Maritime stakeholders have kicked against the newly imposed $2,000 registration fee on indigenous shipowners by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

Infinity Tyres

A former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Temisan Omatseye, lamented about the development recently while speaking in Lagos at the 2024 Stakeholders Engagement.

“NMDPRA is insisting on one licence where each shipowner pays $2,000 to register and now they are asking for another N2m. There are two licences now, which they call coastal licenses.

“They have now even issued a regulation in line with the Petroleum Industry Act, which gave them that power,” he said.

According to Omatseye, the agency did not have the power to collect such fees.

“And they don’t have any powers at all because all powers are related, these are international provisions,” he noted.

He urged the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy to ensure that NIMASA was allowed to perform its constitutional responsibilities.

“Even any cable laid on the seabed belongs to NIMASA; any pipeline laid on the seabed belongs to NMASA. So, all they are asking for is that the ministry needs to step up, take back its responsibility, and give it to NIMASA. Let us sit down with NMASA and manage our industry,” he said.

In the same vein, a shipowner and the President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Aminu Umar, stated the need to address the issue of multiple clearances shipowners were subjected to.

According to him, “What he (Omatseye) was trying to say is that shipowners are facing multiple agencies; they need to get clearance from multiple agencies in order to operate”.

However, the South West Regional Coordinator of NMDPRA, Mr Ayo Cardoso, explained that the agency charges $1,200 for the coastal vessel licence.

He said “The Coastal Vessel License is $1,200, processing fees and application fees are N100,000. First Schedule Section H.3. Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Operation Regulations 2023”.