Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has reiterated the agency’s determination in ensuring that the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003 also known as the Cabotage Act is fully implemented.
Peterside said this when he received the leadership of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association led by their President, Matthew Alalade.
He said proper regulation of the Cabotage Act is instrumental to the development of the maritime sector, stating that Nigerians must always be encouraged to be key players in the sector.
He said, “We have not realized the full potential of the Cabotage Act but we have moved a step ahead. Just to be sure that we are committed to the full implementation of the Cabotage Act, issues relating to waiver abuse are currently being dealt with accordingly.
“We will rigorously screen the applicants of the CVFF (Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund) in order to ensure that the funds are disbursed to people who would use it for the purposes the funds are meant for.”
Peterside also stated that the agency is screening maritime institutions across the country and would only accredit the ones that can provide the maritime training required in line with global best practices.
He however noted that NIMASA is not in a position to recognise any Merchant Navy Association as that function falls under the purview of the National Assembly.
Earlier, the association, which decried the abuse of waivers in the implementation of the Cabotage Act, also requested the agency to find ways of reviewing the law to pave way for indigenous operators’ involvement in coastal and inland trade in Nigeria.
The association also sought greater collaboration with NIMASA especially in decision-making and human capacity building.
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