Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)‘s director-general, Dakuku Peterside, has said plans are in place to disallow foreign-owned vessels from trading on Nigerian waters.
This Dakuku said in an interview today, while stating that current cabotage waivers will soon be phased out within the next five years.
“We have rolled out a five-year cabotage waiver cessation plan. That means that in the next five years, there are a number of waivers we would no longer grant,” he said in the interview with Channels Tv.
“So we expect that most vessels that would be trading within our waters will be built in Nigeria, we already have shipbuilding yards. Most vessels will be flagged Nigeria and most vessels must be owned by Nigerians, we are not going to allow foreign-owned vessels at some point.”
He stated that the federal government should make plans to have a national fleet that would be private-sector driven, while adding that the private sector people are in a better position to run businesses.
He said the national fleet was created in other to create employment, security and other economic reasons.
“The honourable minister’s dream, which has the president’s endorsement, is that let it be private-sector driven, the country might just have minimal equity in the national fleet. We have that plan and we have set up a team led by the executive secretary of the Shippers Council. We believe that when it comes to fruition, we will have a shipping line that will fly the national flag.”
He further urged Nigerians to utilize opportunities in the maritime sector.
“We need to train our people so that they would be able to take advantage of the opportunities when there will be a complete cessation of waivers. Nigeria can export seafarers to other countries. In the next three years, we should be able to have 5000 seafarers with international certification.”