Agency NIMASA has commenced clampdown on vessels that do not comply with
the provisions of the Cabotage Compliance Strategy introduced last year to
ease the implementation of the Cabotage Act 2003 in Nigeria.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said the Agency
will no longer encourage the application of any form of waivers under the
Cabotage Act, particularly from the oil firms operations as such does not
help the growth of the Nigerian maritime sector and economy at large.
“Our laws forbid foreign vessels operating in our territorial waters save
for compliance with the Cabotage Act. There shall be no sacred cow when we
commence clampdown on erring vessels. We want to increase the number of
Nigerians who participate in the marine aspect of your business and we are
working closely with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board
(NCDMB) to have a joint categorization of vessels operating under the
Cabotage Act in order to ensure the full implementation of the Act”, he
A detention order for a Motor Tanker, MT NAVIGATOR CAPRICORN, which is a
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Carrier, has been approved for contravening
sections of the Cabotage Act.
The vessel was first boarded in October 2018 and all infractions of
Cabotage non-compliance were noted and communicated accordingly to the
charterer/Owners representatives with a 90 days grace period to comply.
The 90 days expired on the 31st January 2019. It is noteworthy that Owners
made undertaking to remedy the notable infractions when the vessel was
issued a detention warning in October 2018.
While NIMASA is currently engaging the owners and charterers of the vessel
on the need to comply with the laws of the land, MT NAVIGATOR CAPRICORN
has been moved to Lagos Anchorage to allow space for other LPG vessels to
discharge at the NOJ Jetty.
It is noteworthy that the NIMASA DG had led members of his team to meet
with the Oil Producers Trade Sector (OPTS) in Lagos where he urged
industry players to draw up a five-year strategic plan for the cessation
of application for Cabotage waiver and also pursue the utilization of
Nigerian-owned vessels for marine contracts.
You will also recall that in August 2018, NIMASA introduced a new
Compliance Strategy for Cabotage Implementation in Nigeria to ensure full
implementation of the Cabotage Act, 2003 to secure jobs for qualified
Nigerians in the maritime sector.
The Agency via a Marine Notice suspended considerations for applications
of grant of waiver on manning for prescribed categories of officers in
vessels engaged in Cabotage trade. The Agency no longer consider
application for grant of waiver on manning requirements for vessels
engaged in coastal trade with regards to 2nd officer, 2ndengineer, 2nd
mate down to able seamen, ratings and stewards.
Special applications for Captains, Chief Engineers, Chief Officers, First
Mate in the absence of qualified Nigerians are considered on merit, but on
the condition that such organization make plan to train a Nigerian and put
in place a transition plan to ensure that the Nigerian takes over the job
within one year.
The whole essence of this was to ensure that Nigerians are not deprived of
the jobs due them on showing requisite qualifications for the job.