The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has emphasised the need for full implementation of the relevant local content strategy by ensuring that Nigerian cargoes are freighted by the nationals to promote indigenous participation in maritime space, diversification and increase in international shipping trade.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA Director-General has repeatedly called for a Nigerian, home-grown solution to the freight and maritime security issues.
The issue was debated in today's #MarSec20 summit in a panel discussion chaired by Simon Osbourne from the CSO Alliance. The panel was asked, "What has to happen for things to improve over the longer term. Are the current initiatives going to make a difference?"
Protection Vessel International's, West Africa specialist, Craig De Savoye said, "The solution should be, and always will be, Nigeria first. We saw it in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. The ultimate objective was to grow local capacity and it happened. Decades ago, it was foreign engineering companies scooping up the work. Then we saw a transition to embedded partnerships and transfer of knowledge, capacity development and capital investment. Today, you have countless examples of great oil and gas service companies that can not only stand on their own two feet, but can compete globally on projects outside of Nigeria. This has to be the way forward".
Speaking at “Investment Opportunities for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Nigerian Blue Economy" last week, Mr Momoh Alhassan, NIMASA Head of the Shipping Promotions Unit, said “Nigeria has cargoes and these cargoes should be carried by Nigerians to promote indigenous participation in the maritime space”
The D-G explained that the National Shipping Policy, established under decree 10, 1987 stipulated that Nigerians should have a right of freight.
He noted that the right of freight must be up to 50 per cent of all dry cargo originating from international commercial ventures of local, state and the Federal Governments.
He said section 37, sub-section six, of the act, also stipulated that the agency would determine an efficient strategy for the participation of national carriers in the carriage of crude and petroleum products to and fro Nigeria.
He further said that the Nigeria Content Development Act of 2010, was also aimed at ensuring that a substantial proportion of activities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry was domiciled within the country.
"This covers both upstream and downstream sectors of the sector.
"These acts and policies that are favourable to indigenous players on the oil and gas sector shall be replicated in other sectors such as agriculture and solid minerals which have huge demand potential in global trade," he added.
He reiterated NIMASA's commitment through its 2007 act in promoting the development of indigenous commercial shipping in the international and coastal shipping trade.
The NIMASA boss highlighted vast opportunities availed by maritime industry especially the Blue economy to MSMEs and other interested stakeholders in exploiting vast maritime potentials.
He said if the sector was well harnessed, income would accrue to small businesses in local and foreign currency, thereby collectively boosting Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Source: Dryad Global and All Africa