DR Dakuku Peterside, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has again reiterated the agency’s determination in ensuring that the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003 also known as the Cabotage Act is implemented to the letter.
The Director-General said this when he received the leadership of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association led by the National President, Comrade Matthew Alalade at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
Dr Peterside said that proper regulation of the Cabotage Act is instrumental to the development of the maritime sector stating that Nigerians must always be encouraged to be key players in the sector and that the issue of abuse of waivers would be checked.
“We have not realised the full potential of the Cabotage Act, but we have moved a step ahead. Just to be sure that we are committed to the full implementation of the Cabotage Act, issues relating to waiver abuse are currently being dealt with accordingly.”
Dr Peterside also said that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) would only be disbursed to people that would put it into the use for which it is intended, saying applicants must have the requisite criteria as beneficiaries.
“We will rigorously screen the applicants of the CVFF in order to ensure that the funds are disbursed to people who would use it for the purposes the funds are meant for.”
The NIMASA DG also stated that the agency is currently screening maritime institutions across the country and would only accredit the ones that can provide the maritime training required in line with global best practices.
He, however noted that NIMASA is not in a position to recognise any Merchant Navy Association as that function falls under the purview of the National Assembly.