Managing Director of Japaul Oil and Gas, Mr. Paul Jegede; former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temi Omatseye; Chief Executive Officer of Starz Investment Group, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and incumbent Secretary, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Capt. Niyi Labinjo; have all thrown thrown their hats in the race for the chairmanship position of NISA.
The association’s first ever election has been scheduled to hold on 15th October, 2014 while the sale of forms for various positions will close this Friday.
The association’s electoral committee will also organise a debate on 13th October.
Several other positions including 1st and 2nd Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, National Publicity Secretary and Legal Advisers will be contested.
Outgoing Chairman of the association, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, during a general meeting held in Apapa yesterday, said NISA had played a very strong role in influencing government policy. He said the election is part of efforts to reposition the association in order to enhance indigenous ownership of ships.
Meanwhile, NISA Secretary, Capt. Niyi Labinjo, yesterday urged the Federal Government to enforce the Cabotage law, otherwise known as the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act.
Labinjo told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the enforcement of cabotage law would enable domestic ship owners to effectively participate in the coastal trade and commerce.
According to him, the implementation of the laws would enhance the capacity of indigenous ship owners grow and dominate coastal business in the country.
“Enforcement of the Cabotage law can be better; we must continue to appreciate the fact that the Cabotage Act is meant for Nigerians.
“We must not be afraid as maritime administrators in ensuring that our domestic trade is reserved for only our people and that is the essence of the law,” Labinjo said.
He also urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to assist in ensuring that the Cabotage laws function effectively in Nigeria.
NAN reports that the Cabotage law enacted in 2003 was patterned after the United States of America’s Jones Act of 1938, which had helped developed the country’s indigenous capacity in shipping.
The law was also designed to enable indigenous shipping companies acquire adequate tonnage to enable them participate in the coastal trade.
In all, the Cabotage Act primarily is meant to stimulate the development of indigenous capacity in the Nigerian Maritime industry.