NIMASA Act Amendment: Dr Chilaka Rallies Stakeholders to Re-activate 40-40-20 Trade Rule


Dr Edmund Chilaka

…Minister Oyetola, Mobereola, Ogbeifun, Aminu Others Converge for Book Launch on Indigenous Cargo-carrying Advocacy


Maritime industry stakeholders are being primed to explore the ongoing amendments of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA Act) Sections 35-38, which provides for Indigenous carriers to carry Federal, State, and Local Government cargoes in international trade, and to recognize operators who are keen to bring economic empowerment of Nigerian carriers into effect.

Dr Edmund Chilaka, a maritime expert and lecturer at a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday said this position would be strongly canvassed at an upcoming Book Launch, Indigenous Cargo-carrying Advocacy Awards, and Exhibition holding in Lagos on 25th and 26th of July 2024.

The book titled; Nigeria’s Shipping Policy and Maritime Trade up to the Early 21st Century, is written by Dr. Edmund Chilaka.

Speaking, Dr Chilaka said stakeholders are now visiting the National Assembly, advocating that the NIMASA law, Sections 35-38 should be fine tuned, so as to bring back the cargo allocation era, empower indigenous Shippers and ensure training of Nigerian seafarers.

“If you notice, there is no single Nigerian shipping line that is involved in international trade, meanwhile 70percent of all the cargoes coming to West Africa are destined for Nigeria, and the ships you see around the Gulf of Guinea are destined for Nigeria.

“Today as we speak, Nigerian Indigenous shipping lines are not in any cargo lifting or chattering.

“In the past, we had the NMA cargo allocation scheme, the cargoes that are in the hands of foreigners now, before it was with the National Maritime Authority (NMA)
Back then, all the cargoes coming into Nigeria are warehoused at CBN, the CBN gets all the form C, because your payment passes through CBN, so they submit the cargoes to NMA and there is a sharing formula; 40-40-20.

“Shipping is cargo, if you don’t have cargo, you are not in shipping. If we have the cargo to carry, international ship yards would pay us a visit. This is what inspired my book

“The Shippers Council has told us that Nigerians pay 9.1billion USD annually for the container trade you see going on at our port, but out of that money, a cent is not coming to us because our shipping lines are not involved, if they were involved we would have invisible earnings.

“We have now began an Advocacy for NIMASA to implement that section of its law that empowers indigenous practitioners. There is a department in NIMASA, Shipping Development, they must be made to function”

“What we want to do is to go back to the National Assembly to fine-tune this NIMASA law, Sections 35-38, its not going to cost NIMASA anything, instead it would bring more revenue and get out seafarers trained” Dr Chilaka stated

According to him, there will be a 2-Day schedule of activities marking the presentation of the book, Nigeria’s Shipping Policy and Maritime Trade up to the Early 21st Century.

In addition to the book launch proper, he said there will be awards to deserving captains and operators of the maritime and allied marine and transportation industries.

“The awards, termed Nigerian Indigenous Cargo-Carrying Capacity Advocacy Awards, are meant to raise awareness of the law, NIMASA Act Sections 35-38.

“The book to be launched traced the origin and implementation of shipping policies in Nigeria from colonial times to the early 21st century, including the historical records of the shipping policy formulation and implementation in Nigeria, the successes and the failures.

“It also contains chapters on the following institutions and milestones in Nigeria’s maritime trade and other modal applications: The Federal Ministry of Transportation and its Agencies and Parastatals before the onset of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry; the countertrade policy, as it was used from 1982 to 1987 by the Shagari, Buhari/Idiagbon, and Babangida administrations; the five modes of transport, intermodalism and multimodalism, and the history of interstate long-distance bus travel and cargo logistics in Nigeria; a brief history of international maritime statutory bodies, auxiliary bodies, stakeholder associations, and the thirty-one prominent and significant trade associations and unions currently active in Nigeria’s maritime sector, with their officers, and official contact details.

“Two other topics were contributed by guest writers as follows – the activities of arbitration societies in the Nigerian merchant marine industry was authored by Pier Luigi Carrodano, immediate past Group Managing Director of the Comet Group of Companies, while the history of shipbuilding and repairs in Nigeria, with a case study of the Nigerdock at Snake Island Lagos, was written by Engineer Fidelis Akinayo and Engineer Nkpubre O. Nkpubre, ex-top managers at the company.

“Using his experience of lecturing and mentoring students of transportation, logistics, and the history of transport at Lagos State University and the University of Lagos, Dr. Chilaka packaged the book as a major contribution to the recommended texts for classwork and assignments.

“The topics satisfy many of the curriculum content and essential literature required for students’ projects and guides them to potential interviewees in the industry for information on writing their assessed projects, theses, or dissertations.

“The volume was also packaged as a snapshot of maritime history to inform future generations. It’s a must-read for students of transport and logistics in tertiary institutions, as well as office-based shipping managers and administrators. Whereas policymakers and legislators will benefit from the hindsight and introspection offered by this book, Nigerian ship owners and operators can use it to compare the kind of sovereign support and state power that their foreign counterparts from the advanced maritime nations and even emerging economies routinely enjoy, which indigenous operators are yet to appropriate due to fickle-minded political leadership, mostly; hence, they would be inspired to press for their rightful demands, going forward.

“The book launch, indigenous cargo-carrying advocacy awards, and exhibitions shall be followed by seminar paper presentations on the second day of the event which will focus on the needful significant changes for achieving the envisaged objectives of nurturing indigenous cargo-carrying capacity.

“The paper presenters will tackle the prospects and challenges of reactivating the NIMASA Act Sections 35-38 on indigenous carriage of Federal, State, and Local Government cargoes impelled by international trade”

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