Nigeria is a country of which at least ten percent of its people are actively engaged in economic activities. Eighty per cent of such economic activities involve importation of goods into the country mainly by sea. Yet vessels owned by Nigerian entrepreneurs can be counted off the fingers. It is not only that ownership of most deep sea going vessels is by foreigners, a better part of the entire commercial activity within the domestic maritime sector is outside the hands of Nigerian nationals, this is what the Cabotage Act 2003 seeks to reverse . The aim of this paper is to appraise the Cabotage Act 2003, as a viable instrument of indigenization and empowerment of the Nigerian maritime industry; to evaluate and undertake an in depth review of the major provisions of the Act on Registration, licenses, and waivers amongst other things; to evaluate the values added by the Act to the Shipping business in Nigeria; to examine the opportunities under the Act and suggest necessary framework for assessing these advantages; to make relevant suggestions and recommendations that will enable the brains behind the passing of the Act realize its objectives -a viable maritime industry predominantly controlled by Nigerians.