The director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omatseye, says Nigeria is the immediate future destination for African maritime activities.
Speaking at the investment business forum organized by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) to commemorate Nigeria’s fifty years of independence, Omatseye said that Nigeria has infinite possibilities for economic opportunities in the maritime sector.
In his paper entitled, “Nigeria as an African Trade Hub”, the NIMASA DG highlighted the vast opportunities in the Nigerian maritime sector to include ship building and ship repairs, human capacity development, ship breaking and recycle facilities amongst others.
He advised the potential investors from various Commonwealth countries across the world to explore available windows based on public- private , private to private and government to government partnership.
While noting that Nigeria accounts for over 65 percent of the total maritime trade traffic in volume and value within the West and Central African sub-region, Omatseye said that his Administration is committed to transforming Nigeria into a regional maritime center and hub for maritime services events.
He stressed the need to increase the participation of indigenous players in the Nigerian maritime sector, adding that steps have been taken to lay the foundation for the country to posses a competitive indigenous fleet with capacity to effectively carry at least 50 percent of Nigeria’s International Seaborne Trade including crude oil and gas export.
“Our immediate priority is to develop those aspects of Nigeria’s maritime and shipping industry that are critical to support and facilitate trade and economic development in the country.”
He informed potential stakeholders that NIMASA has provided comprehensive incentives ranging
from Fiscal to administrative measures such as tax breaks and lower tariff rates.
He emphasized the agency’s preparedness to partner with the private sector to develop a model that will exploit the natural habitat of the Niger Delta Region of the country to build an integrated maritime economy in the region.
“This concept, when fully implemented, will lead to massive development of maritime and shipping infrastructure such as specialized Deep Sea Port, Shipbuilding yards, Training Institutions, and cluster services amongst others.
This will surely provide huge employment opportunities to absorb restive youths in the region”. Omatseye, who stressed that a reasonable ship building and ship repair capacity, is required to facilitate real implementation of the Cabotage policy in Nigeria advised investors to take advantage of the yet to be fully developed maritime and shipping sector in Nigeria, which represent rewarding investment opportunities.