…Says Secure Anchorage Fees Criminal
By DAPO OLAWUNI
President of Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, Capt Tajudeen Alao has commended the Federal Government for cancelling the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA) fees collected by a private firm from vessels on Nigerian waters.
The Secured Anchorage Area is reportedly operated on behalf of the Nigerian Navy by a private company, OMSL Limited, and $2,500 is collected from vessels for the purpose of providing security.
In a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS yesterday, Capt Alao said that NPA did the right thing to cancel the toll collection by Secured Anchorage. He advised that the money so far collected should be refunded to the affected ships with apologies.
Capt Alao said that the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has failed in their responsibility. According to him, ships in Nigerian waters already pay annual security levy to NIMASA for same purpose of security.
The revered master mariner lamented that through the implementation of the contract, the cost of doing business at Nigerian ports has been negatively affected, and that the principle of Ease of Doing Business has been contravened.
He said that “Aside for reasons of safe passage and manoeuvring of ships and quarantine of ships , it is criminal and illegal to create an anchorage for purpose of providing security and collecting dues”
“In line with IMO goal on Safer Shipping, Cleaner Ocean and secured marine environment, it is the responsibility of member states to put into effect, the provisions of all Conventions that have been adopted and ascended to, as far as all ships under its flag to which it has jurisdiction. And compliance by ships calling in its ports or operating Offshore or under innocent passage”
“Government of coastal states must provide safe waters for all ships at no extra cost.
The port authority must designate certain areas for specific purposes, safe Anchorage for short or long stay , quarantine, dumping ground, waiting for clearance, pilot boarding , special purposes, clear of the channels and these must be so marked on the charts of each port”
“The Master of ships may decide safe place to anchor outside marked areas or outside port limit , but must inform port control”
“NPA did right thing to cancel the toll collecting secured Anchorage. What happens to money collected so far and will it be refunded to the affected ships with apologies?