02 July 2015, Lagos – The Nigerian Shipowners Association, (NISA) and some Greek shipowners yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on vessel acquisition with a view to building a formidable fleet for Cabotage trade.
Speaking at the ceremony, President of the Nigerian Shipowners Association, Captain Olaniyi Dada Olabinjo said that the project to re-build the local fleet will benefit both the Nigerian and Greek economy as both countries are currently facing economic challenges.
Olabinjo explained that indigenous shipowners will make a whooping sum of N4.5billion every month if Nigerians are involved in the light rage of refined petroleum products that anchors outside the ports.
“We currently import 1.8billion litre of refined petroleum every and it will N3.00 to move one litre from anchorage to the depots and when you multiply three by 1.8billion litre of fuel, the answer is N4.5billion of disposable funds every month.” He added
He also explained that with the current 2.5million barrel of crude oil being produced in Nigeria, which add up to over 996million barrel of crude oil, not one drop is carried by a Nigerian owned vessel adding that we need to use potentials in the maritime industry to re-build the economy.
He lamented that the non-implementation of the Cabotage law reiterating that Nigeria can only be regarded as a maritime nation if the law is fully implemented.
The NISA boss also lamented that political will on the part of government to implement the law, this lack of political will has stunted the growth of the nation’s coastal trade.
He said “in countries all over the world, tonnage drives Cabotage and Nigeria has the tonnage, we have allowed our domestic trade to be taken over by foreigners .
“The maritime industry can make between N3trillion – N7trillion annually if the potentials of the industry are properly harnessed.
“Even oil and gas do not earn Nigeria that kind of money.”
“The Greeks will provide Nigerian shipowners with 40 vessels of various classes and tonnage and some Nigerian Banks are also ready to give financial support to this project”.