Lagos — The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has commenced moves for the cessation of Cabotage waivers in the next five years to build capacity and grow the Nigerian maritime industry.
Speaking on the ongoing five years strategic plan for cessation of the grant of Cabotage waiver, NIMASA’s Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the agency, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and the Federal Ministry and Federal Ministry Finance are currently in talks to consider a single digit interest rate for Nigerians to acquire vessels.
Peterside also said that besides the single digit rate, NIMASA is also looking at getting incentives for ship owners so as to enhance their operations and businesses.
The agency boss said that cessation of Cabotage waivers was long overdue adding that NIMASA has heard the cry of stakeholders affected by the waivers that the agency was on the same page with them (stakeholders).
“We are determined to bring to an end the waiver regime so that Cabotage will flourish in Nigeria so that Nigerians can benefit from Cabotage trade” he stated
He explained that when the agency suspended the issuing of waivers for six months, it literally double the employment of Nigerian seafarers by simply publishing and enforcing the new Cabotage enforcement strategy.
He stated that maritime industry stakeholders have agreed with NIMASA that it is possible to stop the Cabotage waiver regime.
He said “We are desirous of disbursing the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, to crash interest rates for our local players to support them to acquire more assets so that we will have more Nigerians own assets in the industry and make them relevant to the Cabotage regime, create employment for our people, create wealth and create limitless opportunities for our people.”