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Nigeria tells oil companies to plan for strict enforcement of Cabotage Act

The Nigerian authorities are planning for a strict enforcement of the country’s cabotage laws and say they are on the verge of ending waivers.

Addressing oil companies director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside said it would no longer encourage applications for any kind of waivers from Cabotage Act as it seeks to grow the Nigerian maritime sector and the wider economy.

Dakuku told an Oil Producers Trade Sector (OPTS) in Lagos, it was “on the verge” of ending waivers from the act.

“Our laws forbid foreign vessels operating in our territorial waters save for compliance with the Cabotage Act,” he stated.

“We also 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.”

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Industry players were encouraged to draw up a five-year strategic plan for the cessation of application for cabotage waivers.

He warned that NIMASA would not compromise on enforcing its statutory powers but preferred to engage key players in the industry.

“We don’t want to change our rules of engagement to a confrontational one because the mandate we have is that of the Nigerian people, to grow shipping for our economic benefits. In this wise, we urge you to cooperate and collaborate with us where necessary so that we can have an all-inclusive maritime sector,” he stated.

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