NIMASA detains LPG tanker for flouting Cabotage law

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency says it has commenced clampdown on vessels that do not comply with the provisions of the Cabotage Compliance Strategy.

The agency added that in line with the development, a detention order for a Liquefied Petroleum Gas motor tanker, MT Navigator Capricorn, had been approved for contravening sections of the Cabotage Act.

It said, “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 was introduced in 2017 by NIMASA.

It 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.

The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, pointed out that special applications for 2Nigerians, 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.

“Our laws forbid foreign vessels operating in our territorial waters save for compliance with the Cabotage Act. 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,” a statement from NIMASA quoted him as saying on Sunday.

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