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FG To Create Sustainable National Shipping Fleet

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The executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, has said the federal government’s desire is to create a sustainable and effective national fleet.

Bello said this in an interview with newsmen on Monday in Abuja. He said that the committee set up to midwife the establishment of the national fleet was working on other components relating with industries that would support it.

“On the national carrier, people think it is just to go and buy ships or to have a national fleet is to go and plug them somewhere, our national fleet implementation committee has been working very hard.

“We want to create a sustainable national fleet, we want to create a national fleet that will work, not the one that will just come and go, so we are thinking of other industries that will support it.

“We are talking about ship repair, ship yard, we are also talking about cleaning up with NIMASA, cleaning up the national registry, we are talking about reforms in the Nautical College at Oron, Delta, all these are what will support the national fleet.

“You don’t just bring one ship and say this is national fleet, without supporting collateral industry to support the national fleet,” he said.

Commenting on the National Transport Commission Bill, Bello said it was one of the major reform bills in the sector, which would encourage private sector participation in the industry.

“The various reform bills in the transport industry will make for greater participation in the private sector, it will free transport from bureaucracy and allow transport to make a profound impact on the national economy.

“So, the national transport commission is supposed to regulate interest; it is an economic regulator, a multi-sector that will guide the entrance and exit.

“It improves competition, it will safe-guard standard and also look over the pricing. Now if we look at all these things, it is what Nigerian Shippers Council has been doing.

“One thing about this bill is that it has the total support of the Minister of Transportation, it has more importantly total support of stakeholders in the industry,” the executive secretary said.

Meanwhile, the managing director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL), Dr. Amy Jadesimi has disclosed that Nigeria can take a lead in creating a sustainable global maritime economy through radical changes in development and business.

She stated this while speaking on a high level panel at the ‘Blue Economy and Maritime Industry’ roundtable, which took place at the just ended Commonwealth Business Forum. She said “only radical changes in development and business will create a sustainable world, which is why countries like Nigeria will take a lead in creating a sustainable global maritime economy.”

Jadesimi stated that there is widespread agreement that there is a need to move towards a more sustainable world. However, high growth but low-income countries, such as Nigeria, have strong business and social incentives to immediately make the radical changes that are needed to create a prosperous new sustainable world. Low growth, high-income countries are only able to make incremental changes, which are insufficient.

“The development of LADOL is an example of how high growth low-income countries can excel by focusing on sustainability as a business opportunity- LADOL built a Port Facility and Industrial Free Zone out of disused land in Apapa Port.

“We have now created the largest shipyard in West Africa and the only fully integrated logistics base. The private sector in Nigeria should seize the opportunity to sustainably build infrastructure, facilities and industries because that will yield the highest return to their investors, to the local society and the global economy”, she added.



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