14 August 2015, Abuja – Experts in the maritime sector have appealed to the federal government to give more attention to the maritime sector of the economy to enable it achieve its numerous potential.
The experts, who pointed out the ills that are plaguing the maritime industry, averred that if the government devotes enough time to the sector as it is presently doing on the oil and gas industry, the sector would be able to maximize the enormous potential for the benefit of the country and its citizens.
According to them, the present focus of the government on the maritime industry was not enough to get the desired results for the benefit of the citizenry.
The experts spoke at the 8th Anniversary of Transport Development Symposium and Transport Development Award, which took place in Lagos recently.
Those who spoke at the symposium included the erstwhile Director of Port Development in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Mrs. Chinwe Ezenwa and the Director, Shipping Development, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Captain Warredi Enisuoh.
Ezenwa, argued that that if the government focuses more on the maritime industry, it would be able to generate the required revenue to meet its obligations.
She revealed that the maritime sector was presently generating more than N1 trillion naira as revenue into the federation account.
Ezenwa, who is presently the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Service and Logistics Limited said: “Maritime industry is under-developed in Nigeria. If we all go out and see what can be done to the nation’s waters, we will realise that the maritime sector is enough to be the nation’s source of revenue generation. I wish to always encourage youths I come across to focus more on the maritime industry and put in their best and not by lobbying for political appointments”.
She advised maritime journalists to focus more on activities and critical issues in the maritime industry to enable government to discover the potential of the industry and make it the hub in the West Africa region.
On his part, Enisuoh urged maritime journalists to throw more light on their reports to enable technocrats and investors come into the country.
According to him, many stakeholders found it difficult to operate due to lack of adequate knowledge of shipping operations.
“Stakeholders, mostly indigenous ship owners, should not hesitate to make enquiry from NIMASA for them to be properly guided on what should be done to register their ships,” he said.
Enisuoh maintained that NIMASA had improved on its efforts in surveillance of the nation’s territorial waters, pointing out that the agency has demonstrated that it was on top of its statutory roles and responsibilities.
– This Day