In a bid to return the Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA) to its glorious days of notable impact in the nation’s shipping industry, the association has put an end to its factional differences and created a three-man steering committee to guide the association until new executive committee members are elected.
The committee has been tasked with stabilizing the association, conveying a General Meeting not later than January 2020 and conducting General Election in the first quarter of 2020.
The members of the committee are; the Chairman JAPAUL Group, Mr. Paul Jegede, the Chief Executive Officer, Westbridge Energy & Lubricants Limited, Mr. Tunji Brown and the Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Energy Limited, Captain Taiwo Akinpelumi.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on behalf of the committee, Capt. Akinpelumi confirmed that both factions have realized that they were losing out so much in the industry due to the protracted crisis in the association.
“Over the years, as a result of the division among ship-owners, there has been severe retrogression. I’m happy that you have spotted the great initiatives like NIMAREX that we have done in the past when we were together. Constitutional crisis brought a lot of differences. However, we have discovered that there is no victor and no vanquished” he said during the press conference.
Speaking further, he added, “In the next few years, we should have a better and more vibrant NISA that would carry all members along. It’s not just going to be about individuals but the group. Our members have to be empowered and our voice should be heard. If a group like the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) could make impact in the country in terms of petroleum industry issues, as ship-owners who make transactions in billions of dollars, we should be able to organize ourselves. The idea is to rebuild NISA to ensure it makes significant impact in the industry such that the government wouldn’t be able to take critical decisions without NISA”
Another member of the steering committee, Mr. Jegede, said indigenous shipowners have suffered neglect as a result of the division within the association, adding that NISA’s decision to reunite will help members speak with one voice in order to attract government attention.
“We have actually lost a lot because if we had been together, speaking with one voice, we will have been heard and we would have gotten what we wanted. For instance, the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) has not been managed very well by the government although it was contributed by the shipowners but because we are not together, we are missing the opportunity” he said.
NISA has been engulfed in internal crisis after the election in 2014 led to the splitting of the association into two groups headed by Niyi Labinjo and Aminu Umar while other members also pulled out to form a new association named Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN).
According to Chairman of the sterring committee, Capt Akinpelumi, the association wants every institution and government agency in the maritime sector to be aware of the new development in the association.