Maritime BusinessNews

Nigeria Loses Fortunes to NNSL Demise – Obaseki


ABIOLA Seun       |        

The Executive Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, at the weekend stated that with the sad demise of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), the country lost and had since continued to forfeit several economic and human development opportunities.

Governor Obaseki made the observation over the weekend in Onne, Rivers State, during the official christening of the nation’s latest addition to the Nigerian ‘fleet’, the MV OSANYAMO, a newly built vessel belonging to the STARZS Group, which was delivered by the Damen Ship Yard.

The Governor expressed sincere desire to see the nation’s capacity building institutions synergise, in the bid to boost employment opportunities and consequently improve the citizens’ present economic conditions.

“I feel really privileged that I am performing for the first time in my life, the Christening, dedication and commissioning of a vessel.

I have never done it before”, the Governor stated, describing the shipping terrain in Nigeria, not only as “scary” but also, seriously dominated by foreign operators.

He commended the STARZS Group Chairman, Nigeria’s foremost shipping mogul and arrowhead of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Engr. Greg Ogbeifun for his dedication, commitment and resourcefulness, particularly in mobilising local funds, institutional supports and utilising same, in a very challenging environment, all in a bid to lift Nigeria’s flag as well as boost the employment opportunities for other Nigerians.

“Over time, the maritime industry, in spite of the support it had received, such as the Cabotage Law, and the Local Content Law, has continued to be dominated like I said, by foreign companies.

“Apart from the brief spell when we had the NNSL which offered Nigerians seatime opportunities in the maritime industry as we know, that endeavour failed, and as a country, we lost that opportunity to build the human capacity and resources to go ahead to dominate”, the Governor added.

Obaseki grieved that the country’s weak economic position had seriously affected not only the nation’s balance of trade but devastatingly also, the well-being and the future of the youths.

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