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Nigeria: ‘Maritime industry can generate N1.6t, create five million jobs’

Saturday, 24 March 2012 | 00:00
The Nigerian maritime industry is capable generating N1.6 trillion annually and could provide employment to over five million of the nation’s teeming youths, the chairman, Indigenous Ship-owners Association (ISAN), Dr. Issac Jolapamo and his counterpart, Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX 2012), Eze Chijioke Collins, have said.
Jolapamo, said if truly harnessed, the Nigerian maritime industry could rank second to oil and gas in terms of earnings in the short run and supersede the petroleum sector in terms of earnings and employment generation in the long run.
The ISAN boss, who spoke during the 2012 Nigeria maritime Expo, titled, ‘Untapped Opportunities in the Maritime Industry in an Emerging Economy’, said the extant laws are sufficient to make the difference, adding that the problem over the years has been “lack of political will by government to implement the laws.”
He cited the Cabotage Act of 2003 and the Nigerian Content Development Act of 2010, saying these laws provide expressly for Nigerians, to the exclusion of other nationals, to handle cabotage trade and maritime transportation within the oil and gas industry. He identified lack of enforcement of the laws as the major problem militating against reaping the envisaged benefits of the extant legislations.
The ISAN Chairman, said, Nigeria post independence, acquired ships flying the Nigerian flag, adding that since the demise of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), no Nigerian flagged ship is currently plying international routes despite our large export of crude and import of over 100 million tons of general goods. He stated that Nigeria is the only oil producing country without a national fleet, saying Angola which recently joined the rank and file of oil producing countries in 2002 has a fleet for her oil deliveries.
Jolapamo challenged the government to take the initiative to develop the maritime industry so that the sector can contribute meaningfully to the realization of vision 20.20.20. He said government’s policy on sales of its crude oil on the basis of F.O.B (Free On Board) rather than on C.I.F (Cost Insurance and Freight) must stop.
Source: The Nation
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