Maritime Stakeholders Move Against MASECA Bill    

The seven suspected illegal bunkers paraded by the Nigerian Navy in Port Harcourt on Wednesday for allegedly running an illegal bunkering site 

 Stakeholders of the Nigerian maritime industry have kicked against the proposed Maritime Security Agency (MASECA) bill.

Amongst the stakeholders who attended the public hearing and who spoke vehemently against the controversial Bill, were former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA);  Mr. Temisan Omatseye, who said that the proposed bill on MASECA was just a replica of another NIMASA.

He warned against the promulgation of the bill into law as it will create more problem for both the maritime industry and nation’s security   agencies .

The Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who turned back at the gate of National Assembly but was represented by Mallam Shehu Aliyu urged the Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration to step down the bill adding that  creating another agency similar to NIMASA, will create additional burden on   the Federal Government .

Amaechi also said that NIMASA is well structured with a reservoir of expertise to manage supervise and protect the maritime industry.

He said: “This therefore has both intended and unintended consequences for the administration of the Maritime Sector.

“Allowing two parallel agencies to operate within the same sector will most likely create confusion in the industry”

“In most cases, these are deliberate provision in the Bill to either emasculate the well-structured operation of NIMASA or completely makes certain provision of NIMASA ineffectual”.

Similarly, Chairman of the Nigeria Seafarers Welfare Board, Otunba, Kunle Folarin said that the maritime business is international, if the bill is passed into law for any reason, it will make Nigeria a laughing stock before the comity of maritime nations.

On its part, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council also said it was not in support of the   creation of the proposed MASECA, instead, the collaboration with NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy be strengthened.