By Samson Echenim
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) created 7,000 new jobs in six months through strict enforcement of Nigeria’s cabotage trade regulations and the stoppage of waivers for foreign vessels, Dakuku Peterside, the agency’s director general said in Lagos on Thursday.
Peterside also told journalists at a briefing that the agency had “come up with strategies that had ensured a steady rise in the number of jobs created through manning, crewing, stevedoring, and dockworkers engagement.”
The implementation of a five-year plan for the cessation of waiver has encouraged the employment of more Nigerians by vessel owners, he disclosed.
According to him, the effect of the new cabotage regime was still yielding positive results, as more Nigerians are set to be engaged in various sub-sectors of the maritime industry due to the discouragement of the dominance of the sector by foreigners.
He said, “We have always known that the political will to deal with the issue of waivers in the cabotage regime had been the challenge in the past. Our pronouncement and implementation of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy has led to the engagement of over 7,000 Nigerians in various sub-sectors within the industry.
“This has also resulted in 32 percent increase in vessels operating under the cabotage regime in the first two quarters of 2019.”
Peterside disclosed that the agency had inspected and surveyed over 600 vessels calling at Nigerian ports.
“The increased inspection and survey has ensured that sub-standard vessels no longer call at Nigerian ports, which has also improved safety on Nigerian waters,” he said, adding that the agency now takes less than 24 hours to issue sailing clearance to vessels that call at Nigerian ports in line with the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
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