In a bid to attract foreign investors to Nigeria’s maritime industry, the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has stated that the nation’s maritime sector is a haven of opportunities for the world maritime industry to tap into.
The Minister who made this known while speaking at the recently concluded Nor-Shipping 2017, “Africa @ Nor” which held at Lillstrome, Norway, assured the audience that Nigeria is a strategic destination for investment opportunities, stressing that Nigeria epitomizes a broad spectrum of the continent in Africa.
“Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with about 183 million people and by extension, with the cumulative population of two Landlocked countries of Chad Republic which is 14.9m people and Niger Republic with 21.3m people creates a huge consuming market and comparable cheap labour”, he said.
Amaechi also used the opportunity to assure the Nor-Shipping participants that the anti-corruption stance of the Federal Government and the establishment of the National Trade Data Centre are expected to eliminate inherent corporate governance abuses and assured investors that they will have good returns on their investments.
In the area of security, he noted that the synergy between the various security agencies have resulted in efficient performance, “I wish to assure you that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is committed to ensuring that Nigeria becomes a maritime hub for the West and Central Africa sub region, we therefore call on both local and international investors to join hands with us in enhancing Nigeria’s per capital income by supporting the various developmental initiatives”, he said.
Similarly, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside stated that Nigeria is a maritime nation naturally endowed with over 850 kilometers of coastline.
He pointed out that the country has six modern port complexes and a fast developing intermodal transport system as well as abundant trained workforce combined with a standard regulatory regime amongst others which are benefits accruable to investing in the Nigeria maritime sector.
According to the Director General said, “We are bounded by two land locked countries of Chad and Niger, so we are not just serving goods coming into Nigeria; we are also serving goods going to Chad and Niger”
He hinted that Nigeria will soon take delivery of the fifth largest floating dock in Africa, which is expected to be delivered by the last quarter of the year.
Dakuku also informed the audience that the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) was established to fast track investment entry into Nigeria, among which is the commencement of a 24-hour ports operations.
The NIMASA Director General also identified the key areas of achieving a hub status such as; putting the right infrastructure in place, right regulatory regime and a proper maritime security.
He said that, “Nigeria has not only put the right infrastructure in place, but has put the right regulatory regime and also a set of incentives to make us a hub. So, talk about stability, you can say Nigeria has it, and the government is also working on intermodal transport system to facilitate the ease of doing business and of course good regulatory regime.”