ByÂ Godwin Oritse
THE Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Barrister Temisan OmatseyeÂ has lamented the absence of a policy frame work, which has militated against investment in the Nigerian Maritime industry.
Speaking at an interactive session with the maritime media in Lagos recently, Omatseye disclosed that the world is ready to take on the maritime industry, but that the non-availability of the policy is the only snag keeping investors on hold.
Already, the leadership of the agency has initiated work to provide such a policy for the establishment of ship demolition and recycling facilities in Nigeria and this move according to Omatseye, has attracted tremendous and favourable interest from investors from both within and outside the country.
In an effort to ensure that investorsâ€™ interests are not waned, NIMASA has also facilitated match making programme between indigenous shipping firms and their foreign counter parts in the United States and some part of Asia particularly in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
His words â€œInvestors are in place and they are ready, everything is ready and we are ready to go, but the problem is that we do not have the policy framework for investors to come in just as we do not have the fiscal incentive.
â€œSo there is no point for somebody coming to invest here and this will bring us to highlight because this is where the Bangladesh in India is having an edge in the vessel demolition and recycling business.
â€œRight now, I am aware that there are about 150 vessels abandoned out there and this is a good start up point for us.
â€œThis will also create job opportunitiesÂ for Nigerians in this sector of the economyâ€.
Besides, the agency has also articulated a comprehensive (fiscal, operational and administrative) and specific incentives for the maritime industry which is currently receiving attention from appropriate government quarters.
NIMASAâ€™s management has also intensified efforts in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding with Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) on investment promotion in the maritime sector geared towards attracting foreign and direct investment as well as the collaboration with SMEDAN to develop SMEs in the maritime sector.