The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has warned that the Agency will not tolerate the disregard for Cabotage and Environmental laws by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement by the Head, Corporate Communications Team of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, on Thursday in Lagos.
According to the statement, Peterside stated this when he held a meeting with representatives of the IOCs in Lagos on ways of fostering a closer synergy toward Nigeria’s economic development.
He said that the era of some of the IOCs carrying out their businesses in violation of Nigeria’s laws especially as regards Cabotage and the Environment was over.
“We will not fold our arms and watch while you do damage to our environment because environmental pollution is life-threatening,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the director-general as saying
Peterside also urged the IOCs to be mindful of all existing laws and regulations in the discharge of their duties as applicable sanctions would be meted out to erring companies.
According to him, areas of concern to NIMASA included: the flouting of Cabotage law; negative impact on the environment from oil exploration activities; non- payment of statutory levies due to the government; and inadequate information sharing.
He noted that a situation where the IOCs engaged foreign vessels to do jobs which Nigerian operators had adequate capacity and equipment, would no longer be tolerated .
Peterside said that this had been a major bane in the development of Nigeria’s shipping industry.
The director-general, therefore, urged the IOCs to give ample notice of vessel requirements so that the agency could engage indigenous operators with capacity to do the job instead of giving it to foreign operators.
According to him, the spirit of the Cabotage Act is not to generate revenue in terms of waivers but to build the requisite capacity for indigenous players which will in the long run generate wealth and create employment for Nigeria’s teeming population.
Peterside, however, commended the IOCs for their compliance level with payment of statutory levies so far.
He said that the argument on the payment of Cabotage levies on Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSOs) facilities and other offshore platforms was unnecessary.
“By our laws, FPSOs and other offshore platforms are Cabotage vessels that are subject to NIMASA’s regulation and payment of statutory levies,” NAN quotes the director-general as saying.
He called for synergy with the oil companies for the benefit of the nation and also promised that the agency would deepen its collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for the benefit of indigenous operators in the maritime environment.
“Whether you are into shipping or shipping-related business, NIMASA has a role to play in ensuring that the business is done seamlessly without security risk and not at the detriment of the Nigerian state.
“Therefore, there is the need for you to cooperate with NIMASA especially in the area of information sharing,’’ NAN quotes Peterside as saying.
The director-general said that the new NIMASA under his watch, was committed to raising a high level of service delivery.
He noted that there was the need for all key players to cooperate with the agency by sharing relevant information that would assist the agency in carrying out its statutory responsibilities. (NAN)