Without government active participation in the maritime industry it will be difficult for ship owners without a sea going vessel to remain in business to develop indigenous capacity said the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Peter Maritime Consulting Services, Sir Peter Olorunfemi.
He called on the government to stop Nigerian vessels from berthing at Cotonou in Benin Republic to encourage business at the ports.
According to him “it is important that Nigerian vessels should stop going to Cotonou to berth, if our ports are made attractive by the government and our vessels berth here, ship owners who cannot afford to buy big ships can acquire smaller vessels that will help to convey cargo from the foreign vessel to other destinations within the country, this in turn will create lots of jobs in this area but since this is not the case, if ship owners cannot afford the big vessels they remain out of business rather than buy smaller vessels that will not be useful”.
Sir peter also said that another way to bring back the business of ship owners who do not have ships is if they can get business contract they can get financing from banks to acquire a vessel.
He stated that right now business is at its lowest ebb “maritime business is very dull right now, a lot of port business is done outside Nigeria, the dockyards here cannot meet the needs of vessel owners, we don’t build ships here and now Nigerian vessels berth outside the country the result is that business owners in the industry are finding it difficult to pay bills and it is until government participation is increased that vibrancy can be witnessed in the maritime industry” he emphasized.