By Godfrey Bivbere
As a means of curbing the continuos dominance of Cabotage operations in the country by foreign shipowners, the federal government is to acquire a dump vessel for every petroleum product shipped into the country before the end of the year for proper monitoring.
The position of government was made known in Lagos Tuesday by the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Raymond Temisanre Omatseye, when he was hosted by the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN).
Omatseye explained that government decision to acquire the dump vessel was as a result of the absence of proper monitoring in terms of volume of cargo, number of vessels in the country, ship maintenance and building facilities, revenue accruable to government yearly from the industry e.t.c.
He noted that the absence of the above data makes it is difficult to effectively implement the Cabotage law because they do not what vessel is carrying what and where they have loaded from, as was the case of the vessel recently dragged to court by ISAN recently.
He further noted that with the discharge of all incoming products into the dump vessel will not help ascertain the volume of products brought into the country annually, it would also help to ensure that the products are lifted from there to the finally destination.
To ensure speedy processing of vessel registration request, the NIMASA boss told ISAN members that he had not only brought the function directly under his office, the entire process should now be done under 48 hours.
Being a shipper from the private sector himself who is now in government to know the workings of the government, he would ensure that things are done differently to the benefit of the maritime industry in the country.
He pointed out there is no longer time for excuses and workshops before a time to work.Chairman of ISAN, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, had earlier complained of idealness of over 130 vessels belonging to his member as a result of the domination of Cabotage law by foreigners which has almost force them out of business.
Jolapamo called for the stoppage of waivers, except for specialised vessels in the upstream sector. While he stressed that ISAN members have agreed to classification of the ships, he charged the new NIMASA boss and its management team not to politise training of seafaring in the country.