By Samson Echenim, Abagial Ezenwafor & Ekmi Abioye
Agencies of the Federal Government regulating the maritime and oil & gas sectors have been charged to improve implementation of local content policies in order to enable establishment of indigenous companies and employment generation in the two sectors.
The stakeholders at a one-day sensitization seminar on “Local Content Development in Shipping, Oil and Gas Logistics Operation in Nigeria,” organised by Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, MARAN, in Apapa Lagos, yesterday, called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, to implement, with full force, existing local content laws and policies, such as Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act of 2003, which gives Nigerian vessels the right of first refusal in lifting cargoes from the country’s waters.
Frontline maritime expert, Otunba Kunle Folarin, while delivering a lecture titled, “Seafarers Perspective on Local Content Development in Oil & Gas Shipping Logistics Operation,” condemned the Ministry of Transport for allowing foreign shipping lines freedom to engage foreign seafarers on oil vessels.
In a keynote address, the President, Nigerian Licensed Ship Chandlers Association, Dr Martins Enebeli, charged maritime reporters to follow strictly, Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which mandates them to hold leaders accountable for the benefit of Nigeria.