Shipbrokers say MDAs responsible for decline in maritime growth
Shipbrokers have linked the decline in the nation’s maritime industry growth to Ministries, Departments and Agency (MDAs) patronage of non-professionals for critical skilled services in the shipping sector.
The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) Nigerian Chapter, while making this remark, lamented that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Ministry of Justice, Transport Ministry and other state and non-state actors, utilise estate valuers for estimates on shipping assets.
ICS warned that the nation’s shipping woes will linger until all players in the sector recognise and utilise the services of skilled professionals for valuation and recommendations on shipping assets.
The Executive Chairman of ICS Nigeria, Dr. Chris Ebare, who led the Institute’s executives on a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime in Lagos, said the country is not making judicious use of its maritime experts, which is one of the biggest problems in the sector.
He said before acquiring a ship or seizing one that defaults in loan repayment or other issues, the chartered shipbrokers should be consulted to value the asset and give expert recommendations on the best approach to the situation.
Ebare said shipbrokers are the experts to tell the position of vessels as well as the deficiency and seaworthiness, noting that presently, the Federal Government sells wrecks via the EFCC, ICPC and other instruments without consulting shipbrokers.
“If you visit the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Transportation, you will be amazed at all that is happening without the input of chartered shipbrokers. These agencies consult Estate Valuers, who have expertise in landed properties and houses. We wrote to the Attorney General of the Federation on this matter not long along, stressing that he has to advise the government to stop these anomalies.
“We hope to support the development of all aspects of shipping in partnership with NSC. Ship operations, management, building and sale of wrecks, among others, are part of the areas ICS handles, but we know the core mandate of the Shippers’ Council and we intend to tailor our partnership towards its functions. We also offer vast training and we are ready to train NSC staff,” he said.
He described the nation’s maritime industry as a big business capable of replacing crude oil as the biggest revenue spinner but warned that these potentials would not be realised if the government and other stakeholders continue neglecting professionals.
On his part, the NSC boss stated that ICS comes with several skill sets that are very relevant to the shipping industry.
Jime assured that ICS Nigeria would receive robust patronage from NSC, especially in training members of staff at the Council to enable them to have requisite skills for regulating the sector.
“I did my research and found that the group does several interesting things, especially in the intermediary role via mediation. Those who have to buy ships or hire one will need the expertise of shipbrokers to provide guidance. I am sure that this partnership between NSC and the Institute is desirable,” he said.