By Godwin Oritse
In what could be described as another major milestone, a group of Norwegian ship owners have expressed their desire to register their ships in Nigeria and fly the countryâ€™s flag, under a Bare Boat charter arrangement.
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Temisan Omatseye disclosedÂ this recently when he receivedÂ members of the Nigerian Maritime Law Association in his office.
Omatseye reinstatedÂ the Agencyâ€™s commitment to constant dialogue with stakeholders in the development of the maritime sector.
He called on Nigerian lawyers to specialize in environmental and pollution laws, stressing that in the near future only maritime lawyers stand to get briefs from the Agency.
â€œWe shall work with maritime lawyers; we cannot afford to engage the services of legal practitioners and then begin to educate them on the terminologies of the maritime sector.
The agencyâ€™s bossÂ enjoined members of the association and other practicing lawyers to always have a nationalistic disposition when handling cases involving foreign ships.
The laws are created to serve the interest of Nigerians and lawyers should explore the positive side rather than concentrate on exploring the loopholes he said.
The Associationâ€™s First Vice President, Mr Louis Mbanefo SAN, commended the Management of NIMASA for its commitment to developing the maritime sector in the country.
According to him, â€œIt is quite interesting how this administration has laid out its plan to develop the sector, it is a clear departure from the past where you have a fire brigade approach to doing things, and I am sure the Nigerian maritime industry stands to benefit immensely from your agendaâ€.
Mbanefo informed his host that the adoption ofÂ one of the latest conventions of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, the Rotterdam Rules had significant input from the Nigerian Maritime Law Association.
In her contribution, former Director General of NIMASA, Mrs Mfon Ekong Usoro, commended the Federal Government for appointment of Omatseye as Director-General of the agency