NIMASA unveils new policy to strengthen implementation of cabotage law

NIMASA DG Dakuku Peterside

A new NIMASA Cabotage Compliance Strategy (NCCS) has gone into operation in the country.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which announced this on Friday, said the new policy was to facilitate a better coastal and inland trade regime and to secure jobs for qualified Nigerians in the maritime sector.

NIMASA spokesman, Isichei Osamgbi, quoted the Director-General of the agency, Dakuku Peterside as saying that with the NCCS, the agency would no longer consider applications for granting of waiver on manning for prescribed categories of officers in vessels engaged in cabotage trade.

“The era of foreigners taking over jobs that Nigerians are qualified for in the maritime sector is over,” he said.

“The NCCS will point a new direction to our cabotage regime as the agency will no longer consider application for waiver on manning requirements for vessels engaged in coastal trade.

“This is with regards to 2nd officer, 2nd engineer, 2nd mate, down to able seamen, ratings and stewards,” he said.

Peterside said special applications for captains, chief engineers, chief officers, and 1st mate, in the absence of qualified Nigerians, would be considered on merit.

“It is on the condition that such an organisation will plan to train a Nigerian and make a transition plan to ensure that the Nigerian takes over the job within one year,” he said.

He said that the essence of the move was to ensure that Nigerians were not deprived of the jobs due to them on showing requisite qualifications for the job.

Peterside pledged that NIMASA would continue to work closely with stakeholders to support and promote indigenous participation in the Nigerian maritime sector.

He advised all relevant government agencies and International Oil Companies (IOCs) to collaborate with the agency in harnessing opportunities available in the nation’s maritime space.