By Godwin Oritse
THE House Committee on Marine Education and Administration, yesterday, queried the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, over the issuance of Cabotage waivers, challenging them to make available the number of waivers so far approved.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Warri, Delta State, the Committee Chairman, Mr Mohammed Bago, said that the process of granting waivers under Cabotage has been shrouded in secrecy .
Bago said the law establishing the Cabotage provides that waivers should be granted through a process, adding that that process must be adhered to.
He said: “NIMASA and the Ministry of Transportation said they have not granted waivers to foreign operators in the last six years or more. If they haven’t, how are these foreign operators operating in Nigeria, to the detriment of our indigenous operators?
“My message therefore, is that if NIMASA and the Federal Ministry of Transportation in treating application for waivers under Cabotage as provided for in section 9 to 14 of the Cabotage law, follow the requirement of articles 3-8 of the Executive Order, then the indigenous operators will be better for it.
“There will no more be foreign ships scattered on our waterways operating without waivers.”