The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it had commenced a clampdown on vessels operating in domestic waters that did not comply with the Cabotage Act of 2003, following several warnings to the industry that it planned to do so last year including meeting with oil producers in October.
NIMASA said it had approved a detention order for the LPG carrier Navigator Capricorn, part of the Navigator Gas fleet, for contravening the Cabotage Act.
The authorities said the vessel boarded in October last year and notice of non-compliance communicated to the owners/charterers, which expired on 31 January 2019. NIMASA noted that the owners had made undertaking to remedy the non-compliance when the detention warning was issued last October.
“While NIMASA is currently engaging the owners and charterers of the vessel on the need to comply with the laws of the land, Navigator Capricorn has been moved to Lagos Anchorage to allow space for other LPG vessels to discharge at the NOJ Jetty,” the authorities said.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said: “Our laws forbid foreign vessels operating in our territorial waters save for compliance with the Cabotage Act. There shall be no sacred cow when we commence clampdown on erring vessels.
“We want to increase the number of Nigerians who participate in the marine aspect of your business and we are working closely with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to have a joint categorization of vessels operating under the Cabotage Act in order to ensure the full implementation of the Act.”