By Chinonye Anyatonwu.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has given vessels owners and International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating under the Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage Policy 3 months to register all vessels operating in the country or face sanction.
The Agency has further given up three months to operators with expired registration certificates to ensure the renewal of their Cabotage operational certificate and licence for their Cabotage vessels or face heavy penalty.
The information made available indicates that at the expiration of the three months, the Agency would inform relevant government authorities to ban vessels without valid Cabotage certificates from operating in Nigeria. The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said the directive was in line with efforts to ensure strict enforcement of the Cabotage Act 2003 and guidelines on implementation of the Act.
He noted that the Cabotage Act provides that every vessel intended for use in domestic trade must be duly registered by the Registrar of ships and the operational certificates be renewed every year. He disclosed that over the years many foreign operators including multinational shipping lines and International Oil Companies have continued to disobey the provisions of the Cabotage, especially non-registration of their vessels to evade payment of the mandatory two percent fee on any contract done under the policy.
He said other areas they violate the provisions is in the area of Manning ship as many ship operators import foreign crew thereby violating section five of the Act, which stipulates that such vessels must be built, owned and manned by Nigerian as well as application for waivers.
Leave a Reply