By ZION Olalekan
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has lamented the lack of will to implement some all-important policies in the maritime sector.
Dakuku said it is erroneous to say that Nigeria does not have a sustainable shipping policy.
He listed some of the policies in the sector to include; National Shipping Policy 1987, Cabotage Act of 2003, Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) Port Reform Policy, Nigerian Content Development Act (NCDMB)
Others he mentioned include; Ship Building and Acquisition Fund, National Carrier Policy and the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP)
Peterside lamented that the shipping sector has continued to experience stunted growth despite the various policies.
He said “One main reason why the shipping policy did not succeed is that we had a problem of poor implementation of policies. Some other reason is that we do not have the supporting institutional framework for these policies to work; we simply make statement of intent without the determination and the institutional framework to make it work.
“There are some cases where we didn’t have the financing to make it work, but the common denomination in all of these is poor implementation of policies.
“What differentiates us from other nations is that other nations religiously implement their policies, whereas we half-heatedly implement our policies.
“Non-involvement of stakeholders at the formulation stage of the policies, those of us in government has this sense that we know better than others Lack of enforcement will is there.
“Every day we churn out policies. Lack of capacity, lack of funding, lack of institutional framework” he said.
Peterside assured that NIMASA has identified that funding is a big challenge to Nigerian Shipowners and that it has engaged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the need to create a special facility for operators in the maritime sector.
According to him, “The shipping industry has capacity to employ 10million Nigerians in direct and indirect services, if we create a special facility for this, we would be taking 10million persons off poverty within a desired time.
“There is need for a special forex window so that we can access forex and compete with those in the industry with us”.
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