By Gboyega Oni
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that all wet cargo ships operating on the Nigeria’s sea would be paying its compulsory three (3) percent levy on their cargo based on freight tons, which is Cubic Measurement (CBM).
A zero tolerance programme to fight non-compliance with maritime safety and security standards towards eliminating substandard shipping on Nigeria’s sea will soon be laumched as the Nigerian Ship Registration Office is being automated and shall be available online for shipowners and prospective owners to access without undue delay.
These were part of the initiatives contained in a communique issued at the end of a stakeholders’ interactive session organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
The session was set at aggregating stakeholders consensus for the effective implementation and governance of NIMASA’s operational mandates and achieving the objective of a Blue Economy and also providing a platform for obtaining stakeholder feedback on relevant operational areas and nurturing the required engagement.
According to the communique, stakeholders implored NIMASA to continue to make the necessary representations to the approving authorities to facilitate the disbursement and utilization of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) for its statutory purpose of developing indigenous shipping capacity
On the National Seafarers Development Preogramme (NSDP), the participants called on NIMASA to provide sea time berths for NSDP cadets and explore creative avenues for achieving this given the current constraints of inadequate funding and the lack of an indigenous national fleet.
The communique noted that battle against piracy and other criminal activities on Nigerian waters is receiving the highest attention from the Nigerian Navy, NIMASA and other agencies working in collaboration and will receive a substantial boost when the recently approved Surveillance Contract delivers state of the art equipment and facilities for the use of the industry.
The stakeholders advised NIMASA to engage relevant agencies and stakeholders to create a regime of concessions and policy initiatives designed to boost the competitive edge of Nigerian shipowners vis a viz their foreign counterparts.
According to the communique, “NIMASA is committed to the maintenance of a clean and pristine Nigerian marine environment in line with applicable international conventions and has put in place the appropriate administrative regime to achieve this
“There is urgent need for NIMASA to engage relevant Agencies with a view to initiating measures designed to develop passenger, containerized, wet and dry cargo transportation in Nigeria’s internal waterways.
“Calculation of NIMASA’s 3% levy on all wet cargo shall be based on freight ton which is Cubic Measurement (CBM), and all petroleum tankers operating in Nigerian waters are to place adequate and sufficient insurance cover to minimize the risk of losses sequel to oil spills and tanker accidents in line with the provisions of the MARPOL Convention.”