The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has issued a three-month ultimatum to companies engaged in Cabotage services in Nigeria, to register all vessels used in coastal and inland waters for such operations.
Mr Philip Kyanet, Head, Corporate Communications, NIMASA, issued the ultimatum in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
Kyanet said in addition to the registration in the applicable Special Register for Cabotage Vessels and Ship Owning companies, they must also obtain the Certificate of Cabotage Registration/License,
He said operators with expired registration certificates are to ensure the renewal of their Cabotage Operational Certificate/License for all Cabotage vessels within three months.
“At the expiration of the three months, NIMASA will notify relevant government authorities and International Oil Companies (IOCs), to bar vessels without valid Cabotage certificates”.
Speaking shortly after the agency released a Marine Notice to announce the decision, Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said the notice was part of efforts to ensure strict enforcement of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003.
He said there would also be strict enforcement of the Guidelines on Implementation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003.
Jamoh said the Cabotage Act, provides that every vessel intended for use in domestic trade, must be duly registered by the Registrar of Ships.
“The 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’s mandate under the law. Ultimately, our intention is to build and continue to enhance the capacity of Nigerians in the shipping industry in line with relevant international regulations”.