Stakeholders worried about neglect of Nigeria’s maritime sector
Stakeholders have expressed displeasure over the perceived neglect of the maritime sector, despite generating daily revenue of about N10 billion into the Federal Government coffers.
The stakeholders, who spoke at the dinner/Annual Nigerian Maritime Award (ANMA), organised by SCAN in Lagos, said inconsistent policies, poor ports development and poor road infrastructure have made it difficult for Nigeria to unlock the opportunities in the sector.
Chairman of the event and President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Uju Tony Nwabunike, urged the government to urgently fix the port access roads to spur its trade facilitation agenda.
Nwabunike, represented by ANLCA Vice President, Kayode Farinto, said: “No consistent policy to drive the maritime industry, no port development plans like other developed countries.
“Nigeria generates over N10 billion daily in the maritime industry. These ranges from customs duties, NIMASA, NPA, SON, NAFDAC among other charges, yet, it is being neglected.”
A university Don, Frank Ojadi, bemoaned the non-capturing of the maritime sector in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) describing it as worrisome and disturbing.
Ojadi, a lecturer at the Lagos Business School (LBS), said the Nigerian maritime sector is weak and may not be able to compete favourably with its contemporaries around the world.He said: “You can’t pin down what the Maritime industry contributes to the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and this is because 80 to 90 per cent of vessels that come into the country are foreign vessels. The foreign vessel owners repatriate the profit accrued from the shipping business in Nigeria to their various countries, thereby making it difficult for Nigeria to retain the money in the economy.”
He continued, “For the country to harness his huge maritime potential, there is a need for the government to administer the ship acquisition funds also known as the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF), and focus on the infrastructure deficit at the seaports.”
He further said the Maritime University Okerenkoko, should be pursued and actualised for the training of maritime personnel, while training vessels should be provided for the indigenous seafarers.
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