A transport and logistics expert, Dr Frank Ojadi, has bemoaned the non-capturing of the maritime sector in the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) describing it as worrisome and disturbing.
Ojadi disclosed this at the annual Nigerian Maritime Award (ANMA) organised by the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria (SCAN) in Lagos over the weekend.
Ojadi, a lecturer at the Lagos Business School (LBS), said the Nigerian maritime sector was weak and may not be able to compete favourably with its contemporaries around the world.
He said, “You can’t pin down what the Nigerian maritime industry contributes to the Nigerian gross domestic product (GDP) and this is because 80 to 90 per cent of vessels that come into the country are foreign vessels.
“The foreign vessels owners repatriate the profit accrued from the shipping business in Nigeria to their various countries thereby making it difficult for Nigeria to retain the money in the economy.”
He however urged the federal government to urgently disburse the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) for the development of the maritime sector.
“For the country to harness his huge maritime potentials, there is need for the government to administer the ship acquisition funds also known as the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF) and focus on the infrastructure deficit at the seaports,” he said.
He stated further that the Maritime University, Okerenkoko should be pursued and actualised for training of capacity in the maritime industry. However, declaring the award session open, the chairman of the event, Prince Tony Nwabunike, urged for quick completion of the port access roads.
Nwabunike, the president, Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA), who was represented by the vice president of the association, Kayode Farinto also rues lack of consistent policies in the maritime industry.
He said, “No consistent policy to drive the maritime industry, no port development plans like other developed countries.”
According to Nwabunike, Nigeria generated over N10billion in the maritime industry daily but government still neglects the sector.