The ranks of Nigerianflagged vessels swelled last Monday with the dedication and launching at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, of the MT Breakthrough, just as FinBank Plc has restated its commitment to financing maritime transactions.
The vessel has been described as the newest-built product tanker within the Nigerian waters and the most modern vessel under the Nigerian Flag Registry.
Built in 2006, the MT Breakthrough is a 7,500 deadweight, double-hull, double-bottom vessel financed by FinBank Plc for Jevkon Oil and Gas Limited.
FinBank Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Suzanne Iroche, who performed the launching, in her speech explained that the bankâ€™s participation in financing the vessel demonstrated its commitment to both the success of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, as well as the growth of the Nigerian economy. â€œWe believe that the implementation of the Cabotage Law will have a ripple effect on the economy, as it is capable of generating millions of job opportunities for Nigerians. This belief has informed our involvement in the finance of various maritime transactions and strengthened our resolve to continue to develop the capabilities to appropriately manage relationshipsâ€, Iroche said.
Noting that financing the maritime sector is capital-intensive, the FinBank boss, averred that the bankâ€™s involvement testified to its strength as a financial institution.
Iroche said: â€œWe shall continue to deepen our involvement in the maritime sector because of its importance to the growth of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Nigeria is the sixth largest oil producer in the world and certainly the most prolific producer in sub-Sahara Africa.
Today, there are about 140 vessels servicing the oil industry in Nigeria, which accounts for about 90 per cent of the business activity in the maritime sector of the economyâ€.
She expressed the hope that, with her commissioning, the potentials of the MT Breakthrough will be maximized to deepen the nationâ€™s maritime industry.