Alhaji Mohammed Sani, the Eastern Zonal Co-ordinator, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has urged local players in the maritime sector to shun fronting for foreigners as shipowners.
Sani told newsmen on Thursday in Port Harcourt that fronting as vessel owners was sabotage and might jeopardise the gains of the Cabotage Act and Local Content Act.
The NIMASA official said the two laws, like the indigenisation policy of the 1970s, if supported by Nigerians, were capable of addressing unemployment in the country.
Sani said instead of fronting as vessel owners for foreigners, Nigerians interested in the maritime sector, should face the challenges posed by the Cabotage law to consolidate their businesses.
“The task of making the maritime sector active is not only the duty of lawmakers and government officials. Nigerians who are stakeholders should equally note that they have a stake by being law abiding.
“Nigerians, whom the Cabotage Act and Local Content Act seek to protect, must try to encourage the acts by frowning at sharp practices such as fronting for foreigners”.
“Fronting for foreigners could scuttle the good provisions of the Cabotage Act,’’ he said.
Sani said that NIMASA understood the challenges associated with investment in the maritime sector and was seriously evolving
plans to improve the environment for local players to thrive.
“ NIMASA is planning to collaborate with the Nigerian Navy with the intention of constructing vessels to encourage Nigerians,’’ he said.
The NIMASA chief said that maritime activity in the Niger Delta area was now picking up after years of crisis which had hitherto affected business.
“Investors have started developing confidence in the Niger Delta environment due to relative calm in the region now and full maritime activities will soon resume,’’ Sani said.