The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed that it detained a Liquefied Petroleum Gas vessel, MT Navigator Capricorn, for contravening sections of the country’s Cabotage Act, as part of its efforts at clamping down on vessels that do not comply with the provisions of the Cabotage Compliance Strategy.
The agency announced thus in a statement on Sunday: “The vessel was first boarded on October 2018 and all infractions of Cabotage non-compliance were noted and communicated accordingly to the charterer/owners representatives with a 90-day grace period to comply. The 90 days expired on January 31, 2019. It is noteworthy that the owners made an undertaking to remedy the notable infractions when the vessel was issued a detention warning in October 2018.
“While NIMASA is currently engaging the owners and charterers of the vessel on the need to comply with the laws of the land, MT Navigator Capricorn has been moved to the Lagos Anchorage to allow space for other LPG vessels to discharge at the NOJ Jetty.”
The New Cabotage Compliance Strategy, introduced in 2017 by NIMASA, is aimed at allowing more Nigerians to participate in the maritime sector and to prevent foreigners from engaging in jobs that Nigerians are qualified to execute.
Under the NCCS, waivers are denied shipping companies operating in Nigeria, who want to employ foreigners as second officers, second engineers, second mates, able seamen, ratings and stewards.
According to the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, special applications would be considered on merit, but on the condition that such organisation planned to train a Nigerian, and put in place a transition plan to ensure that the Nigerian took over the job within one year.
“There shall be no sacred cow when we commence clampdown on erring vessels. We want to increase the number of Nigerians who participate in the marine aspect of your business and we are working closely with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to have a joint categorisation of vessels operating under the Cabotage Act in order to ensure the full implementation of the Act,” Peterside was quoted as saying in the statement.