- Nigerians Seek Control of Shipping, Oil/Gas Sectors
Stakeholders in the maritime, local content development and other sectors of the economy have suggested that Nigeria should control the operations of the shipping, oil and gas sectors.
Their suggestion is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a recent maritime seminar in Lagos.
Among those at the forum were the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, represented by the Assistant Director, Shipping Development, NIMASA, Anna Akpan; the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote, represented by the General Manager, Corporate Communications and Zonal Coordination, NCDMB, Dr Ginah Ginah.
Also present was the Chairman, National Seafarers Welfare Board, Otunba Kunle Folarin, who spoke on the topic: ‘Seafarers Perspective on Local Content Development in Oil and Gas Shipping Logistics Operations’.
They said, “The shipping, oil and gas sectors are problematic sectors in view of the complexities associated with their operational logistics. It is important that Nigeria assumes control of operations in these critical sectors to enable the country to reap the immense gains offered by these sectors, particularly when run properly.”
The stakeholders called on the Federal Government to make policies that would address the age-long foreign dominance of the oil and gas sector.
“There is a pressing need for the Federal Government to check and arrest, through the formulation and implementation of appropriate policies, the age- long foreign dominance of the oil and gas sector, which accounts for about 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings but less than 20 per cent average contribution to the Gross Domestic Product and five per cent of total employment,” they stated.
They added, “It is aberrant that Nigeria, which is ranked the seventh largest oil producer in the world, is the only oil producing country that is totally excluded from the lucrative trade of lifting the commodity she produces.
“It is lamentable that Nigeria generates an estimated annual cargo throughput of 150 million tonnes with freight earnings in excess of $5bn in her international trade transactions, while 95 per cent of this income is earned by foreigners and the country contends with job deprivation.
“The same ugly scenario of dominance by foreigners extends to the domestic shipping market, where the estimated $3bn annual maritime-related spending in the oil and gas production activities is virtually earned by foreigners, a situation of so much activity and so much money, but little impact on the lives of Nigerians, accounting for the high level of frustration and restiveness in the country especially in the Niger Delta region.”
The NIMASA DG presented a paper at the forum titled ‘The Role of Shipping in Oil and Gas Logistics: Need for Synergy in the Implementation of the Nigerian Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003 and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010
The NCDMB executive secretary also presented a paper on ‘Eight Years After: Successes and Challenges of Local Content Law’.