Shipowners Eye Foreign Partnership For Fleet Expansion

Shipowners Eye Foreign Partnership For Fleet Expansion
NIGERIA INDIGENOUS SHIPOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION

Determined to boost ship acquisition in the country, the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association has signed a memorandum of understanding with foreign counterparts to enable them to acquire new ships.

The President of NISA, Sola Adewunmi disclosed this in a chat with The PUNCH on Sunday.

Adewunmi urged the government to provide a conducive business environment for shipowners, stressing that shipowners had concluded plans to acquire new vessels.

When asked for details of the planned collaboration, Adewumi, who refused to speak further on the subject matter, said, “We already have a memorandum of understanding in place.”

The NISA president lamented the nonparticipation of indigenous shipowners in crude lifting at Dangote Refinery.

He wondered why foreign vessels were utilised for all NNPC cargo and crude movement to the new Dangote Refinery.

Adewunmi reiterated the need for the full implementation of cabottage law.

“Our position has always been that cabotage law should be fully implemented to grow indigenous capacity. This is a coastal trade and the law says it should be carried out by cabotage vessels. I know the next thing you will hear is that there is no capacity.

“Was Rome built in a day? Must we continue to surrender our rights to foreigners and gradually kill our economy? We have suggested to the authorities what they should do to grow the industry. “Acquisition of a ship is a highly capital-intensive business and nobody will go and stake his fund in a venture that will not guarantee adequate returns. There must be a genuine intention to grow the industry and create employment for our jobless population,” he concluded.

Also speaking, the Secretary General of the African Shipowners Association, Mrs Funmi Folorunso, said, “Collaboration is an individual decision for as long as the partnership meets the requirements of the Nigerian Law, it is a decent decision.”

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