FG to designate national shipping line

Patrick Akpobolokemi29 August 2013, Lagos – THE Federal Government has concluded plans to designate Ocean Marine Tankers as a national shipping line following the application it received from the company.

Speaking at the commissioning of two tanker vessels in Warri, Delta State, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi said that the management of Ocean Marine Tanker has applied for a national carrier status so as to lift the nation’s crude oil.

Akpobolokemi stated that the agency will work around the clock to ensure that approval is granted as soon as possible.

He explained that NIMASA is pursuing the application with vigour so as to encourage other players in the industry to emulate the example of Ocean Marine Tankers with a view to putting Nigeria back into international shipping.

“We need more of the likes of Ocean Marine Tankers in the maritime sector to grow the national economy

“We see Nigerian firms dominating every sector of the economy particularly the oil, gas and maritime sectors in no distant future.

“The issue of capital flight occasioned by foreign involvement in lifting of Nigerian crude is gradually disappearing” Akpobolokemi stated.

Speaking in similar vein, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Matters, Mr. Leke Oyewole, said that with the acquisition of the vessels, hope has been restored for Nigeria to go back to international shipping.

He explained that with further acquisition of ten of such vessels, the issue of capital flight will be reduced by $300million adding that such huge savings will further add value to the Nigerian economy.

He said “The vision is to ensure that 50 per cent of the nation’s crude oil is lifted by vessels flying Nigerian flags and also owned by Nigerians.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Ocean Marine Group, Captain Idahosa Okunbo, said that it is the vision of the firm to domesticate the associated services hitherto provided by foreigners.

– Godwin Oritse, Vanguard

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