The Minister of Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Bio has constituted a five-man committee to look into the implementation of the Cabotage regime since its inception in Nigeria and investigate the issuance of Temporary Permit to vessel owners and identify loopholes in the process.
The Minister at the inauguration of the panel expressed his unhappiness at the slow implementation of the policy and insisted that Nigerians should benefit from the local content of the maritime industry as designed by the Cabotage Act. According to Alhaji Bio, “It would be necessary
to remind all present that the Cabotage Act was passed with the primary objective of reserving the commercial transportation of goods and services within Nigerian Coastal and Inland Waters for vessels flying the Nigerian Flag owned and crewed by Nigerian citizens and built in Nigeria. This policy was meant to build and develop Indigenous Shipping capacity. However, it has been observed that the implementation of the Cabotage Act has progressed at a rather slow pace with the alleged delays associated with granting of Ministerial Waivers.”
Alhaji Bio expressed the hope that all encumbrances in the way of the Cabotage regime would be identified with a view to removing them as he enjoined the committee to ensure that they investigate the slow pace of the Implementation of Cabotage Regime including allegation that Federal Ministry of Transport had delayed the granting of waivers by NIMASA and the processing of application of waivers and identify causes of delay if any in the process.
Members of the committee which has the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Captain Ibrahim Biu as the Chairman include Mrs. Chinwe Ezenwa Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Transport; Barrister Igwe of NIMASA; Mrs Uche Amadi of NIWA and a representative of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA). Mr. Danjuma Dauda of the Federal Ministry of Transport will serve as the Secretary.