The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officer and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) has stated that the union kicked against the Maritime Security Agency (MASECA) bill due to the selfish interest of the sponsors.
The National President of the union, Comrade Matthew Alalade in a chat with newsmen in Lagos noted that a portion of the bill states that 1 % of the total interest of shipping companies and of liquid and dry cargoes is a self-centred motive which could discourage foreign investors from patronizing Nigerian shipping sector.
Alalade said, “The Maritime Security Agency (MASECA) bill was sponsored by highly placed people in the society, they sponsored the bill to have another agency that will operate against the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
“They want the bill to sail through because of their selfish motives and if you look at the content of the bill, you will see that it is detrimental to Nigerian economy even investors will not like to come and trade in Nigeria because of the demands in the content of that bill.
The Trade Union Congress executive further explained that maritime industry players kicked against the bill because it will not augur well for maritime activities and for security purposes.
He lamented that the bill had been sponsored in 2010/2011, adding that “this is the third time it is coming up and being rejected by stakeholders in the industry.
“They are demanding one percent total interest of shipping companies, one percent of both liquid and dry cargoes.
“So, all the stakeholders kicked against it because it will not augur well for us. NIMASA has been doing a great work but we know that they have some lapses and if the government will support them, NIMASA is still on the right track.
Recall that Stakeholders in the maritime industry had kicked against the passage of the proposed bill 2017 into law by the National Assembly.
The bill which is in many ways similar to the provisions of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act 2007 is otherwise known as the MASECA bill.
At a public hearing which took place in Abuja, the stakeholders took turn to give reasons why the bill should not be passed into law by the legislators.
The public hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration which has Hon. Umar Mohammed Bago as its Chairman.
The stakeholders in the maritime industry that attended the public hearing that opposed its passage are: the former Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omatseye; NIMASA, Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Gambo Ahmed; President, Nigeria Ship owners Association (NISA), Captain Olaniyin Olabinjo; Director General of NISA, Engr. Oliver Ogbuagu; Principal Partner at Jean Chiazor and Company and immediate past President, Women in Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, Mrs. Jean Chiazor Anishere; Lagos Co-ordinator of NISA, Captain Taiwo Akinpelumi; and the Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, Commodore Emma Effedua (retired).
Others are the Director of Procurement, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mallam Shehu Aliyu; Lagos base maritime lawyer, Mr. Mike Igbokwe, SAN; Engr. Emmanuel Ilori; Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC); Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN); Chairman of the Nigeria Seafarers Welfare Board, Otunba Kunle Folarin.
The Minister of Transportation, Right Hon. Rotimi Amaechi was the first to throw the first salvo when he declared emphatically that the MASECA Bill should not be passed into law as its provisions would amount to duplication of the functions of NIMASA.
Those who supported the passage of the bill included Captain James Falabi of OJAF Marine Consult; Vigilante Group of Nigeria; religious organisations, as well as the traditional rulers from Imo, Delta and Katsina States.
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