By Godwin Oritse
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has started seizing vessels for violating provisions of the Cabotage Law which states that Nigerians should be employed onboard vessels.
Director of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services at NIMASA, Ibrahim Jubril, who disclosed this, said that the agency has also acquired fast intervention vessels for the purpose intercepting erring vessels.
Jubril also said that in order to have an accurate data of available maritime labour in the sector, NIMASA has recently come up with an electronic register of all maritime labour in order to ensure jobs are provided for them in line with the Cabotage law. He stated: “On the part of NIMASA as a regulator, we have put in measures to ensure full implementation of the Cabotage Act in Nigeria, particularly on the fourth pillar which has to do with building of ships, carriage of cargoes and the manning aspect of it. We have come up with an electronic register of all maritime labour that would enable us plan better for the industry, such that whenever there are identified jobs for seafarers, it would be carried out by Nigerians and Nigerians would be placed on the job.
“In line with the Presidential executive order, we have come out in full force, in terms of our enforcement, to ensure that only Nigerians are engaged onboard. Before the release of the Presidential order, NIMASA came up with a marine notice which stated that we would have zero tolerance for any waiver at all.