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Maritime lawyer urges FG to implement Cabotage law


Mrs Jean Chiazor-Anishere, Maritime lawyer

A Maritime lawyer, Mrs Jean Chiazor-Anishere, has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to implement the Cabotage Act 2003 to enable the country achieve the status of maritime hub in West and Central Africa.
Chiazor-Anishere made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
She said Nigerians were rich in knowledge of Cabotage trade but had issues with the implementation of the act introduced in 2003.
“We are the big brother of Africa with 15 years of introducing Cabotage Act, but we are yet to implement it.
“Until Nigeria implements the Cabotage Act, it will be difficult for our sister countries like Ghana, and Togo to say they want to do the same.
“Cabotage Act is the same with what is being practised in America under the Jones Act.
“There is need for lawyers to check areas in the law that are causing delay,” she said.
NAN reports that the Cabotage Act is also known as the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003.
Cabotage Act entails that all the major components of a vessel and superstructures are fabricated either in Nigeria or assembled entirely in Nigeria.
It also requires that all officers on board a ship and its crew are Nigerian citizens.
NAN also reports that Cabotage also stipulates that vessels owned by Nigerians and registered in Nigeria.
Chiazor-Anishere, who is also the President, African Women in Maritime (WIMA) commended the speedy judgment of Federal High Court on Maritime cases.
She, however, said there was need for the Nigerian maritime industry to imbibe global best practices to achieve its aim of being the port of destination and origin.