Nigeria: Ship-Owners Challenge Govt Over Cabotage, Trade Policy

The Nigeria Ship-Owners Association, NISA, has challenged the Federal Government to stop granting waivers to foreign ship owners operating in the Cabotage area to demonstrate its seriousness with developing the local shipping industry.

Speaking with Vanguard on the issue, president of NISA, Sola Adewumi, said stoppage of waivers for Cabotage will increase the number of local ships operating within the costal ways; which will in turn grow local capacity in terms of manpower and number of ships.

He also challenged the federal government to change its trade policy from the present the Free On Board, FOB to Cost Insurance and Freight, CIF, which, he said, is the global best practice.

He stated: “The most concern for us at Nigerian Shipowners Association is the issue of granting of waivers to foreign vessels for Cabotage operation. “Government must stop granting of these waivers to foreign ships to operate in the Cabotage area and ensure a complete implementation of the Cabotage Act the way it should be”.

He further noted, “The Federal Government must change its trade policy by ensuring that Nigerian cargos are left to Nigerians to lift. Even if the Nigerian ship owners do not have the required ships, they can always bring in ships that will fly Nigerian flag to handle such cargos and by so doing; it will empower and transfer capacity to them”. Adewunmi also raised other issues in the way of developing the Nigerian shipping industry, saying, “The issue of bureaucracy as it concerns ship bunkering must be addressed.

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