RE: COMPULSORY PILOTAGE REGIME IN WARRI PILOTAGE
DISTRICT – A REJOINDER
The attention of the Management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has been drawn to fliers, letters, broadcast on television and publication in the Daily Sun of Friday, 17th July, 2009, Page 45 by a group named “Niger Delta River Pilots Services Nig. Ltd. (NDRPSNL) insinuating that permission has been granted to the Association to provide pilotage services along the Warri Excravos Channel.
Whilst NPA would not ordinarily wish to join issues with the group, we are however constrained to go public in order to put issues right as well as to prevent the adverse effect of sending the wrong signal to the international shipping community with the concomitant effect to development of shipping activities in Delta Ports.
We wish to state unequivocally that at no time did Management of the Authority hold any meeting with this group with intent to endorse act of illegality of allowing anybody to breach the law of the country by carrying out illegal pilotage within compulsory pilotage district.
To put the record straight, Management of Nigerian Ports Authority wish to state as follows:
1. That pilotage in compulsory pilotage district is a statutory responsibility vested on NPA by Ports Acts of 1999 as amended, Cap. N126 and Compulsory Pilotage Districts (Establishment) Order of 1996 in accordance with Nigerian Ports Decree of 1993, which is in line with international shipping practices.
2. That Federal Government through NPA will not allow illegal pilotage in any of the four compulsory Pilotage District namely, Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt and Calabar Pilotage Districts.
3. That only licenced NPA pilots are authorised by law to pilot vessels in these pilotage districts.
It is regrettable that over the years, Niger Delta River Pilot Services Ltd NDRPSNL has constituted itself into parallel pilotage body by aiding illegal shipping operations through nefarious activities.
Such activities amount to sabotage to the economy of the nation which must cease forth-with.
The Niger Delta River Pilot Services Ltd NDRPSNL is hereby urged to respect the mandate of Nigerian Ports Authority in this regard and ensure peaceful co-existence in the interest of the growth of the nation.
Asst. General Manager, Public Affairfs