13 February 2015, Lagos – As a result of the dwindling price of crude oil in the international market, this year edition of the maritime exposition (NIMAREX 2015) will focus on economic regeneration and diversification, the organisers of the programme have said.
The Co-ordinator of the Intellectual and Strategy Sub-Committee of the NIMAREX 2015 Planning Committee, Dr. Omogbai Omo-Eboh in a statement in Lagos said: “We are looking at seeing principal actors in the economic landscape in Nigeria. Those that formulate economic policies for the country like the Minister of Finance, who is the head of the Economic Team. We are looking at seeing the Governor of the Central Bank or his representative. We are looking at those industry stakeholders who have already invested a lot in this industry, and who have the capacity to do more to grow the industry even further, for the benefit of Nigerians.”
Omo-Eboh who is also the President of the Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN), said that the paper presentations would cover the need to reposition the nation’s economy for multiple revenue sources.
“We have identified the papers and topics and built them around the theme of this year’s NIMAREX, and the theme we have selected is ‘Regenerating Economic Growth through the maritime sector’. And we believe that this theme is quite apposite because we need to realign the Nigerian economy. The economy has been for too long, a mono-dependent economy, in the sense that we have depended largely on our oil revenues. Now, the price of crude oil is taking a nose dive in the international market and that has the consequence of affect ting the government’s income stream, its revenue profile and its budget. Therefore, we are looking and we believe the government is also looking at other sources of generating income and we think the maritime industry presents a very good opportunity for this,” he said.
On why the organisers took the position, he explained that it was important to regenerate Nigeria’s economic growth through the maritime sector, which the papers and topics were aligned to address.
In a related development, the Chairman of NIMAREX 2015 Planning Committee, Mr. Ayorinde Adedoyin has said this year’s edition will beam the searchlight on the issues promoting trade and access to funds for operators.
He said that, while NIMAREX might not have recorded 100 per cent success since its commencement, the event has been able to attract government’s attention to the maritime industry’s potentials.
“To the best of my knowledge, I think, to some certain extent, NIMAREX has been an eye-opener to people in the industry. NIMAREX has been able to actually get the government attention to look at the possibilities in the maritime industry and also to educate the public on the possibilities. And I think NIMAREX has done very well, but we cannot say it is 100 per cent yet. And that is why we are looking at other avenues. That is why we are trying to concentrate more on trade than on policies and things like that. We are trying to make sure that we refocus on things that will impact on the industry people very well in this 2015 NIMAREX”, he said.
He identified issues of access to funds and preponderance of industry regulators as major challenges to the development of the maritime sector.
“The thing about this industry is that when you have so many regulators, it’s always very difficult to put everybody together or all the organisations together to actually make them understand what the problems are. The major problem we have is funding. Even when you tell people to go and get contract, when they get the contract, they will need equipment to do the contract and to get the equipment, you will need money. And that is why I said this year, NIMAREX is going to focus more on trade, in the sense that we are looking at the possibility of getting people with funds to meet with people who need the fund. We are trying to get people who have equipment to meet with people who need the equipment” he said.
The maritime exposition which is styled after the oil technology conference (OTC) which holds annually in Houston, Texas, United States of America (USA), is the fifth in the annual series.
Expected to attract key stakeholders in the maritime industry and beyond, the maritime exposition is billed to hold from March 29 to April 1, 2015, in Lagos.
– This Day