Lagos — The Nigerian Maritime Law Association, NMLA, has expressed concern over the dearth of data in projecting and planning growth of the Nigerian maritime industry.
Speaking at the maiden edition of a breakfast meeting of the association held in Lagos, President of the group, Mrs. Funke Agbo said that the lack of data in the industry has not only stunted the growth of the industry but has led to painlessness.
Agbo also said that the industry needs these data so as to gather information that will help put thing together that will also help the government to plan for the maritime industry.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, explained that there is a lot the government can do better to grow the sector adding that the association is also ready to assist government with the growth.
She also said that the group can provide direction for the government because a lot of things according to her are not being done correctly.
She said: “We need this data, that way, it helps us to drive grow a databank of information of putting things together so as to be able to tell the government on the things that are lacking, these are the forecasts that we can see in these areas and that we need to do certain things in these areas to put things right, information is key in planning for growth.
“There is a lot the government can do better, and I think we can help government by showing them that we need to change the policy direction. A lot of things are not done correctly, they do not focus on the right things all the time and may, it is not their fault because government is government. So the things that we want them to do is to create an enabling environment, create policies that will make easy for people to create to operate in the sector.
“It is a huge sector, we have freight forwarders, we have clearing agents, we have Chandlers, we have ship owners, we have ship operators, it is a sector where a lot of employment is possible.
“Shipping is not all about oil and gas, it is about international trade, it is about volumes and figures, ships going back and forth. We have ships coming with imports, but we do not have ships going back with exports, the deficit is really huge. So, if we can show the government that that trade inbalance can be reduced.
“With these data, we can help because we need to show them facts and figures to enable them believe what it is that we are saying.”
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