PPPRA laments domination of Nigeria’s freight sector by foreigners

Reginald Stanley 109 July 2013, Lagos – MICHAEL EBOHThe Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, has expressed dissatisfaction over foreign ship owners’ domination of Nigeria’s oil maritime and petroleum products freight services.

Speaking at the inauguration of two double hulled oil vessels – MT Adeline and MT Emmanuel – acquired by Rainoil Limited, Mr. Reginald Stanley, Managing Director, PPPRA, called for increased patronage of local fender providers in Ship-to-Ship operations, saying this will help build a strong synergy among local ship operators.

He said, “The domination of the oil maritime services by foreign fender providers is not in the best interest of the country, given the Federal Government’s transformation agenda, aimed at boosting the capacity of indigenous operators to play active role in Nigeria’s economic development.

According to him, a situation where foreign fender providers dominate the market should be discouraged, adding also that the new acquired vessels would boost maritime operation and reduce the unit cost of freight.

Stanley said the investment in the acquisition of the vessels is a significant milestone and a big boost to the nation’s economy, especially in the areas of foreign exchange conservation, reduction in the cost of freight of petroleum products, employment opportunities and speedy distribution of products across the country.

Also speaking, Hon. Dakuku Peterside, Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), assured the organised private sector that the National Assembly will ensure that the needed legislative framework to make businesses thrive would be provided.

He charged industry operators to imbibe value-addition and forthrightness as essential ingredients for their success in business, describing the new vessels as another value-creation worthy of emulation by other operators.

Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Rainoil, said, “The vessel business in Nigeria has over the years been heavily dominated by foreigners because they are the ones who, over the years, agreed to invest in vessels that meet very stringent international standards.

“Running vessels do not come cheap. So for us it is a major milestone and I can tell you that in the last one year, apart from Rainoil I know that a lot of other Nigerian companies decided to take the bull by the horn and invest in getting vessels that are of world class standard.”Continuing, he said,

“Maritime is one area where this country bleeds a lot of foreign exchange. This business is practically more than 95 per cent dollar denominated and a lot of this money, when you are hiring foreign vessels, practically leaves the country in foreign exchange”.

– Michael Eboh, Vanguard

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