Ship owners have called the attention of the federal government of Nigeria to the negative implications of the nation’s export prohibition laws on the proposed national carrier.
Engineer Greg Ogbeifun emphasized this when he spoke at the World Maritime Day celebration; organized by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, this week.
Greg lamented that the Nigerian export prohibition laws will curb the profitability of the proposed national carrier, stressing that since Nigerian ships would not be allowed to do business across other countries under the current prohibition law, the level of profit would be reduced.
He also stated that the total amount of duty accruable to the imported vessel amounts to about 14% of the cost price of the vessel.
He also added that there was a need to make the Nigerian Administration and Safety Agency more attractive to not only register Nigerian ships but also attract international registration.
Meanwhile, the federal government has expressed commitment towards completing the Single Window project, stating that when the project comes up, it will help in facilitating the various operational issues such as; vessel reception, cargo handling, clearance, among others which will greatly reduce revenue leakages.
The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi said this during his opening address at the event.
Amaechi also stated that manpower development would be upgraded to enable capacity building that will bring in the necessary skilled personnel to run the industry, while the government also provides conducive environment for the private sector to thrive in the marine industry.
The Minister was optimistic that when the Transport reform bills which are currently been deliberated upon in the National Assembly are passed, it will go a long way to supporting the various agencies within the maritime sector for better service delivery.
He further stated that the government is strengthening the security in the sector with the collaboration of the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA for effective policing of the nation’s waterways.
The Minister also called on shipping practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to key into several initiatives to develop the industry as the government is willing to provide the enabling environment. He opined that the water transportation was a business area yet to be explored.
However, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman stated that the Authority was set to do a review of the port concession agreement and performance.
According to Hadiza, the performance of the concessionaires ought to be reviewed biennially but she lamented that ten years after the concession no form of review had taken place.