By Sandra Chukwunyere
|The Honourable Minister of Transportation has said that shipping business as an economic activity and catalyst that is capable of boosting the socio-economic development in the National maritime industry and the nation in general.|
The Hon. Minister, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi made this declaration at the first Lagos International Shipping Expo by Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) in Logos.
The minister who was represented at the event by Mrs. Grace Atiegiba, Director Reform Coordination and Service Improvement
The theme of the event which was “Shipping, Global Economy and National Development” made the minister to conclude that 90 per cent of the developed nations of the world are maritime driven and there is need for the country to key into such opportunity to boost the economy.
According to the minister, “Government is aware of the challenges in the industry and are working towards it but the issue is that government is constrained by limited financial resources.”Government is also eager about marine notice as it will provide important issues on safety, general guidance to shipping and marine communities.”Government is also eager about marine notice as it will provide important issues on safety, general guidance to shipping and marine communities,” he said.
He said that government was also concerned about the non disbursement of the cabotage financing funds, poor infrastructure and maritime institution in the country.
He noted that all these concerns are affecting the industry and there are solutions being put in place by government to checkmate these challenges.
He listed the way out as: review of the Cabotage Act, restructure the nation’s seafarers, have competent personnel, and promote Public Private Participation.
Others he listed as: making the inland waterways to get the deserved attention and improving the participation of indigenous shipping companies.
Dr Mkgeorge Onyung, President of Shipowners Association of Nigeria ( SOAN) said that shipping was key to unlocking the economic prosperity of the country and possible only if the country had enough ships.
“Barely six month in the saddle of being the president of the association, I thought a sustainable project that will ensure the development of our capacity and improve maritime business in the country is through this expo.
“This is to enable us to speak with one voice so that it will be loud enough for all stakeholders to hear and understand the challenges of Shipowners and what they need,” he added.