Foreigners taking over costal trade in Nigeria — Barge owners | Dailytrust

Foreigners taking over costal trade in Nigeria — Barge owners

Indigenous barge owners have expressed concern over the involvement of foreigners in cabotage trade in Nigeria.

They said foreigners are taking over the multi-million dollar coastal trade from Nigerians, a situation which they said if allowed to go unchecked would destroy the sector.

The objective of the Cabotage Act of 2003 is primarily to reserve the commercial transportation of goods and services within Nigerian coastal and inland waters to vessels flying the Nigerian flag and owned by Nigerians.

Recall that members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) had in February 2022, threatened to embark on strike over refusal of International Oil Companies (IOCs) to allow its members onboard their platforms.

Reacting to the development, the President of Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN), Hon. Bunmi Olumekun, expressed concern, noting that the involvement of foreigners was a clear violation of the Cabotage Act.

Olumekun and his members, who were on a courtesy visit, called on the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, to facilitate access to loans at single-digit interest rate to help operators acquire state of the art barges.

On his part,  Dr Bashir Jamoh noted that a well-regulated barge operating industry in the maritime sector is critical to ending gridlocks on port access roads in the country.

 

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