The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, has dismissed claims that he had knowledge of waiver granted to foreign vessels operators by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
He spoke on Thursday in the Senate when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Local Content, Downstream Petroleum and Legislative Compliance.
The panel is investigating the breech of Nigerian Laws by foreign vessels in coastal shipping of petroleum products in downstream sector of the Nigerian Maritime Industry.
The minister said, “I have never interfered with the process of governance of any structure that I superintend over. So if NIMASA says I know what they are doing, I don’t know.
“I just saw it when they wrote to me and said I should answer the Senate.
“I have not approved any. He (the Director-General) should run to me if he wants waiver approved. There is nothing on my table from 2015 to today, I don’t have any waiver on my table.
“First they claimed that none had been issued; I do not even know until recently that you have to issue a waiver.”
Amaechi said from the day he assumed duty in 2016 till today, he had never sighted any request for waiver.
The minister urged the panel to invite NIMASA Director-General to get details on the status of the vessels that are operating in Nigeria.
– Daily Trust