• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Shipowners seek fast vessel clearance, effective execution of Cabotage

Shipowners seek fast vessel clearance, effective execution of Cabotage

Shipowners under the auspices of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) have solicited some concessions from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to enable fast clearance of Nigerian flagged vessels at the port.

According to them, Nigerian ship owners in the past, used to have some concessions like about 30 percent discount in port charges, and express clearance from government agencies, unlike foreign vessels that might be kept waiting for a while.

Sunday Omatseye, the chairman of the Steering Committee of NISA, made these submissions when Mohammed Bello-Koko, the acting managing director of the NPA, hosted members of NISA at the NPA corporate headquarters in Lagos.

He said NISA has come back, and will work with the government to develop the shipping industry.

Omatseye, who disclosed that NISA has set up a steering committee that is expected to last for six months after which an election would be conducted, said the association is ready to work with the NPA to move the industry forward.

Read also: FG stops import duty on vessels acquired by Nigerian ship-owners

Responding, Bello-Koko promised to support the aspirations of shipowners by driving effective implementation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003 otherwise known as the Cabotage Act.

He however charged the ship owners to make necessary investments by acquiring vessels to take advantage of the Cabotage law, which gives opportunities to Nigerian shipowners and limits the participation of foreign companies in the shipping business.

He pledged to support the resuscitation of the moribund annual Nigerian Maritime Exhibition and Conference (NIMAREX).

On the concession, Koko however assured that all the concessions due to ships flying Nigeria flag would remain, adding that such must impact on users of shipping services.

“Whatever concession been given to shipowners by NPA, we do not intend to remove it. We will review them and see if they still exist. And if they are not, we will fix it,” Koko said.

He also regretted the backlog of cadets trained at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron that have not been able to obtain their certificates of competency (CoC) due to lack of sea time experience.