- Nigeria Targets Share of $380bn Global Seaborne Trade
The global seaborne trade is increasing tremendously and Nigeria is putting everything in motion to ensure that there is as much local participation in it as possible.
According to maritime sources, the global seaborne trade rose to 112 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
Unfortunately, Nigeria is not even listed among nations that actively participate in the global seaborne trade and this has been the situation for decades, since the decline of the first Nigerian National Shipping Line.
Currently, Nigeria has no national vessel bearing its flag and all its cargoes are borne by foreign shipping lines.
While presenting a paper titled ‘Indigenous Fleet Development, what Options’, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello, noted that Nigerians had tried and failed to enter into international shipping, not necessarily due to the huge capital investment required, but because of their inability to compete with foreign operators who had list of incentives from their home governments.
He said, “At the moment, Nigeria cannot claim to have a viable indigenous shipping fleet and this is a disappointment, considering that about 60 to 70 per cent of ship traffic to West and Central Africa are destined for Nigeria.”
Bello said the NNSL was established to boost the image of the country by promoting the Nigerian flag, improving the country’s balance of payment, among other objectives.
He noted, however, that the company operated at a loss due to the modernisation in ship type coupled with evolving technology in the late 80s and 90s.
He recommended private instead of government control of the shipping business, adding that government control would lead to monopoly, non-economic choice of ships and routes, government interference and lack of capacity to compete.
According to the International Maritime Organisation, over 90 per cent of world trade is borne by sea and the real time growth in world Gross Domestic Product in the last two decades is 73 per cent.
Also, world exports and imports in 2017 were $17.8bn and $16.1bn respectively.
Reports from these international agencies also tied global trade to shipping, noting that shipping was the lifeblood of the global economy.
The International Chamber of Shipping and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimated that the operation of merchant ships contributed about $380bn in freight rates within the global economy, equivalent to about five per cent of world trade.
According to it, there were over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo, adding that some of the vessels could cost up to $200m to build.
The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.
UNCTAD revealed that in terms of participation, the top 35 flags of registration by tonnage in 2018 were Panama, Marshall Islands, Liberia, Hong Kong (China), Singapore and others.
In its Review of the 2018 Maritime Transport, the body reported that with regard to shipping value chain, Germany was the largest container ship owning country.
Stakeholders are, however, determined to get more Nigerians into the global shipping business.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency in 2017 set up the Cabotage Compliance Strategy to create room for more indigenous shipowners to trade in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
The agency said in line with the new strategy, it would no longer grant permission for foreigners to take on jobs that Nigerians were qualified to handle aboard vessels trading in Nigeria.
While unveiling the enormous potential of the maritime sector in the next two years, the Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said the government had finalised plans to empower local shipowners to acquire vessels and also build capacity to compete in international trade.
Peterside said in addition to the $300m Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, the agency also sought alternative source of finance that could be accessed at single-digit by shipowners.
The Director-General, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote, said the agency had equally partnered with NIMASA to increase local participation in the shipping sector.
Wabote, whose agency established $200m Nigerian Content Development Fund to aid the promotion of local content in the oil and gas sector, said efforts had been intensified to project local shipowners to the forefront of global seaborne trade.
BUA, Kainos Exploration to Drag Each Other to Court Over $20 Million Scandal
BUA Group on Monday threatened to drag Mr James Onyejekwe, the Managing Director of Kainos Exploration to court over a publication that claimed the Group was involved in a $20 million scandal.
BUA stated in a statement issued on Monday.
It stated that the publication engineered by Mr Onyejekwe was a “clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu.”
“BUA takes its reputation seriously and we will continue to do everything to protect it from anyone and any entity who obstructs our mandate to conduct business in a proper, legal and socially-responsible manner.
“BUA will, therefore, utilise its legal and human resources to resist every campaign of defamation and distraction,” the statement further said.
The leading cement manufacturing company said its independent investigation showed Mr. Onyejekwe was behind the false story that went viral online.
“We have, therefore, instructed our legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the person of Mr James Onyejekwe who is the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Cavendish Petroleum against our person, with damages,” the statement seen by Investors King noted.
BUA explained that “We deem these actions necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of BUA Group.”
“We see no reason why Mr James Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Processing would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.
“Therefore, BUA finds it absurd that Mr Onyejekwe or anyone else will decide to drag BUA into their issues and/or put out such a malicious and defamatory statement, fraudulently using the name of Cavendish/Mr Mai Deribe without recourse to the truth, facts, decorum or decency,” it added.
BUA Group described the story bordering on allegations of corruption as “false, malicious and spurious.”
Dangote Cement Emerges Best Performing Firm In Africa
The Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KOCCIMA) has named the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, as the best performing company in Africa.
The award was presented to the company in Lokoja at the weekend by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, who represented the State Governor, Alhaji Yahyah Adoza Bello, at the Annual General Meeting(AGM) of KOCCIMA.
Speaking at the occasion, the President of KOCCIMA, Mr. Victor Ibrahim, said the Dangote Cement emerged through a thorough screening process that involved 20 companies.
He said: “Our screening committee considered many criteria before Dangote Cement Plc was selected”.
According to him, the Chamber put into consideration Dangote Cement’s contributions to the state’s economy through Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), as well as its good relationship with KOCCIMA.
Mr. Ibrahim said another criterion that placed the Dangote Cement in good stead is that the company has been environmentally friendly.
“We’ve visited DCP Obajana Plant and we found it complying with global best practices when it comes to the environment. Your parking lot does not constitute any environmental danger. We also considered returns to investors, the welfare of staff, the 43km Obajana-Kabba concrete road, your good relationship with the host community and your positive image”.
He announced that the Chamber of Commerce was planning to host its Trade Fair by year-end and looking forward to collaborating with the Dangote Cement Plc.
The Deputy Governor Mr. Edward Onoja expressed the appreciation of the Kogi State Government, saying the contributions of KOCCIMA and the private sector were crucial to the development of the state.
Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the event, representative of the Dangote Cement Plc Mr. Ademola Adeyemi said the company was elated and that the award will further spur it to continue its support to the state’s economy, KOCCIMA and Corporate Social Responsibility schemes.
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji, A Nigerian-American as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Group has announced the appointment of Chika Ekeji, a Nigerian-American national as an executive to lead the strategy and transformation unit of the mobile network operator.
Chika has a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT.
He will be leaving from McKinsey & Company, where he led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telco, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.
His appointment with Africa’s leading mobile operator will be effective on, 15th of March. In his new role, he will be based in SA.
“We are very pleased that Chika is joining us as we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning,” says MTN Group chief operating officer Jens Schulte-Bockum.
To support the execution of the repositioned strategy, Ekeji joins a group of other recent appointees, including the new group chief financial officer, Tsholofelo Molefe.
In recent weeks, MTN also made changes to the group’s regional structure and the executive committee.
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