Expert tasks maritime engineers on infrastructure development
As the country continues to explore new ways to diversify the economy and increase the revenue base of government at all levels, Engineers in the nation have been advised to impact the lives of Nigerians through the application of engineering and technology through investing in infrastructure and modern maritime best practices.
The General Manager, Business Development and Joint Venture, Nigerian Ports Authority, T. O. S. Talabi, made the call while delivering a lecture titled: “ The Role of Nigerian Engineers in a Recessed Economy-A Maritime Perspective,” at the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Apapa Branch Annual Dinner held in Lagos recently.
Speaking on how the potential of the maritime sector can be harnessed to boost the economy by modernisation and value adding creation, Talabi explained that business opportunities abound in, the nation’s seaports for engineers and other professionals to engage in.
He noted that engineers could engage in value-adding activities inside the port and also applies technology in storage management of produce.
Talabi believed that the country inland waterways are an asset waiting to be optimized in view of its large size and its tremendous resources.
He said this avenue could be used to create new jobs and boost youth employment in the country.
The maritime expert also revealed that engineers could capitalise on the empty ships leaving the nation’s ports after discharging their cargoes to cheaply freight produce from the country to Europe, America and other parts of the world.
Explaining that these ships have collected monies for the return trips back to their port of departure, Talabi said many of them were willing to freight cargo back to their base at very cheap rates for Nigerians.
“About 90 per cent of containers left this country empty. Nigerians can talk to this shipping companies and obtain discounts to ship out their produce,” he said.
Condemning Nigerians failure to strictly observe the standard given to them in packaging produce for European and Asia ports, the Talabi revealed that the Chinese in the country have capitalised on these lapses to use those empty containers to export meats and other edibles at cheaper rate back to their country and other parts of Asia.
Meanwhile, the Pioneer Chairman, Apapa Branch, Chief Tunde Izedome, has thrown his weight behind the ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders, saying neighbouring countries have capitalised on the country’s port inefficiency in the past to attract landing cost to themselves thereby depriving the nation of income.
He said with the port reform, the federal government’s objective is to ensure that vehicles are henceforth shipped to the nation’ ports instead of those of neigbouring countries.