Maritime Professionals Association (MPA), the elite body of senior maritime and oil/gas practitioners in Nigeria has opted to engage the federal authorities in militancy to press home their demands over the years. In a statement entitled “Declaration of Militancy,” the group said it took the decision because all peaceful moves it adopted had failed.
“Maritime Professionals Association (MPA), the elite body of senior maritime and oil/gas practitioners, having tried gentle and intellectual persuasion over the years without success, will now employ militant measures in Nigeria’s inland, coastal and offshore marine environments in order to force patriotic decisions from officials and agents of the Federal Government on the following demands:
1. Security of tenure of and stability at National Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), as was intended in Part II of the NIMASA Act
2. Removal of all overlaps and duplications in statutes governing maritime and maritime-related agencies.
3. Full and uncompromising implementation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act.
4. Complete ban on maritime training of Nigerians abroad.
5. Complete ban on foreign trawlers in Nigerian waters.
6. Government and private-sector investment in existing and new ship and boat building and repairing yards, and sanctions against foreign drydockings or repairs by vessels trading in Nigeria.
7. Establishment of Nigerian Shipping Company Plc, a new national carrier, on public-private-partnership arrangement.
8. Sale of Nigeria’s crude oil on cost-insurance-freight (CIF) basis and compulsion of buyers of Nigerian’s crude oil to freight it in Nigerian-owned and Nigerian-flagged tankers. The same goes for buyers of Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas.
9. Sale of majority stake in Nigeria’s existing publicly-owned refineries to private investors, so that the refineries will refine for local consumption – and export on CIF basis. Meanwhile, purchase of foreign petroleum products must be on free-on-board (FOB) basis only and Nigerian registered or operated vessels must bring at least 50% of such products into Nigerian waters.
10. Dredging and maintenance of Nigeria’s waterways must be carried out by Nigerians or companies with majority Nigerian shareholding.
11. Clean-up, security and efficiency of the seaports; and regularization of the activities of the port/jetty operators and operatives.
12. Equipment and re-orientation of the Nigerian Navy, Marine Police and Customs & Excise to properly secure, police and safeguard Nigeria’s internal, coastal, offshore and territorial waters against unacceptable foreign domination and sabotage with local collaboration.
Our militant actions (which would include blockades, boardings,picketting, etc) will commence on January 1, 2010 unless Federal Government seriously addresses our demands by then. Enough is enough; we can no longer continue to watch helplessly as legitimate interests of Nigerian maritime practitioners are sabotaged and trampled upon by mercenaries, conspirators and collaborators.