21 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — THE Nigerian Government has recorded an increase of 81 percent in the number of Gross Registered Tonnage, (GRT) of the vessels that sailed into the ports between 2015 and 2016.
Disclosing this in Lagos yesterday, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside said that while 262 vessels called at ports across the country in 2015, 370 vessels called in 2016 showing a difference of 108.
While 232 Gross Registered Tonnage was recorded in 2015, 370 GRT was recorded in 2016 indicating a difference of 188 which also represented a percentage of 81.
Besides, Peterside also said that a lot of progress has been made in the area of Cabotage implementation as less than 12 percent of Nigerians were engaged in Cabotage Trade.
He said “Before the Cabotage regime came into being, less than 12% of Nigerians were on board vessels operating in Nigerian waters, today.
“The figures have changed significantly as over 60% of workers onboard vessels operating under the Cabotage regime are now Nigerians.
“It may also interest you to note that before 2003, less than 3% of vessels operating on our waters were flagged Nigerian.
“However, today, we have over 60% vessels doing business in Nigerian waters flying the Nigerian Flag. Another good news about the Cabotage regime is the fact that we have been able to achieve 20% in building Cabotage vessels from a completely foreign dominated era.
“Our aim is to target 100% Cabotage compliance in the nearest future. The issue of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund is one we have taken a critical look at and I can categorically say that we are addressing the issues militating against the fund being fully operational and accessible.