Ship owners have called on the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola to address encroachment on the function of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA by other government agencies.

The ship owners made this call yesterday at a stakeholders’ engagement with the ministry in Lagos.

Meanwhile the Minister assured the ship owners of the ministry’s resolve to address the challenges of safety, security and regulation facing them.

Speaking at the meeting, a former Director General of NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye, said that the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, has been encroaching into the regulatory functions of NIMASA by licensing tanker operators in the country as well as charging ship owners $2000  for Coastal Vessel License fee.

According to Omatseye, “What is happening is that the ministry has to take up a very strong role right now because most of the conventions that are supposed to be domiciled in NIMASA are being taking over by other agencies.

“It is the duty of NIMASA to actually issue bunkering license, the duty of NMDPRA is just to approve the products.”

Omatseye noted that the responsibility of oil regulatory agencies should be focused on the petroleum products and not the vessels.

Speaking earlier, the minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry,  Olorunola Olufemi, said,  “Ship owners and operators are the backbone of the maritime sector, contributing to trade, transportation, and job creation.

“We acknowledge the challenges you face, from safety and security concerns to regulatory hurdles and market fluctuations. It is the resolve of government to address these challenges and foster a conducive environment for your operations.

“Our efforts to enhance efficiency, transparency, and competitiveness in the sector are already yielding positive results. NIMASA Act has promoted safety standards, enforced regulations, and boosted investors’ confidence.

“We are exploring fiscal and trade policies to promote greater participation of Nigerians in the shipping industry.