Peterside however, noted that NIMASA was not in a position to recognise any Merchant Navy Association as that function fell under the purview of the National Assembly.
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has said that the agency is determined to ensure that the Cabotage Act is implemented to the letter.
This is contained in a statement by the Head, Corporate Communications Team of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, on Monday in Lagos.
THE News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Cabotage Act is also known as the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003..
According to the statement, the director-general said this when he received the leadership of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association led by the National President, Mr Matthew Alalade at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
Peterside said that proper regulation of the Cabotage Act was instrumental to the development of the maritime sector, adding that Nigerians must always be encouraged to be key players in the sector.
He said that the issue of abuse of waivers would be checked.
"We have not realised the full potential of the Cabotage Act but we have moved a step ahead.
"ust to be sure that we are committed to the full implementation of the Cabotage Act, issues relating to waiver abuse are currently being dealt with accordingly,’’ NAN quotes the director-general as saying.
Peterside also said that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) would only be disbursed to people that would put it into the use for which it is intended.
He said that applicants must have the requisite criteria as beneficiaries.
"We will rigorously screen the applicants of the CVFF in order to ensure that the funds are disbursed to people who would use it for the purposes the funds are meant for,’’ the director-general added.
Peterside said the agency ``is currently screening maritime institutions across the country and would only accredit the ones that can provide the maritime training required in line with global best practices.’’
He, however, noted that NIMASA was not in a position to recognise any Merchant Navy Association as that function fell under the purview of the National Assembly.
Earlier, the association decried the abuse of waivers in the implementation of the Cabotage Act.
It requested the management of NIMASA to find ways of reviewing the Act to pave the way for indigenous operators to be more involved in coastal and inland trade in Nigeria.
The association also sought greater collaboration with NIMASA, especially in the areas of maritime regulatory decision making and human capacity building for the growth and development of the industry.