Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dr. Peterside Dakuku has said that cabotage compliance level in the country has risen to 70 percent.
The Inland and Coastal Shipping Act, otherwise known as the Cabotage Act, was enacted in 2003 to discourage foreign ships from engaging in trades in Nigerian waters while creating an advantageous ground for indigenous shipping to grow.
Speaking during a facility tour of the agency’s Western zone in Lagos, Dakuku commended the efforts of the staff which he said has also led to increase in non-petroleum export.
He however noted that there is always room for improvement in the function of the agency.
The NIMASA helmsman noted that the economic situation in the country makes it imperative for the maritime industry to be taken seriously.
He stressed that for the industry to succeed, NIMASA must be in the forefront of the recovery of the economy.
The NIMASA DG who frowned at condition of the facilities at the zone explained that all the powers of NIMASA will no longer reside at the head office but noted that the zones will be empowered to carry out operational responsibilities while the head office will only take charge of policies.
“For the maritime industry to work NIMASA must work. If NIMASA must work, the zones must work as regard enforcement of rules and regulations, ensuring operators compliance, port state control, flag state control etc.
“Nigeria is looking at the maritime industry for rescue at a time like this. We are putting a new structure in place, a new organisation. Only policy issues will be handed at the head office.
“There will be greater demand of efficiency and speed on the part of staff,” he said.
He assured staff of the zone that budgetary provisions would be made for the uplifting of the facilities as well as greater emphasis on the welfare of the staff.