Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has
commended the judgement of the Federal High Court in the case involving
Seadrill Mobile Unit Nigeria Limited and the Federal Ministry of Transportation
(FMOT), which confirmed NIMASA’s right to collect fees from drilling
party in the suit originally instituted by Seadrill Mobile Unit Nigeria Limited
against the FMOT.
another landmark attempt by the judiciary to set the record straight and boost
implementation of our Cabotage law, while generating opportunities for jobs.”
Unit Nigeria Limited was to determine whether drilling operations fell within
the definitions of “Coastal Trade” and “Cabotage” under the Coastal and Inland
Shipping (Cabotage) Act, and whether on a proper interpretation of the Cabotage
Act, drilling operations fell within the definition of “vessels” under the Act.
presided by Justice Babs Keuwumi, ruled that drilling operations fell within
the ambit of exploration, exploitation, or transportation of the mineral or
non-living natural resources of Nigeria, whether in or under Nigerian waters,
as provided under the definition of coastal trade in the Cabotage Act.
combined reading of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act, Interpretation Act, and
Cabotage Act meant that drilling rigs fell under the definition of vessel under
the Cabotage Act.
the affirmative, the court granted NIMASA leave to collect all outstanding
payment of the 2% Cabotage surcharge from owners of drilling rigs and
that oil rigs operating on Nigerian waters are subject to the provisions of the
it marked the opening of an important opportunity for job, incomes, and
Cabotage fees and reaffirmed the Agency’s commitment to the enthronement of
global best practices in the Nigerian maritime sector.
clear and it has again been interpreted and confirmed by the court. We expect
that with this judgement, all parties will obey the court order and do the needful.
It is all for the growth of the Nigerian maritime sector and the country’s
economy at large.
we will continue to sensitise stakeholders, because every craft that is engaged
in Coastal and Inland Trade must pay the Cabotage fees.”
the Agency to end the Cabotage Waiver regime in the next five years. He said
measures had been put in place by the Agency, in collaboration with
stakeholders in the sector, to achieve a seamless waiver cessation.
provides that Coastal Trade or Cabotage means the engaging by vessel in any
marine transportation activity of a commercial nature in Nigerian waters and
the carriage of any goods or substances whether or not commercial nature within
the waters of Nigeria.
responsible for regulating and promoting shipping activities as enshrined in
the NIMASA Act, 2007.