ABUJA – Nigeria plans to bar vessels without a valid licence to operate in Nigerian waters and has given shipping companies that trade in its coastal and inland waters three months to register, the maritime regulator said on Sunday.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it will notify international oil companies to bar vessels without valid certificates after the three months expire.
Most of the vessels that use Nigerian waters are owned by foreign companies. They mostly transport crude oil for international oil companies.
The regulator said the new regime would also apply to vessels whose licences have already expired.
The government is pushing to boost revenue and increase it foreign exchange earnings after the new coronavirus pandemic triggered a collapse in the price of oil, Nigeria’s main export.
Levies — import duties and shipping charges including taxes — are big revenue earners for Nigeria, which relies on international trade, especially oil exports.
Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk MAERSKb.CO and French shipping group Bourbon GPBN.PA are among international shipping companies active in Nigeria.