Maritime Business

Indigenous Ship Owners Decry Foreign Dominance of Shipping in Nigeria 


Tayo Oladipupo      I       

As an alternative to the failed cabotage law, ship owners have suggested ways to keep indigenous ship owners’ businesses vibrant and alive.

Members of African Ship Owners Association have called on government to make sure that foreign vessel owners are not be allowed to bring in cargoes to the shores of Nigeria and still be the ones to redistribute such cargoes.

The President of the Association, Barr. Temisan Omatseye said this in Lagos recently.

He quipped that it was unfair for foreigners to bring cargoes into the country and still be the ones to redistribute them within the country, saying it would render the indigenous ship owners useless and without jobs to do.

In his words, “Leave the foreigners to bring the cargoes to our shores but once it gets to our shores, let us take charge of our cargoes.

“You cannot bring it to our shores and also begin to redistribute it in our shores, that is grossly unfair.

In his speech, he assured cadets and young graduates from Maritime institutions that the association was doing every within its reach to acquire world class vessels where the cadets would have their sea time training.

According to the former Director General of the Nigeran Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), engagement with the NNPC and SIL are ongoing for ship owners to acquire vessels and to carry cargoes.

“One thing we are doing and not sleeping is that you are going to have your sea time, very soon we are going to be owning the kind of vessels foregners are owning in Nigeria 

“If we continue with the engagements we are doing right now with agencies like NNPC and SIL,” he maintained.

He however decried the fact that only 0.01 percent of the 2.3 million  barrels of crude oil moved in Nigeria are carried by indigenous ship owners.

He added that transportation is the nucleus of any society even as he said that shipping takes the highest percentage of movement of cargoes across the world.

“95% of all goods moved worldwide are moved by ships and it is unfortunate that  in Nigeria, we move 2.3 million barrels, of this, only  0.01 % is moved by Nigerians.”

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