– You don’t know what you saying – Ship owners
– Minister threatens to mention names
Lagos — THE Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has declared that Nigeria is the only country in the world where ship owners do not have ships but in a swift reaction, ship owners have said that the Minister does not know what he talking about.
Speaking at the just concluded flag off exercise of the removal of 14 critical wrecks in Lagos on Friday Amaechi accused some Nigerians who parade themselves as ship owners of not actually owning ships.
Reacting to the Minister’s accusation of Nigerian being ship owners without owning vessels, President of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, SOAN, Dr. Mcgeorge Oyiong told Vanguard Maritime Report that the Minister does not know what he saying adding that does he know the cost of vessel.
‘‘The Minister does not know what he is saying, does he know how much a vessel cost, anyway, we cannot be bantering words with the Minister, he is free to say whatever he likes.’’
Another member of the group, Alhaji Aminu Umar, also said that we cannot be seen to exchanging words with the Minister but real ship owners know themselves.
The Minister also identified disunity among industry stakeholders as a major hindrance to the progress of the maritime sector in Nigeria.
He said, “How many of you in the maritime sector are united? Beginning from the press. It is not possible. I’ve instructed the press to put themselves together, they said no. You will be hearing the maritime Lucas association, the maritime evil press association.
“When I discovered that there are rancor in the industry, I stayed afar. If you discovered that there is friction and fight in a department under your ministry, you leave that agency and move to an agency more serious.
“It is only in the Nigerian maritime sector that you have ship owners that don’t have ships. So, if I am dealing with ship owners that don’t have ships, what do I do?
He said the wreck removal exercise will guaranty safety of navigation and open up the prospects of new investments in the maritime industry.
“This would tremendously help the Federal Government’s economic diversification drive and enhance Nigeria’s standing within the global maritime community,” he said.