Why Cabotage never worked- Bello


The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello has blame lack of input by the stakeholders in the Nigerian Maritime Industry as the major reason why the Nigerian Coastal and Inland Shipping Law otherwise known as the Cabotage law has not been effective.

Bello who was speaking at a one day seminar organized by the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council in Lagos on Tuesday faulted the situation where lawyers were always in the forefront of drafting laws that would guide industry with little or no input from the stakeholders whom the laws were meant for.

He posited that because the Cabotage law was lawyers’ initiative, the three components of the cabotage law was never going to be in existence saying that the whole process of having the law was like legislating in vain.

According to him,” for lawyers, you need to have everything in black and white. There is nothing wrong with that but sometimes, if you want to make better laws, you have to make practice. That is why my criticism or some little reservation about Cabotage Act which is the lawyers thing. It was passed on by the lawyers and they went on and on to pass a law that could not be effective. Up till now, we are regretting that”.

“The three component of the Cabotage law was never going to be in existence; so, it is like legislating in vain. The Jones law which has become a mantra was buried in the history and antiquity of the United States and you couldn’t have drawn a parallel line between the United States and Nigeria”.

So, whatever we do, the stakeholders must be at the front not the lawyers. It is the stakeholders who will instruct the lawyers; this is how you are going to write it. I know it is good to have concise policy written somewhere as laws and so on but this industry largely need everybody’s support to regulate itself and that is why we need to see it not as something about division, it has to be done collectively”.


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