Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Shipowners association decries foreign operators’ dominance of Nigeria’s coastal trade

The Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA)
on Tuesday lamented the continued dominance of the coastal trade in spite of
the provisions of the Cabotage Act.

Speaking at a News briefing in Lagos, the NISA
President, Capt. Dada Labinjo,
  said that
the indigenous shipowners had been rendered jobless, while

foreign operators smile to the banks since the trade was left unprotected.

Labinjo blamed the regulatory bodies for failing in
their responsibilities and encouraging corrupt practices to the detriment of
the businesses of the indigenous shipowners.

He said, “Our maritime domain is infested by foreign
ships despite the prohibitions in the Cabotage Act.

“Worst still, the foreign vessels fail to obtain
waivers as required under Section 9-11 of the Cabotage Act. It is a common
sight to find Filipinos, Indians, Koreans, Pakistanis onboard product tankers
and offshore support vessels engaged in the Nigerian Cabotage trade.

“While the Americans, Indians, Europeans and
Australians protect their Cabotage area, which I fondly call ‘nurseries’, we in
Nigeria have left the ‘gate’ to the pen opened and the hawks and hounds have
gone in to wreak havoc.

“NIMASA, NPA, Navy, NNPC etc watch helplessly, albeit
provide tacit support in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars.”

The NISA President declared that it would be
meaningless to own one million ships without the opportunity to be engaged for
cargo operations.

“If we have one million ships, but no cargo to carry,
we will reject them because ships are bought in anticipation of getting jobs.

“Crew salaries cannot continue six months after a ship
is acquired and no job is being done, “Labinjo said.
He disclosed that about 500,000 Nigerians could be
employed, while about N5.4 billion could also be earned from Nigeria’s monthly
importation of 1.8 billion litres of petroleum products.

According to the NISA President, this would only
happen if the transportation of the products was exclusively done by indigenous
shipowners. 

He also disclosed that an additional 700,000 jobs
could be created and an annual $15billion saved from capital flight if the
International Oil Companies (IOCs) engage indigenous shipowners in lighterage
operations.

He said the possibility was being looked at following
the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) notice to all
foreign owned, registered and crewed vessels not to renew their contracts on
expiration.
“According to the NCDMB, the Marine Vessels
Requirement by IOCs for the period 2015-2020 is 900 vessels. The NCDMB has
served notice to all foreign owned, crewed and registered vessels that their
contracts will not be renewed on expiration.

“The IOCs are obliged to engage Nigerian vessels in
line with the provisions of the CabotageAct 
and the NCD Act.

“We are therefore gearing towards providing the
required offshore support vessels. When this is fully operational, another
700,000 direct and indirect jobs shall be created with an annual spend of $15
billion saved from capital flight,” the NISA President said.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.