Impact of Cabotage Act on Maritime Opportunities and Economic Growth in Nigeria
From the research conducted, it has become quite clear that the maritime issue is tied to National Defense and Economy. For smaller States without regional, strategic and political interest, the concept of free port, full laissez faire economy and liberal shipping policy and practice may lead to economic growth. However, the study revealed this to be the exception rather than the rule. Only Hong Kong, a small erstwhile colony of Britain, and Singapore could be said to have leaned towards this practice. The bulk of other states have continued to reflect their domestic economic development agenda on their shipping policies. The strategy has been generally to support and build a more competitive local shipping industry. The more successful a nation’s shipping industry, the more liberal its position towards true liberalization of the shipping. However, there is clear evidence that forms of national support could attract hostility or accommodation depending on how it affects overall trade and industry practice. Besides, the clout or perception of the strength of a country can also define the international tolerance level. A clear example is the legislation and practice of cargo preference by the USA, in spite of the EU position. Apart from this, the size of market and the over-all maritime potential of a nation can also inform others’ position on its shipping policy.
Keywords: Cabotage, Shipping, Maritime, Cargo, Towage, Bunkering, Vessel, Stevedoring, Dredging