23 February 2016, Lagos — Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday expressed optimism that the maritime industry has the capacity to generate N500 billion revenue yearly for the nation.
Rotimi Amaechi Amaechi, who said this, yesterday, during a one-day summit organised by Tell Magazine and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) in Lagos, noted that the shipping sub-sector was a major aspect of the maritime industry that was crucial to the economy and could be the second revenue earner for government.
The minister also said the Federal Government had commenced moves to audit the port concession exercise 10 years after, with a view to ascertaining their compliance to the port concession agreement.
The nation’s port terminals were concessioned to private terminal operators to improve port infrastructure as well as improve the efficiency of port operation. Amaechi, who was also at a meeting with terminal operators, said depending on the outcome of the audit, the concession agreement would be reviewed.
The former governor of Rivers State said the petroleum industry, which had been the mainstay of the economy, depended largely on shipping, without which the product evacuation would be impossible.
He also identified shipping as the backbone of oil and gas production and marketing.
He said: “Statistics have shown that over 80 per cent of global oil trade is transported by ships, while in the case of Nigeria, it is 100 per cent.
“The shipping sub-sector of the maritime industry is estimated to be worth over $3 billion annually. It is, therefore, expedient to stress that transport is demand-driven and government in its commitment to shipping, will consider growth and development of the industry.”
He urged the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hassan Bello, to organise a stakeholders forum before July to move the sector forward.