Nigerian shipowners decry award of contracts to foreigners

Shipowners laud NPA for abolishing safe anchorage 

 

The Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has decried the continuous award of contracts to foreign vessel owners years into the Cabotage regime for coastal shipping of petroleum products in clear contravention of the Cabotage and Local Content Acts.

In a protest letter dated March 22, 2022 and addressed to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, SOAN accused NIMASA of granting waivers to foreign flag vessels operated by Messrs Unibros/Orion Marine to participate in the domestic shipping of petroleum products which is the sole preserve of Nigerians.

According to the letter signed by the SOAN President, Mkgeorge Onyung, and copied the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari and the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, the group called on NIMASA to exercise its mandate to stop any illegality and ensure that vessel owners pay relevant Customs import duties on the vessels, “with evidence provided before adopting the Nigerian flag just like the Nigerian- owned and flagged vessels operated by Nigerians.”

While commending NIMASA, NNPC and NCDMB for the multiple levels of dialogue on the issue, SOAN noted that it will amount to an act of economic sabotage if foreign-flagged vessels are allowed to operate in the nation’s waters in disregard to extant laws and regulations.

The letter titled “Re: Registration of foreign flagged vessels into the Cabotage regime for coastal shipping of petroleum products” a copy of which was made available to Maritime Today Online reads in part, “the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has broken an over 40-year record by giving Nigerian shipping companies the commercial opportunity to supply coastal vessels to NNPC/Marine Logistics for shipping of petroleum products with Nigerian Flagged coastal tankers.

 

 



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