NISA Get 40 Ships From Greeks Fleeing Debt Overhang | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NISA Get 40 Ships From Greeks Fleeing Debt Overhang

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 at 12:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Andrew Airahuobhor, Lagos


Some Greek shipowners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria Shipowners Association (NISA) to bring in 40 ships of various classes and tonnages to operate in Nigeria’s lucrative Cabotage trade under bareboat charter arrangement, which is expected to substantially guarantee N5.4 billion monthly disposable income for Nigeria

This is coming on the heels of plans of overhauling Greece’s shipping tax legislation, which if the Alexis Tsipras-led government approves, could lead to shipping companies moving out of Greece. Perhaps, Greece shipowners are taking a proactive measure to come to Nigeria.

“Greece partners have agreed to give NISA 40 ships of various classes and tonnages. This 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,” said Capt. Olaniyi Labinjo, president of NISA shortly before the MoU was signed in Lagos on Tuesday, which was witnessed by Nigerian Ambassador to Greece, Lawrence Ayodele Ayodeji and Greece’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Haris Dafaranos.

Labinjo said with this arrangement in place, which has been endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Transport, International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria, no longer have excuse to exclude Nigerians from refined petroleum lighterage, from which Nigeria can save billions of Naira lost to foreign operators. But details of the MoU were not disclosed.

More than 6,000 vessels reportedly operate in the oil and gas sector with additional 900 needed in the coming months, and Nigerians hardly have 10 percent of it.

Permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport, Mohammed Bashir said, “We will willingly take the Greek offer,” and he congratulated NISA for its efforts in getting international partners, expressing hope that the partnership will be mutually beneficial.