The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Nimasa) has been promoting the Cabotage Law which came into force in 2004, but had not been strongly enforced with many relying on a system of cabotage waivers.
Nimasa has now set out a strategic five-year plan from 2021 that will see the phasing out of the cabotage waiver system in phases.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Dakuku Adol Peterside said: “The process of bringing the grant of Cabotage waiver to a gradual end has already begun, with the Agency launching a renewed effort to implement the provisions of the Cabotage Act. This was following a series of engagements with stakeholders.
He said that a move to encourage Nigerian owners to enter into 60 – 40 joint ventures with international owners had born fruit with 20 vessels now owned under such arrangements compared to just one in 2018.
“Bareboat charter of vessels has witnessed an increase, while foreign-owned vessels on Nigeria’s Cabotage register has witnessed a decline,” Peterside said. The Nigerian Cabotage register showed 125 Nigerian wholly-owned vessels in the first half of 2018 compared to 94 in the same period in 2017. There were more than 200 vessels in the register.
“Also, about 68% of vessels trading within the country’s maritime space are Nigerian-flagged. So the Agency is doing a lot in ensuring adequate attention is paid to the essence of the Cabotage, aimed at encouraging indigenous participation and job creation,” Peterside said.
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