The House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration has disclosed that the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act Amendment Bill has gone through first reading.
Chairman of the committee, Lynda Ikpeazu, who made this known during an oversight visit to NIMASA, said the proposed amendment would reflect contemporary issues that would be beneficial to indigenous ship owners.
She said: “A more responsive Cabotage law will stimulate opportunities and policies for giving seafarers jobs and improve on shipbuilding capacity.”
Ikpeazu expressed confidence in the current management of NIMASA led by the Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
He said: “The Director-General has laid a good foundation for the committee and we are here to monitor the activities of the Agency and see how it has performed so far as well as further legislative assistance needed to generate more revenue for the government.
“The NIMASA boss is doing his best to ensure that he repositions the Agency to deliver on its mandates. We will make sure we give the DG the necessary support he needs because we have seen him moving in the right direction. He has made it clear to us that he wants to address insecurity at the Gulf of Guinea.”
Jamoh, in his response, said that human capacity development in the maritime industry would continue to get the desired attention.
He stated: “Human beings are the most important link in the maritime industry and, at the same time, the weakest and most complicated in the industry. This administration will take the issue of training and capacity development of staff seriously, and we have gone further to maintain a close relationship with the maritime workers union to ensure that dockworkers are properly trained.”