The Nigerian Operatives in the Domestic Coastal Shipping
A remarkable milestone to address this concern was "the passage into law of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act in 2003 whose objective was to empower the natives’ capacity in the maritime industry” (National Maritime Authority, 2003). Moreover, after the ratification of the act, the Cabotage vessel financing fund (CVFF) was established to facilitate the development of native ships and acquisitions, which provided financial aid to the Nigerian operatives in the domestic coastal shipping (Balouga, 2012).
The implementation of the Act was to be accomplished by two agencies, the Maritime Labour Industrial Council and the National Maritime Authority. “The two agencies through an amendment of the Act were merged in the year 2007 and gave birth to the Nigerian Maritime Administration &. Safety Agency (NIMASA)” (Akpobolokemi, 2012). This agency was formed with the objective of regulating maritime activities. promoting its development and providing an interface between Nigeria and the international maritime industry and community. Thus, through the Cabotage law and the amendments, several opportunities surfaced gaving Nigerians competitive opportunities against foreigners. Such opportunities include ownership rights, employments, new education systems, business opportunities, economic growth, and port development. However, all has not been smooth all through as the Act is yet to positively influence the performance of the Nigerian maritime commerce and industry. This is because of the eminent challenges facing the industry such as corruption, frequent change of CEO’s, inadequate indigenous capacity, liberalization policy, and Cabotage vessel financing fund .inefficiencies.