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‘Blame ship-owners on failed import waiver’

The ex-NIMASA boss made this disclosure at a forum held in Lagos to review the draft copy of the Maritime Transport Policy

A former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Temisan Omatseye has blamed stakeholders for the federal government reluctances to grant import waivers to indigenous ship-owners for the acquisition of ships like it is done in the aviation industry.

The ex-NIMASA boss made this disclosure at a forum held in Lagos to review the draft copy of the Maritime Transport Policy.

Speaking with media men at the event, Omatseye noted that there is no leadership nor synergy or unity among stakeholders in the maritime sector.

Giving reasons why fiscal incentive eludes indigenous ship owners, Omatseye said the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as well as the regulators should not be blamed for the failure stressing that ship owners should take a cue from the aviation industry.

“There is also no leadership to drive the need to salvage ships that have been taken over by AMCON. A lot of aircraft are acquired duty-free but that isn’t applicable in shipping. It is a leadership problem and a failure on the part of those who should be driving issues in the maritime sector.”

Also speaking at the forum, the Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Energy Limited, Capt. Taiwo Akinpelumi revealed that his company had been contacted by AMCON to manage seized vessels in the past, but the arrangement never materialised.

“It doesn’t actually make business or economic sense for marine equipment of that magnitude to be seized and allowed to rot away. In fact, this issue has to be part of our proposal to AMCON because we have seen their efforts in the aviation industry.”

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