The Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has lamented lack of compliance to the Cabotage Act in the last one and half decade of its existence.
Peterside who was represented at a function in Lagos last week by Mr Jibril Ibrahim assured however that the agency has initiated a waiver cessation plan, assuring that in the next five years, all the loopholes in the law should have been blocked for the benefit of Nigerian indigenous shipping practitioners.
Peterside also said it is disheartening that Nigerian trade terms is still carried out on Free on Board (FOB) basis, he said NIMASA is now advocating for an change in the trade terms, adding the matter is already in the office of the Vice President to ensure the trade term is changed to Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) basis
“There has been so much talk about the Cabotage Act and it’s implementation, I totally agree that compliance has been faulty”
“In one and half decade of the Cabotage Act, I don’t think there has been any meaningful compliance with that law. But pro actively, NIMASA has come up with a strategy now, and we have given a five year succession plan, in such a manner that in the next five years, we expect that an appreciable number of the gaps that exists now, about seventy five percent would have been closed up”
“By so doing, more indigenous people will start participating in the shipping business”
Meanwhile, the NIMASA boss has revealed that the agency has acquired 17 fast intervention vessels and helicopters to fight insecurity on Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
He assured that the 17 vessels would be arriving in Nigeria by October 2019. He added the helicopters would also be arriving Nigeria by end of the year.
He said the fast intervention vessels move as far as 50nauts, and that it would be used to patrol the waters up to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
“We have come up with the blue project where we are creating total domain awareness of the waters in such a manner that there is a collaboration between all the security agencies”
“We have gone to acquire platforms and fast intervention vessels that are coming in by next month, about 17 of them, they are going to be used for apprehending and checking criminalities on our waters”
“These fast intervention vessels move as far as 50nauts, and to be honest with you, this is a very high speed that you cannot find around here at all.It would be used to patrol the waters up to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)”
“We have also acquired helicopters and we expect them to come in by the end of the year.They are equipped with gadgets to monitor and intervene from the air, whatever is required to be done on the high seas”
“We have other platforms in terms of motor vehicles.We have conscripted officers from all these security agencies into one security force, they are undergoing training”
“By first quarter of next year, all incidents of piracy and insecurity would have been ward off on Nigerian waters”
“As a country, we have achieved a feat by signing the anti piracy bill into law, it is an instrument that has not been seen anywhere before, it would give us a lot of backing to solve the security challenges we are experiencing, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea”
“The business of government in business is to create an enabling environment, and this Act that has been passed would assist us in achieving that”
“NIMASA has come up with a project that is supposed to provide total domain awareness of the maritime industry, we believe that no business can flourish in a situation of insecurity, and you would agree with me that in recent times, the Gulf of Guinea has been tagged as the most dangerous waters in the world” he said