I know nothing about waiver of rights for foreign courts – Amayachi
Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi said Thursday that he was not aware of any exemptions granted to operators of foreign vessels.
Speaking in Abuja today, when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Local Content, Refining and Compliance, he said he was unaware of any waivers given to the courts by the Director General for Occupational Safety and Health. Nigeria Maritime Administration, NIMASA.
The committee is investigating the violation of Nigerian laws by foreign ships during the coastal transportation of petroleum products in the Nigerian maritime sector.
Meanwhile, the Senate summoned Amaechi and NIMASA CEO Dr. F. Bashir Yusuf Jamokh to appear before the committee to answer the question of their resignation.
Speaking further, Amayachi said: “I have never interfered with the management of any structure that I control. So if NIMASA says I know what they are doing, I don’t know.
“I just saw this when they wrote to me and told me that I should answer in the Senate. I didn’t approve of anything. He (the CEO) has to run to me if he wants a rejection approval. From 2015 to the present, there was nothing on my desk, no rejections on my desk.
“At first, they claimed that they had not released anyone; Until recently, I didn’t even know that you should give up your rights.
“For you to know, as a minister, the general manager has to write to the minister asking for permission. And now I have no approval requests on my desk or that have been on my desk from 2015 to the present. “
When asked if there was such an exemption request from the ministry before becoming minister, the transport minister said he did not check it, adding: “I didn’t check it. I have to confirm this by asking the permanent secretary to do research to find out if they were there before we arrived.
But from the day I took over the service in 2016, until today, I have never seen a request. In 2010, 168 people asked to refuse, this was not before me; 2011 – 208 people, 2012 – 333 people, 2013 – 448, 2014, 377 people, 2015 – 413 people.
“I arrived in 2016. That year 374 people applied, but I have not seen their applications. “
Amayachi, who has pledged to work with the National Assembly Committee to ensure that Nigerians get the most out of such a relationship, said: “First you need to call NIMASA and see what happens, what the state of the courts that operate in Nigeria
The main thing on the Nigeria waterway is not even foreigners. It is the level of insecurity and the fact that the National Assembly refused to pass legislation establishing the Coast Guard, which would be a saving grace for all of this.
“This is the Coast Guard who will find out who is working and who is not.”
Earlier, the chairman of the Senate Local Content Committee, Senator Teslim Folarin, APC, Oyo Central, who recalled that the Senate discussed the proposal in December 2019, said: “The proposal was titled ‘Urgent Necessity’. Investigate violations of Nigerian laws by foreign vessels and coastal transportation of petroleum products in the downstream sector of the Nigerian maritime industry, sponsored by Senator Olamilekan Mustfa.
The committee was tasked with investigating the influx of foreign ships into the coastal region and the level of patronage of Nigerian shipping companies, he said.
Folarin said another task of the Committee was to investigate flagrant violations of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Maintenance Act of 2010 and the Cabotage Act 2003 by operators and stakeholders in the shipping industry, respectively, transferring cargo from ship to ship to foreign coastal vessels.
Investigate foreign goods related to follow-up, repatriated abroad by NOCP through the local economy or patronage. “
Source: – Vanguard