- Warns IOCs over use of unregistered vessels
Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which is responsible for regulations related to Nigerian shipping, maritime labour and coastal waters, has issued a three-month deadline to companies engaged in cabotage trade in Nigeria to register all vessels used in coastal and inland waters trade.
The companies would register in the applicable ‘special register for cabotage vessels and ship owning companies,’ and obtain the certificate of cabotage registration/ license. Also, the operators with expired registration certificates are to renew same with the maritime regulatory agency.
NIMASA was formerly known as National Maritime Authority (NMA), the agency also undertakes inspections and provides search and rescue services.
Bashir Jamoh, director-general of NIMASA, said the notice was part of efforts to ensure strict enforcement of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003 and guidelines on implementation of the Cabotage Act of 2003.
At the expiration of the three months, Jamoh said NIMASA would notify relevant government authorities and international oil companies (IOCs) to bar vessels without valid Cabotage certificates.
The director-general was speaking shortly after the agency released a marine notice; reiterating that the Cabotage Act provided that every vessel intended for use in domestic trade must be duly registered by the Registrar of Ships.
“The Cabotage law provides that every vessel intended for use under the Cabotage Act must be duly registered in the appropriate register, and the operational certificates be renewed annually. We are out to ensure strict implementation of NIMASA mandate under the law,” Jamoh said.
NIMASA’s intention, ultimately, is to build and continue to enhance the capacity of Nigerians in the shipping industry in line with relevant international regulations, he said.
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