THE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has cautioned Chevron Nigeria Limited, one of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria against discriminating against Nigerian firms, saying that such "discrimination is a violation of Section 3(2) of the NCDMB Act"
In a letter to the Managing Director of the oil firm, sighted by Vanguard, the Board in a response to a petition written by the Indigenous Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), directed Chevron to withdraw a marine notice it published to counter the one published by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The letter with reference number: NCDMB/ES/18/13 dated January 14, 2013, and signed by the Executive Secretary, Mr Ernest Nwapa, said that the Board in collaboration with NIMASA is empowered by law to enforce the Cabotage Act in matters pertaining to Nigerian Content Development.
The letter read in part, "The Board's attention has been drawn to a letter by the Indigenous Ship owners Association of Nigeria to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) demanding that you withdraw a Marine Notice: NMA SBU Marine Notice 2010/02 by you dated 7th December 2011.
"As stated in the letter, the referred Marine Notice issued by CNL gave preference to certain classification societies and has been the reason for discrimination against the vessels belonging to Nigerian ship owners.
"The discrimination against Nigerian Ship owners' Association is in violation of section 3(2) of the NOGICD Act 2010 which stipulates that first consideration shall be given to Nigerian companies.
"Furthermore, Section 105 of the NOGICD Act 2010 empowers the Board in conjunction with NIMASA to enforce compliance with relevant sections of the Cabotage Act in relation to matters pertaining to Content Development.
"In view of the aforementioned, the Board urges CNL to withdraw the said Marine Notice and adopt the Classification Societies authorized by NIMASA."
Vanguard had broken story of CNL's discrimination. It would be recalled that NIMASA had in a Marine Notice published June this year given recognition to six classification societies, namely: American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Bureau Veritas (BV), Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Lloyds Register (LR), International Naval Survey Bureau (INSB) and International Register of Shipping (IRS).