THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been urged to amend the provision of the law on the ship detention to ensure that forfeiture of vessels are carried through proper Court order.
This suggestion was contained in the Communique issued at the end of the first strategic admiralty law seminar for judges where the agency was alsoÂ Â charged toÂ liaiseÂ with NNPC, Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), International Oil Companies (IOCâ€™s) and other relevant stakeholders to develop policies to encourage indigenous participation in Crude Oil Lifting.
Participants at the seminar organised by NIMASA and facilitated by Admiralty Resources also suggested that the organisationÂ should continue and conclude the process of bringing into enactment an independent legislation on Bill of Lading.
It was noted that the Judges of the Federal High Court and other Superior Courts have a major role to play in the adjudication of disputes and realisation of the goals of the Benchmark Laws.
Participants at the seminar also decried the inconsistency of the ministerâ€™s power to make regulations saying that â€œregulations must be consistent with the provisions of the domesticated convention in the Merchant
Shipping Act (MSA), adding that a well harmonised admiralty law regime will allow the country to realise its potential toÂ promote the development of shipping and facilitation of trade; as this will significantly impact on the economy and the Presidentâ€™s seven points agenda.
On the issue of the Hague rules it was recommended that NIMASA while liaising with other sister agencies
Part of the communique reads â€œThe Admiralty Jurisdiction Act and the Federal High Court Rules 2009 should be re-examined with a view to providing for easier access on matters of Admiralty Action in-Rem to ensure accelerated hearing.
â€œThat the MSA 2007 repealed the MSA 1962 and not the 1990/2004 Laws of Federation of Nigeria (LFN) which were mere compilation of existing laws and not a re-enactment of the Act.
â€œThat NIMASAâ€™s enabling laws, i.e. NIMASA ACT,Â 2007 Merchant Shipping Act 2007 and the Cabotage Act, 2003 be reviewed and harmonised to avoid inconsistencies that currently exist in the respective Acts.
â€œNIMASA should intensify the existing liaison with NNPC, Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), International Oil Companies (IOCâ€™s) and other relevant stakeholders to develop policies to encourage indigenous participation in Crude Oil Lifting.