Director General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside ( L) with the Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety and Education; Umar Mohamed Bago at the harmonized NIMASA Stakeholders Forum tagged: Synergy; An Instrument for Sustainable Development of the Blue Economy which held recently in Lagos
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has appointed a consultant to coordinate the review of the 13 year old Cabotage Act.
Executive Director of Operations of NIMASA, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin stated this at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the agency in Lagos last weekend.
Shipping Position Daily learnt that the name of the Consultant is; Ventry Consultants. Fashakin noted that the Cabotage Act was due for review after more than 13 years of it's coming into force.
He however said that NIMASA has commenced the process of review.
"A consultant has been appointed to coordinate the review and some inputs have been made. Accordingly, a draft copy of the amendments have been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Transport for their final vetting before submission to the National Assembly",he disclosed.
Fashakin lamented however that the provision of waivers in the Cabotage Act is meant to be an exception,but is being misused presently.
He said that indigenous operators are also guilty of this waiver abuse as many of them usually seek for waivers on issues such as manning of vessels.
"If the indigenous operators are not ready to employ Nigerians, on what moral grounds can we compel the foreigners to do same?
"How do we explain a situation whereby able seamen and rating onboard our Cabotage Vessels are foreigners whereas Nigeria has a lot of registered seafarers that are capable of doing the job"
Fashakin said that in order to give Nigerian seafarers the deserved opportunity, NIMASA has decided to temporarily suspend the issuance of waiver on manning.
He also lamented the poor dietary standards applied to Nigerian seafarers onboard vessels by their employers. He warned that NIMASA has resolved to sanction ship owners found culpable.