By Ayoola Olaitan
The League of Maritime Editors and Publishers, LOMEP, has urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA on the need to address indigenous Shipping woes faced in the maritime sector.
LOMEP, made this call in a congratulatory letter to the new Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, signed by the President, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke and the Secretary, Mr. Francis Ugwoke,stating that there is no doubt that the Cabotage Shipping regime introduced in 2003 has not impacted positively on the growth of the sector.
According to the group, “There is no doubt that the Cabotage Shipping regime introduced in 2003 has not impacted positively on the growth of the sector. This is because of the fact that so many indigenous shipping companies have been in 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,” they noted.
The group in its congratulatory message to the Director-General, lauded his appointment and described it as well-deserved considering his record in the maritime industry, saying it came “at a time that all eyes are on the maritime industry apparently with the travails in the oil sector and the wish 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.
In its words, “we want to assure you that as a body of maritime journalists who have covered the industry for close to three decades, we are behind you in every effort you make to transform the sector for good and succeed as a maritime administrator”.
LOMEP applauded the agency for its previous achievements and stressed the need to sustain the achievement of the previous administration, while noting the need for NIMASA to take full control of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) and support for the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron.
The group emphasized thus, “we also wish to draw your attention to the age long Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) which replaced Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF) 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 the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) as it plays a big role in bringing to bear the quest for improved human capacity for the sector”.
LOMEP noted that with improved shipping environment in Nigeria under the new administration, the dismal performance of Nigeria in her efforts to win a seat in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will witness a positive change, assuring that a tumble in piracy and an increased fleet expansion among Nigerian shipowners will do the magic.