Describing the shipping sector as a viable avenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria to realize its ambition to create massive employment opportunities for teeming youths, the President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung has admonished the government to pay more attention to the shipping industry.
Onyung was speaking in a press briefing ahead of the upcoming SOAN conference, on the theme: ‘Shipping, Global Economy and National Development’, slated to hold between November 27th and 28th, at the Oriental Hotel, in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The SOAN President assured that there would be huge returns the country stands to gain alongside expansive employment opportunities, if it only gave more attention to shipping.
“If you are not shipping, you are not shopping!”, Dr. Onyung stated, noting that the ocean is not just a two-third of the earth, the tool for harnessing the oceans which in deed is shipping, it has also snowballed into the biggest business around the world, through which cargoes are moved, with wealth and employment opportunities harvested.
While noting that not less than 90% of the world trade comes through the seas and oceans, Dr. Onyung announced that the upcoming Shipping Conference would be an enviable follow-up to the just concluded Abuja 2019 Global Maritime Security Conference, needed to finally consolidate the GMSC gains, before the end of 2019.
The SOAN Boss urged for the Federal Government to rejuvenate shipping in the country through appropriate policies, and implored investors to participate in the November conference, saying the brainstorming sessions would concretize the investment foundation for the orchestrated Blue Ocean Economy, hence a place for every investor, who is presently not there yet.
Similarly, the First Vice President, Eno Williams noted that the November Conference would also enable shipping stakeholders to further and more effectively tackle the issues of Maritime Security, particularly in the Niger Delta, in addition to ridiculously high Customs Duty, since key decision makers from the relevant Departments, parastatals and Government agencies would be adequately represented.
Over the years, SOAN annual events have become turning points for the maritime industry with shipping challenges and potentials brought to the front burner by all categories of maritime stakeholders in public and private sectors to chart the headway for the sector.
By Kenneth Jukpor