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Ship owners seek foreign investment in Nigeria’s maritime

SOAN President, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun
The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN)
has urged foreign investors to tap into Nigeria’s vast maritime resources to
expand their businesses and grow local and global commerce.

The President of SOAN, Mr Greg Ogbeifun, who
is also the Chairman of Starzs Marine and Engineering Ltd, made the call in an
interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said the maritime industry in Nigeria had
huge opportunities for investments and growth which investors could take
advantage of to the greater economic benefit for all stakeholders.
Ogbeifun said the opportunities were
available in the various sub-sectors of the nation’s maritime industry and
would continue to maintain their economic relevance.
“The Nigerian maritime sector will remain
relevant for the economic prosperity and development of most nations because of
its abundant mineral resources and huge maritime ecosystem.
“In this vein, Nigeria’s maritime
environment, which spans about 84,000 square meters is of strategic importance
to the nation on account of the huge deposits of mineral resources and marine
life it offers.
“It is a known fact that there are vast
resources in Nigeria’s maritime environment ranging from hydrocarbons to living
and non-living resources most of which have remained untapped.
“Nigeria has a total of about 8,600 km of
inland waterways, the second longest in the entire continent of Africa; this
comprises an extensive coastline of about 800 kilometers.

“These therefore, avails a variety of investment potential and opportunities
cutting across shipping, mining, manufacturing and services industries,” the
SOAN President said.
Ogbeifun said that his paper titled “The
Shipping and Maritime Industry in Nigeria: Opportunities and Challenges’’,
delivered at the recent Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in Malta, highlighted
the wealth of Nigeria’s maritime resources.
The paper, he said, said that Nigeria’s
maritime environment would continue to be a veritable platform for
transportation, global commerce, resource exploitation and recreation.
He said the Maritime Commonwealth Session,
which was hosted by the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), was part of
the business calendar of the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Ogbeifun said his presentation also made it
clear that it had become inevitable that developed nations within the
Commonwealth family partnered the developing nations on ways possible to drive
investments and development.

He said he used the platform to debunk negative media reports; local and
international, portraying Nigeria as a “no-go area’’ for foreign investors
owing to a number of unsubstantiated reasons driven by selfish interests.
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