Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has refuted claims that he had knowledge of waiver approved by the ministry for foreign vessels operators.
He made the rebuttal when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Local Content, Downstream Petroleum and Legislative Compliance on Thursday.
The committee is investigating the breech of Nigerian Laws by foreign vessels in coastal shipping of petroleum products in downstream sector of the Nigerian Maritime Industry.
In his submission, the minister said that he was not aware of any waiver given to the vessels by the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The minister said that “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. This 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.
“For you to know as a minister, the director-general is supposed to write to the minister to request for an approval, and now no request for an approval is on my table or has been on my table since 2015 till today.”