Nigeria has rolled-out a five-year plan to bring to an end, waivers given to foreign vessels trading on the nation’s waters.
The Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Dakuku Peterside disclosed this at a two-days Stakeholders Consultative Meeting in Lagos.
Peterside, said that, the cabotage waiver removal which would come in phases would give rise to indigenous ship owning, ship building and ship manning that would spur growth in the industry while creating millions of jobs to Nigerians.
The NIMASA Chief, in his opening remark to kick-start the Stakeholders consultative meeting for the “Cessation of Cabotage Waivers” said that it would begin with a two year plan to end waivers to fishing trawlers, tugs, offshore supply vessels, barges, house boats, tankers of below 10,000 GRT and vessels such as FPSOs.
According to him the plan will see an end to building of such vessel from outside the country in four years period to give room to grow the Nigerian indigenous ship building development.
“The whole idea is to have a succession plan that will midwife a full blown cabotage regime that will be of benefit to Nigerians instead of the foreigners that trade on our waters.
“It has been observed that the cabotage act since its inception in 2003, have to a large extent favoured foreign ship owners while killing the indigenous ones,’’ he said.
He said that the review of the act was to favouring the Nigerian ship owners in its entire ramification.
He added that the waiver regime had over time exposed the indigenous ship owners to undue competition with more established foreign ships.
Mr Gambo Ahemed, NIMASA’s Director of Cabotage and Labour Services said that, the agency was leading the measure to heed the cry of almost moribund Nigeria ship owners.
He said that with the policy reversal, the indigenous ship owners would blossom once again and vessels would begin to fly Nigeria flag with pride.
He added that the Nigeria Ship Registration Council would be streamlined to provide necessary enablement to help the policy.