Lamenting the low contribution of the maritime sector presently to Nigeria’s GDP, the Executive Secretary, Nigerias Shippers council, Barr. Hassan Bello says the Transport sector can fund Nigeria’s budget ” if we get it right”.
Bello spoke during a one day workshop organized by the Shippers council for aviation and transport correspondents in Abuja.
He attributed the low contributions to GDP to the fact that ships on Nigeria’s waters are owned by Foreigners.
“Nigeria lost 9 billion dollars for freight because Nigerians do not own or operate ships”.
” It is important to rehassle this issue of freight implementation,if we do that, we are going to have that 9 billion dollars coming to Nigeria’s economy so imagine the effect it will have”.
“Another advantage is for our national pride, we need to see ships flying Nigerian flag”.
He said private sector participation is the way to go for fleet implementation.
Nigeria makes nothing from the billions of dollars spent by importers and exporters in freight fees to owners of vessels, as no Nigerian or Nigerian firm has a ship that moves cargo internationally.
The government is working hard to make Nigerian firms own vessels in order to partake in the revenue being generated from global freight services”.
” In 2015 alone, Nigeria spent $9bn on freight and not a single ship is owned by a Nigerian or Nigerian firm. Meaning that this huge revenue went to foreign vessel owners and this development has lingered.
However, with the support of the government in diversifying the economy, we have been engaging stakeholders in order to do something about this. So we are targeting that in about three years from now, Nigerians will own and operate vessels which will benefit from the revenue.”
The Executive secretary called for stakeholders participation in regulation making to ensure a seamless transport policy.
On the issue of dry sea ports, Bello said ” we need to decongest the seaports, so that if you are in Kaduna for example. You don’t need to travel to Lagos to clear your goods”. He said goods are already been moved directly from Lagos to Kaduna dry port.
He called on the press to subject his agency to scrutiny to keep them on their toes.
“We need to be criticized sometimes, as long as it is constructive,it is always welcome. “
“Society will collapse if we don’t have a vibrant press”.