‘How to generate more employment in maritime sector’
The Federal Government has been urged to utilize the legal implementable priorities for the development of indigenes operation and generation of employment in the maritime industry.
President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, in a letter to the presidency, said Nigeria as it now has overall coordinated maritime legal instruments for massive employment generation and wealth creation based on three legal instruments.
He named the instruments to include: Coastal and inland shipping (Cabotage) Act 5 of 2003; Nigeria Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency Act No. 17 of 2007, and Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act No. 2 of 2010.
He said since the enactment of the three legislative instruments meant for the development of indigenous capacity in the maritime sector, there are no visible implementable activities in line with the provision of the Acts.
“Nigeria is yet to find its feet due to the complete absence of developmental strategy as contained in various Acts, which is to trigger the activities of indigenous operators and generate employment.
“Nigeria as a maritime nation needs to speedily develop, organizational architecture and responsibility to ensure the continued growth of the economy in an increasing, dangerous and competitive environment.
“The three legal instruments that was enacted to build indigenous capacity and generate employment, was left without implementation by the government agency, which has adversely affected the growth of the Nigerian maritime sector by the dominance of multinationals in our maritime trade,” he said.
He noted that the instruments stipulated the funding of NIMASA; management of maritime fund for the development of indigenous shipping and shipping infrastructure; cargo reserved policy and carriage right for Nigerian indigenous operators; and the implementation of the local content in maritime sector, among others.
Amiwero however, recommended that national carriers status should be developed and facilitated by NIMASA for the expansion of fleet for the carriage of shared cargo based on the Act.
“On national carriers, it is the agency that will develop and implement policies and programmes, which will facilitate the growth of the local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ship and other maritime infrastructure as contained in section 22 (K) of NIMASA ACT 17 of 2007.
“Carriage of bulk or liquid cargo must be initiated by NIMASA to empower the indigenous operators reference to the statute.
“Fifty percent of cargo to and from Nigeria, the sharing ratio must be implemented to galvanize and kick start the participation of indigenous operators.
“Nigeria flagged vessel to carry 50 per cent cargo generated through technical assistance, NIMASA must work out modalities for the proper implementation with conjunction with the Federal government of the technical assistant policy as contained in the law.
“The carriage of crude and petroleum product to and from Nigeria must be implementation to build capacity and generate employment as contained in the law.
“Administer policy for the development of shipping in general. Develop and implement policies and programmes, which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ship and maritime infrastructures.
“Review and remove the waiver clause on cabotage of section 9,10 11, 12 and 13 to build capacity and generate employment.
“Implement the provision on Towage, carriage of petroleum product, navigation in inland waters, shipyard and ship and manning so as to build capacity and generate employment and implement the local content on labour requirement, contract and manufacture of the local content,” he stated.