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NIMASA DG calls for synergy between local content, cabotage laws


Dr. Dakuku Peterside, DG NIMASA

The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
(NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has called for synergy between Local Content Act
2010 and Cabotage Act 2003  to boost shipping logistics in Nigeria. 

Peterside made the call during a one-day seminar organised by the
Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) with the theme: “Local
Content Development in Shipping,  Oil and Gas Logistics Operations in
Nigeria” on Tuesday in Lagos.

The director general, who was represented by an Assistant Director,
Shipping Development in NIMASA,  Mrs Anna Akpan, said that shipping had
always been of strategic importance to the oil and gas industry. 
According to him, over 70 per cent of all crude oil production are
transported by ships.
“More oil production activities are being carried out offshore.
This shows that the oil industry relies heavily on maritime industry for its
smooth operations. 
“In Nigeria, the maritime industry shares not only common business
interests with the oil and gas sector but also common challenges.
“The most pronounced of these challenges is foreign domination. It
is a known fact today, that in spite of the huge activities and revenue
generated by these two industries, their impact in terms of employment and
generation of economic growth had been so low. 
“For example,  the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian
economy  accounts for almost 90 per cet of the foreign earnings for the
country but less than 20 per cent contribution to Gross Domestic Product and
five per cent of total employment which is a misnomer. 
“The situation in the maritime industry is not different. Nigeria
ranked the seventh largest oil producer in the world and it is only oil-
producing country that does not carry a drop of its crude,” Peterside
He further explained that statistics showed that the country generated
an estimated annual cargo throughput of N150 million onnes with  freight
earnings in excess of $5 billion in her international trade transactions.
Peterside said that 95 per cent of the income was earned by foreigners
with the job deprivation to the country.
He said that it was necessary for the two implementing agencies of the
Local content Act and Cabotage Act to identify areas of common interests and
design a strategy for an effective implementation for the benefit of the
The director general said that NIMASA had  examined the provisions
of the Local Content Act  and came up with its implementation within the
ambit of Cabotage as related to maritime activities.

 The Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordinator, Nigerian Content
Development and Monitoring Board  (NCDMB), Dr Ginah Ginah, said many
pipelines were built over 50 years ago which needed to be replaced as a matter
of urgency. 
According to him,  the NCDMB had handed over N200 billion to the
Bank of Industry to enable indigenous operators to access loan at 8 per cent
“We have trained  500,000 Nigerians on Local Content
developments but there was no vacancy to enable them to operate. 
“There is need to improve low functional steel sector to solve the
immediate problem of the oil and gas sector in the country,” Ginah said.
In his goodwill message, the Governor of Edo State,  Mr Godwin
Obaseki, who was represented by the President, Waterways Oil and Gas
Association, Capt.Tony Vevakpor, said that the Gelegele Port was in process.
Vevakpor said that dredging was ongoing as well as construction of
modular refineries to decongest Lagos ports.  
In his welcome address,  the President of MARAN,  Mr. Anya
Njoku, said that shipping  operations in Nigeria were problematic sector
in view of the complexities associated with operations in shipping,  oil
and gas operational logistics. 
According to him,  it is important for Nigerians to take over
operations in these sub-sectors to make gains as these sector were lucrative if
properly administered.. 
“By so doing, we demand that speakers should deliver pratical and
achievable experience as this will land us half way to the moon, since there is
no end to knowledge,” he said.
Njoku urged members of the armed forces including Navy,  Army,
Police and Customs, to work in line with the constitutional provisions and the
standard set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as well as other
international agencies.
“Customs should also work with institutions that have enacted
conventions and regulations on how to conduct smooth commercial shipping and
operatoonal logistics and ensuring good conducts in all ramification to achieve
the set goal in the sub-sector,” Njoku said. 

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