The Nation|| Members of the Nigerian Ship Owners Association (NISA) said they are not happy over the new Cabotage waiver policy being introduced by the government as many of their members are already owing Nigerian banks over $3 billion with 50 per cent of them out of business because of bad government policies.
NISA Chairman , Chief Isaac Jolapamo disclosed this at a forum organised by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar to announce the new government policy guidelines for granting of ministerial waivers under the Cabotage Law.
The stakeholders already know that maritime development is not on the agenda of the present administration, the bottom line here is that a law that has been around for 10 years and it’s not working, the guideline is not a priority, our priority today is a maritime reform that will show that this government is sincere in developing the sector.
The aviation sector is not as important as the shipping sector, yet they are given every attention. If we continue to have the waiver, we will continue to have the same problem. Today, our members have in excess of $3billion as bad debts in Nigerian banks alone, 50 percent of us are out of business, we need to go back, for some of us to keep standing, you need to do more” he told the minister.
But contrary to what obtains before the new policy, the government said any ship that needs a waiver must have applied for it sixty days before the arrival of the vessel on the nation’s territorial waters.