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NIMASA/Stakeholders Committee on Cabotage to drive CVFF, others—Omatseye

Former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and chairman of the newly inaugurated NIMASA/ Stakeholders Joint Committee on implementation of NIMASA’s five year strategic plan for cessation of grant of Cabotage waivers, Barr. Temisan Omatseye, has given assurance that the committee will meet the aspirations of indigenous shippers.
Recall that NIMASA Director General, Dr Dakuku Peterside, had on July 3rd, inaugurated the committee with mandate to come up with best practicable way and manner that will drive cabotage waiver and associated maritime development matters. The idea was to defeat the monster that had derailed the efficiency of Cabotage regime which had worked in Nigeria after 16 years of enacting the enabling Act.
However, giving insights in a recent interview, Omatseye said, “We are going to brainstorm and talk to the banks to find out why the system hasn’t worked. We are open to the option of launching an IPO to finance vessels. We would go to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to find out how we can raise an IPO to finance vessels. We would explore every strategy to get the desired results”

NIMASA T. Omatseye
Former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Temisan Omatseye

“Our expectation is to work like Cabotage is just starting today. We are planning to put in systems that allow for full implementation of Cabotage and also for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF)”, he said.
He said even though the presence of Bank of Industry (BoI) in the committee was germane, there are chances of co-opting commercial banks so as to integrate them in the value chain of cabotage management.
Omatseye averred that his committee would proffer sustainable solutions to challenges facing Cabotage in the country.
Business Hilights gathered that the terms of reference for the committee include; sourcing Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in Nigeria for ship building and repair yards, adopting the use of technology in ship registry to drive the strategic plan and online registration of Cabotage vessels, engage Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), NIDAS Shipping, among other agencies.
Added to the above, the Omatseye Committee, would also assess the Cabotage Act, gather information for the enhancement of database for Cabotage operations, facilitate joint venture partnerships between foreigners and Nigerians in the maritime sector, and review the CVFF guidelines.
The Committee chairman noted that a Whitepaper will be submitted at the end of their work to guide NIMASA in implementing its five-year maritime development plan.