National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Tony Nwabunike, has lamented that over 97 per cent of the vessels lifting Nigerian crude are foreign owned.
Nwabunike said this, while delivering a paper titled, ‘Blue Economy: Pathway for Nigeria’s Economic Diversification,’ at the 8th annual transport lecture in Lagos.
He bemoaned that the ships trading on our waters and carrying our number one foreign exchange products were manned mainly by foreign professionals and deckhands.
While, acording to him, Nigerian ship owners were struggling to break into this area of investment.
“I have to identify this, because it’s worth replicating in other areas and.. across the industry where Nigerians will be first line beneficiaries of benefits derivable from our natural maritime endowments.”
The ANLCA helmsman explained that the oil industry was not interfacing with the maritime industry to help reverse the trend.
“The oil industry is truly not interfacing enough with the maritime sector to help in reversing this trend of inadequate participation of Nigerian investors and professionals in the lifting of crude oil and working as crew members onboard ships trading on our waters,” he stated.
Nwabunike blamed the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board for not synchronising with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
“Over the years, I have followed the NCDMB and posit that it is doing very well in expanding opportunities for Nigerians in the oil industry, but has not synchronised with other agencies like NIMASA to promote our cabotage regime in maritime sector,” he said.
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