Few days after the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and key maritime industry stakeholders met in Lagos and map out plans to end Cabotage waivers for non-indigenous ship owners within the next five years, the National Association of Master Mariners, has lauded the move by the nation’s apex maritime agency.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that at a meeting between NIMASA and some maritime industry key stakeholders in Lagos last week which centered on the need for collaboration to facilitate optimal implementation of the Cabotage law, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said that the agency was determined to ensure that Cabotage waivers were stopped in the next five years.
Reacting to this, the National President of master mariners, Captain Tajudeen Alao told our correspondent that the decision is a good move which according to him, will help to ensure that practitioners are not repeating the same thing every year.
Alao also charged the Federal Government to ensure that the necessary requirements to facilitate Cabotage trade are in place, adding that because the nation lacks some of these requirements; it will be difficult to talk about implementation.
“I am just hearing that they want to do five years; they want to split the Cabotage law into phases. If they do that, one it will be a good move so that we can know that we are not repeating the same thing every year. What you don’t have, you cannot give; what do we have as a country Nigeria, in terms of manpower, assets that we can give as collaterals, what banks can finance. If we don’t have all these things on ground, you cannot leave the Cabotage trade like that, it will affect our offshore operations”, he noted.
He reiterated that the five years time line is what the association has been advocating for, even as he said that the time will give the nation enough time to assess itself.
“The five years plan is a good pointer because we don’t have all these things and that is why we cannot say about the implementation, but we are given five years as the timeline. It is the best approach which we have been advocating for, so that there will be need to see step by step in two years or three years we can look at what we have achieved, what are the deliverables in those five years starting from one year till 4years so that we can achieve 100% in five years”.