ByÂ GodwinÂ Oritse
THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has met with some Malaysian bankers to discuss the possibility of raising a $300million credit facility for indigenousÂ ship owners and operators in the country.
NIMASAâ€™s Director-General Mr Temisan Omatseye who disclosed this at the eleventh edition of Asian/Pacific maritime exposition and conference said that if all goes well with the Malaysian bankers, the facility will be made available to local operators to beef up their fleet.
Omatseye who left Singapoer for Malaysia last week explained that the move to secure the facility is to further assist Nigerians in the shipping sub-sector to acquire vessels.
He stated that the involvement of Nigerians in the movement of both refined products and crude is too insignificant when compared to the total volume of business in the sector.
Besides the moves to get Malaysians bankers to assist Nigerians in acquiring vessels, the agency is also talking to Koreans for the same purpose.
His words â€œLike I said earlier on, I have had meetings with ship yards, I have actually a discussion with bunker fuel companies, we are having meeting with Liyords for vessel tracking and we are going to open a communication line with them and my expectation is that when they are reqesting for Nigerians who do this line of business,Â I will match make them and create the networking for Nigerians.
â€œThe most important thing is that we as government must create the right environment, we must provide cover for our people for them to do what is right.
â€œSoÂ my expectation is that when I get back I should be able to provide a cover for Nigerians to takes advantage of these effort to boost the local shipping industry in Nigeria
NIMASA in recent times has engaged quite a number of financial (foreign and local) to seek their assistance in boosting the fleets of Nigerian shipowners.
Besides, the Nigerian Ship registry has also received a boost as there has been an increase of over 80% of new vessels in the registry.