By Gladys Nweke
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has issued a three-month ultimatum to companies engaged in Cabotage business in Nigeria to register all their vessels used in coastal and inland waters trade.
This was contained in a press release made available to maritime reporters on Sunday, and signed by Mr Phillip kyanet Head, Corporate Communications of the agency. He said the action was ensure strict compliance with the Cabotage act of 2003
According to the statement, operators with expired registration certificates are to ensure the renewal of their Cabotage Operational Certificate/License for all Cabotage vessels within the stipulated time.
This is in addition to registration in the applicable Special Register for Cabotage Vessels and Ship Owning companies, and obtaining the Certificate of Cabotage Registration or License
NIMASA warned it would place sanctions on vessels without valid Cabotage certificates at the expiration of the three month grace period, adding that the agency would notify relevant government authorities and international Oil companies of such decision
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who spoke before the notice was made public stated that the action was part of efforts aimed at ensuring strict enforcement of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003 and Guidelines on Implementation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003.
Jamoh reiterated that the Cabotage Act provided that every vessel intended for use in domestic trade must be duly registered by the Registrar of Ships, adding ultimately, our intention is to build and continue to enhance the capacity of Nigerians in the shipping industry in line with relevant international regulation