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Business, Maritime

Maritime Can Substitute Oil and Gas

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

With potential to generate seven trillion Naira disposable income from maritime sector, Nigeria Shipowners Association (NISA) wants the federal government to protect indigenous shipping operators, which is necessary for Cabotage trade to thrive in Nigeria.

President of NISA, Capt. Olaniyi Labinjo said that the Cabotage Act is a clear provision that Nigerians alone are supposed to perform domestic trade on Nigerian waters. “Nigeria can make a disposable income of three to seven trillion naira annually from maritime. Even the oil and gas sector does not make that much when compared,” he said.

Labinjo was speaking during the signing a historic agreement on the supply of 40 ships by Greek ship owners into the Nigerian Cabotage trade. Two NISA members (Capt Lawrence Akinplelumi, and Eze Collins Egwuatu) joined Labinjo to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the association, while three Greece ship owners: Constantine Kokkos, Panagiotis, Papandopoulus and Dimitris Nomikos also signed on behalf of their country’s ship owners.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, Ambassador Lawrence Ayodele Ayodeji, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport, Mohammed Bashir and Executive Director Cabotage Services, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Calistus Obi witnessed the signing ceremony.

Labinjo said that the essence of the partnership between Nigerian and Greece ship owners was to create jobs for Nigerians. He said the maritime sector can substitute the oil and gas sector by providing over five million jobs.

He said the 40 ships are of various classes and tonnages, and will be done under bareboat arrangement within the first 24 months the ships will be available to domestic trade after that Nigerians will acquire them.

He disclosed that the aviation industry contribute N21 billion to the coffers of the government while the maritime industry contributes a minimum of N3 trillion.

“NISA is providing a platform for younger and unborn generations and I wish the ships will be growing from 40 to 60 and to 100.”

Labinjo said that one of the major challenges inhibiting the Cabotage regime is government’s lack of political will to fully implement it, pointing out that the waiver clause has been abused.