In line with his pledge to unravel potentials in the maritime sector of the economy through the implementation of the cabotage Act, the minister of transport Senator Idris Umar has commenced the inauguration of the cabotage implementation monitoring committee.
Addressing the committee in Abuja recently, the minister agreed that more than ever before there has been challenges in the way forward of the implementation of the cabotage act and said there was the need to ensure that it is implemented so that we can compete favourably with nationalities in the world.
Adding that he is also quite conscious of the number of challenges but he believes that from "your wells of experiences you will be able to address these challenges.
We are equally conscious of the constraints and the implementation of the Act but we do believe that you can proffer solutions on how best you can address this."
The minister hinted that the committee is expected to "determine extent of compliance with the provision of the cabotage law, examine the administrative bottlenecks in processing cabotage waiver application both at the ministry and NIMASA, examine the cabotage register at NIMASA and determine if the vessels engaged in cabotage trade are all registered.
Also explore the possibility of forging a good working partnership between NIMASA and NIWA in view of the dredging of lower river Niger with a view to reaping the obvious resultant commercial utilisation of waterways and cabotage implementation."
In addition, the committee would also liaise with relevant agencies/state government for the development of indigenous capacity for coastal and inland shipping development and also identify the challenges and way forward on the implementation of the cabotage act .The minister added that the committee is expected to submit its report within 3 weeks.