By Godwin Oritse, Godfrey Bivbere & Rosemary Onuoha THE Federal Government through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA said that it has projected a ten percent, (10%) increase in ship tonnage in the nation’s shipping sub-sector for the 2019.
Peterside Dakuku Speaking yesterday at the agency’s maritime industry forecast held in Lagos, Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said that the projected increase is premised on emerging trends in global maritime industry that will affect the shipping and maritime sector.
Peterside also said that the Nigeria’s potentials in the maritime and shipping sector show strong prospects diversification of the Nigerian economy. The agency boss explained that for the sector to contribute significantly to economic growth, priority must be given to maritime asset acquisition, human capacity building within the sector infrastructural development and institutional reforms.
He said “A number of players in the maritime and shipping sector are competing effectively but the footprints need to be increased. “Players must be willing to invest in innovation and development of new technological approach to remain buoyant.
The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund is not enough to fund the local shipping need of the industry. He disclosed that the agency is considering other options in vessel financing adding that talks are already ongoing with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Peterside explained that the Nigerian Ship Registration, office is currently being repositioned to ensure that a global competitive and attractive flag. Presenting the forecast, Prof Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business Lagos, LBS, said that the Nigerian maritime industry is still below we here we were before recession.
Salami also said that with the expected increase in tonnage, it means that more shipping services will be needed to service the economy.
He noted that an insecure environment is disincentive to trade that the issue of piracy must be tackled head on According to him, “This year’s forecasting predicts that the Nigeria maritime industry has the potentials of contributing 10 per cent of Nigerian GDP in no distance future as Nigeria has the biggest market in Africa and generates about 65 to 67 per cent of cargo throughput in West and Central Africa and that about 65 per cent of cargo heading for the region of West and central Africa will most likely end up in Nigerian market.
To enable Nigerians play major roles in the maritime and shipping sector, two things are critical. The first is asset acquisition and the second is human capacity development.
For asset acquisition, it is a known fact that shipping is capital intensive and that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF which there has been so much noise about and rightly so too, is not adequate to address the huge demand for maritime assets because of that, NIMASA is working with other stakeholders and we are looking at other ship financing models.
We had series of engagements at the highest level with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, with the Federal Ministry of Finance, pushing for a especial intervention fund and a special interest rate not more than a single digit rate and other incentives that would drive optimal performance in the sector.
We shall not relent in our drive to put the right framework together to help beneficiaries and investors to have good turns on their investments.
We project that the 2010 – 2020 will be full of hope for investors and a general sustainable growth for the industry but this second edition will shade light on the opportunities in the sector and propel us to create jobs and contribute more to the economic growth of the nation.
This second edition and the subsequent editions will be focusing of the opportunities in the sector and what can the potential factor that can hinder us from maximising opportunities in the sector. NIMASA as your partner and a pace setter in the sector, is totally committed to growth driven by Nigerians and our partners.