By Ifeyinwa Obi
Hopes of improved business prospects may have risen for Indigenous vessel operators as judges; lawyers and stakeholders brainstorm on core aspects of the enabling laws of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA. The aim of the meetingÂ is toÂ harness the Cabotage ActÂ and make them benefit Nigerians.
Welcoming participants to a two day brain-storming session at the Metropolitan Hotel in Calabar on Monday, the NIMASAâ€™sÂ Director General, Mr. Raymond Temisan Omatseye participantsÂ to see their contributions as vital, since their interpretations would affect the implementation of such laws, and thereby positively impact on the growth of the economy.
â€œIt is important to understand that these laws if well implemented would contribute to the economic development of Nigeria at the macro levelâ€ the Director General who was represented by Barrister Boniface Igwe, NIMASA Director for Cabotage stated.
â€œThe Cabotage law for instance, was preceded with so much fanfare and regarded as a revolutionary piece of legislation at the time of its enactment, capable of empowering Nigerian operators in Shipping.
That potential remains, but would need to be translated through courageous efforts of regulators on the one hand, and more importantly by the judiciary, on the other. It only through such efforts that the role of the Act in achieving the maritime transportation and shipping development components of the Vision 202020 can stand a good chance of being realizedâ€ Omatseye said further.
In his own contribution, Mathew Egbadon, NIMASA Legal Adviser urged the judges to appraise the NIMASAâ€s enabling laws particularly the Cabotage law, and enlighten Nigerians in the direction of implementation noting that the cabotage law for instance was enacted as a result of the failures in the implementation of UNCTAD Code of Conduct for Liner Conference.