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By BABAJIDE OKEOWO:Daily Times

• To increase revenue through billing of pipelines

Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dakuku Peterside has revealed that as soon as the country takes delivery of the 5th largest modular floating dockyard on the African continent, it will save the Federal Government of Nigeria at least, One Hundred Million Dollars ($100m) annually.

This is expected to be a direct savings from the dry docking of vessels operating in Nigeria, which are mostly done outside the country at the moment.

In his words “I am delighted to inform you that NIMASA will soon take delivery of the 5th largest modular floating dockyard on the African continent. This Dockyard will save the Federal Government of Nigeria, at least, 100 million dollars annually. This will be a direct savings from the dry docking of vessels operating in Nigeria, which are mostly done outside the country at the moment. It is our desire to partner the private sector to run the dockyard” he revealed.

He further revealed that in order for the country to expand its revenue base, NIMASA within the last one year by the statutory provisions of the Sea Protection Levy Gazette has commenced the billing of Pipelines, Oil Rigs and Floating Production Storage and Offloading FPSO’s. This he further said will earn the country huge revenue.

He also stated that 370 vessels called at the ports across the country in 2016 as against 262 in 2015, adding that that the vessels in 2016 came with 420,000 Gross Registered Tonnage, GRT, a huge 80.1 per cent jump above 233,000 GRT recorded in 2015.

On the area of Cabotage implementation, Peterside also revealed that a lot of progress has been made. According to him “before the cabotage regime came into being, less than 12 per cent of Nigerians were on-board vessels operating in Nigerian waters, but today the figures have changed significantly as over 60 per cent of workers on-board vessels operating under the cabotage regime are now Nigerians.”

He stated further, “It may also interest you to note that before 2003, less than three per cent of vessels operating on our waters were flagged Nigerian. However, today, we have over 60 per cent vessels doing business in Nigerian waters flying the Nigerian flag. Our aim is to target 100 per cent cabotage compliance in the nearest future” he declared.

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