Seasoned shipping guru, Capt. Dada Labinjo on Wednesday highlighted that the country may not adequately harness her democratization dividends, until the authorities ensure that Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA) members are repositioned effectively.
Labinjo who specifically frowned on the current administration of Cabotage law, particularly the waiver-policy, made the statement on the occasion of the Independence Day celebration; while assessing how creditable the country has performed in the shipping sector.
“Waivers, ideally are granted for specialized ships that cannot be provided by local operators”, he explained, adding that while there was nothing wrong in including the provisions of waiver in the law, its wholesale and commercialized usage had engendered untold pains, in the system.
“Waivers as practised in other developing economies like Malaysia, Indonesia and India are granted to foreign applicants after the authority has consulted with their local ship owners to know how long it will take them to provide such ships.
“For example, if there is a contract for 5 years and the local ship owners in these countries promised to get such ships in 9 months. Such ship owner will be asked to provide such ship in 9 months while the foreign applicant will be granted only 9 months waiver instead of 5 years waiver; and the moment the local ship owners are able to provide such ship, the foreign ship owner waiver will be withdrawn. The rights are immediately withdrawn and given to the local operators. That is how things are done in other climes and Nigeria should not be an exemption”, he explained further, stressing that the youths may continue to roam the streets, in so far as the system fails to empower those who would employ them.
Captain Labinjo is presently campaigning for the Presidential seat, of NISA.