NIMASA told to focus on indigenous shipping devt

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By Richards Adeniyi

The management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been advised to forget about the moves to be elected into the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Category C seat and focus more attention on indigenous shipping development.

NIMASA was particularly told to pay more attention on how to improve on fleet expansion in Nigeria because of the national economic impact and relevance to the country as against efforts to hold any category seat in the IMO.

An indigenous shipowner and a successful key pioneer player in the industry who pleaded anonymity said that the IMO Category C seat for Nigeria does not in any way add value to the country or confer any special advantages.

He argued that what makes more sense to the shipping industry and the country as a whole is the viability of the industry in terms of the number of indigenous shipping companies involved in shipping trade.

He said NIMASA should ensure that it convinces the federal government to begin to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to improve on the country’s fleet and empower more Nigerians to own more vessels.

He said what the government needs to do in protecting the CVFF against past experience it has always referred to was to hand the fund over to a commercial bank which will apply the necessary conditions before loans are given out.

On the IMO Category C election which Nigeria has continued to make efforts to contest, he said there are no special advantages for the country without vessels.

Election into the IMO seat, he said, will make more sense if Nigeria begins to own ships and aspire to go for Category B seat election in order to protect her ship-owning inter.

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