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NIMASA maintains December deadline for phasing out single-hull tankers

…Secures approval for disbursement of CVFF

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said the country remains steadfast in its decision to stop the use of ships with single-hull tankers by December 31 this year.

Bashir Jamoh, director-general of NIMASA stated this on Thursday in Lagos during a virtual meeting with the Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN).

Jamoh also announced that NIMASA had secured approval for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), adding that only the final details of the scheme were being considered before commencement of pay-out.

“We are committed to the complete phase-out of single-hull tankers by December 31. Operators still using this type of tanker should make adequate preparation to comply because there will be no going back on this decision. We have discussed the timeline for discontinuing the use of single-hull tankers and were given five years to comply with the ban, which is, to all intents and purposes, a generous allowance,” Jamoh said.

He described ship owners as ‘the beacon and hub of any developing economy,’ saying that the journey to success for the current management of NIMASA depends on the shipowners.

He however promised that the agency would continue to pursue its functions of promoting and regulating shipping in collaboration with shipowners and all relevant stakeholders.

On shipowners’ concerns about the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), Jamoh stated that the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, had approved the disbursement of the fund, meant to assist operators in the acquisition of maritime assets.

“Only the details are being discussed with a view to avoiding former mistakes and ensuring effective as well as efficient utilisation of the fund. We have also submitted proposals to the Minister to seek fiscal and monetary incentives for our shipowners,” he stated.

Recall that NIMASA had in 2015 revised the timetable for phasing out ships with single-hull tankers operating in Nigeria in line with the decision of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to extend its deadline for ban on single-hull tankers for certain categories of tankers not engaged in international trade.

Also, NIMASA utilised the IMO extension window to shift the final phase-out date for single-hull oil tankers to December 31, 2020.

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