The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has dismissed as false, allegations that it has been granting waivers to shipping firms. It also refuted allegations of preferential treatments for foreign shipping companies in the shipment of petroleum products.
Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, made the clarifications during an investigative hearing on the “Urgent need to ensure strict compliance with statutory regulations and provisions regarding the Nigerian diving sector” organised by the Senate Committee on Local Content.
Recall that the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) had petitioned the Senate, asking it to intervene in what the association described as “unfavourable treatment and injustice” towards Indigenous shipping companies, which grants undue advantage to their foreign competitors.
However, the NIMASA boss denied any waivers or preferential treatments for foreign firms, adding that the agency lacked the powers to grant waivers, while the Ministry of Transportation, which is empowered by law to grant waivers had never granted any waivers for 15 years.
“The the operation of the Cabotage Act provides that NIMASA has the responsibility under Section 5 (2) to 5 (4) to process waiver and not to grant waiver. NIMASA never grants waiver, but only processes waiver.