Nigeria Maritime Expo: Group Kicks Against Revamp

Tayo Oladipupo

The Nigerian Indigenous Ship Owners Association has kicked against revamping of the Nigerian Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), saying that the industry has nothing to showcase or exhibit to the world.

The ship owners group led by Captain Dada Olaniyi Labinjo maintained that the federal government should focus on how to develop the maritime sector through policies that can revive indigenous participation in shipping and not to support or promote meaningless projects without positive impact.

NIMAREX is an exhibition and conference whereby ship owners, ship managers, marine spare dealers, ship brokers and other stakeholders come together to promote innovations and ideas of the industry.

The annual maritime expo was conceived in 2011 by the indigenous shipowners to showcase Nigeria’s enormous maritime potentials to international investors.

The group also described NIMAREX as a jamboree which has not yielded any positive results or contributions to shipping development in Nigeria.

Recall that a group of Nigerian Shipowners recently hinted that plans were afoot to revive the moribund Conference and Exhibition, four years after it was last held.

But according to the Lagos Coordinator, NISA, Captain Franklin Taiwo Akinpelumi in a chat with our correspondent, insisted that government should not encourage, support or promote any event that cannot add value to the nation’s shipping sector.

Akinpelumi who also doubles as the Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Energy Nigeria Limited noted that “It’s unfortunate that without ship building and capacity building, the industry cannot move forward.

“NIMAREX is supposed to be relevant only when we get to the developmental stage of the sector; whereby ship can be built in Nigeria, cadets can be engaged locally through seatime experience, human and capital development must be harnessed and the cabotage act must to be implemented effectively.

“With all these factors in place then we can now invite the outside world to showcase our maritime potentials.

“But the truth is that we don’t have such in place and why should we celebrate failure under the name NIMAREX which is more of a fanfare.

The Lagos Coordinator lamented that the exhibition held in the past dwelt on theoretical aspect adding that nothing positive came out of it to influence government decision in revamping the sector.

“The marine industry is a sinking ship where the mast is still afloat. The industry is in shamble,” he added.

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