for maritime sector
The DG NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside exchanging pleasantries with the Chief Operating Officer Upstream of  the NNPC, Alhaji Bello Rabiu, with them is the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transportation, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, at the Offshore Technology Conference currently going on in the US.

The Federal Government on Wednesday assured the international oil and Gas community that the Nigerian
maritime sector was safe for investment and that special tax regime were under
consideration to grow capacity for the industry in the country.

Addressing Journalists at a
technical workshop on deep sea exploration on the sidelines of the ongoing
Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston Texas, the Permanent Secretary
Federal Ministry of Transportation Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said that Nigeria is aware of the drift towards deep sea exploration and policies to enhance
effective maritime transport are now being considered by the Federal

Zakari said that the
report by the International Maritime Bureau that piracy had declined in
Nigerian Waters in the first quarter of 2019 was an attestation that efforts of
the President Buhari led administration in safety and security in the maritime
sector has started yielding fruits.
“Nigerian waters are
safe- NIMASA deep blue project in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, and all
other security agencies in Nigeria is already in motion and will use the latest
technology to track all vessels in Nigerian waters and reduce criminality to
the barest minimum. Foreigners with genuine business interest are welcome to invest
in Nigeria. So many have come and are enjoying benefits of their investment,” he said.
On his part, the Director
General of the Nigerian maritime Administration and safety agency, NIMASA,
Dr  Dakuku Peterside said that the agency had commenced regulatory
reforms to ensure a business friendly maritime environment to spur economic
growth hinged on both foreign and indigenous investors. 

He assured the
international community of NIMASA’s commitment to growing in-country capacity
so that collaboration between Nigerian and foreigners could take place without
fear of compromising standards.
His words: “We
are building up capacity, and creating the right regulatory framework for the
Nigerian maritime sector. We believe that our three dimensional approach of
creating the right regulatory environment, providing easy asses to capital,
build capacity, and facilitate access to business opportunities will hasten the
indigenous capacity development. Regulation ought not to stifle businesses,
regulation ought to support business, spur economic growth. Without endangering
the environment and the people
Speaking further on
Cabotage implementation in Nigeria, Dr Dakuku said that the Agency was in
discussion with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Customs
Service on the need to create a special tariff regime for those importing
Vessels and vessel parts into the country
“At the moment, a
temporary import permit mainly granted foreigners attract just 1% but importing
vessel by Nigerian attract 13% so its difficult to compete. We are engaging the
Nigeria Customs Service on the need to review this regime. We have also made
appreciable progress in our discussions with the Central bank of Nigeria to see
Nigerians in the maritime sector have access to single digit facilities so they
can compete favorably with their international peers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief
Operating Officer Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,
Alhaji Bello Rabiu, during his visit to the NIMASA stand at the OTC, commended
the Agency’s Management for her efforts in seeking collaboration to grow the
industry in Nigeria.
On his part, the First
Governor of Rivers State and Amayanabo of Brass Bayelsa State, His Royal
majesty Alfred Diete Spiff, who led
the Bayelsa delegation to the OTC, commended NIMASA for its commitment to
capacity development particularly for its role in the establishment of the
Nigerian Maritime University Okerenkoko, and called for more of such specialized
universities to be established in Nigeria.

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