A maritime group, LOMEP, has urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to address the challenges confronting indigenous operators in the shipping sector.
LOMEP made this call in a letter to the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh.
In the letter signed by its President, Mr Kingsley Anaroke, and Secretary, Mr Francis Ugwoke, the group stated that the cabotage shipping regime introduced in 2003 had not impacted positively on the growth of the sector.
The group stated, ”There is no doubt that the cabotage shipping regime introduced in 2003 has not impacted positively on the growth of the indigenous shipping sector.
“This is because of the fact that the business of so many indigenous shipping companies has been comatose due to poor enforcement of the regime.
“NIMASA as the apex maritime agency under your leadership, therefore, has a role to play to make the law work. To achieve this, we advise that you first ensure that illegal vessels operating on the nation’s waters with claims of having waivers are checked.”
The group lauded Jamoh’s appointment and described it as well-deserved considering his record in the maritime industry.
It said the appointment came “at a time that all eyes are on the maritime industry apparently with the travails in the oil sector and the hope by the Federal Government that the sector contributes more to the national economy.”
LOMEP pledged its support for the new administration towards enthroning a transformational change in the maritime sector.
It applauded the agency for its previous achievements and stressed the need to sustain the achievements of the previous administration, while noting the need for NIMASA to take full control of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and support for the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
It stated, “We also wish to draw your attention to the age-long CVFF, which replaced Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund and urge that you use your good offices to ensure that this fund is disbursed. This will no doubt improve on the current national fleet.
“The agency should not stop in its assistance to MAN, Oron, as it plays a big role in bringing to bear the quest for improved human capacity for the sector.”