Nigeria has to wake up from slumber to fly her flag on the ocean of the world; earn in foreign trade from carriage of goods and services.
I have spent the whole of my post-secondary school in the maritime industry, trained, served and acted at the highest possible levels, but I remain seriously humbled by our incapability as a nation to establish an
environment for owning international ships.
I am not the only one who should be humbled by this situation, every Nigerian in authority, directly or indirectly responsible for creating the environment should share the failure.
They should be in search of solutions to the apparent failures. Ship owners and other private bodies are groaning in the pain of a relatively hostile environment. They will, in no doubt be willing to assist.
The ball is in the court of the policy makers and implementing agencies.
They must be willing to shift from the comfort zone of “easy money” created by taxations and tariffs to deeper thinking, innovations and services. They should be relentlessly in search of solutions.
It is obvious to me that our partners in the competitive world are prepared to continue to give us a percentage of their earnings from the trade we generated than advice us or assist us to take over the trade from them. That is reasonable, isn’t it?
Our option is to take advantage of their knowledge and infrastructure to train ourselves and plan to be in control of our endowment.
Marine Engineer Olu Akinsoji is a one time Government Inspector of Shipping and pioneer
Nigerian Alternate Permanent Representative of Nigeria in the IMO.