By Udeme Clement
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Captain Adamu Biu, has declared that wrong policies and inconsistency are crippling shipping business in Nigeria despite the huge potentials abound in the maritime industry.
He made this known while addressing participants at the just concluded 4th Ships & Ports Annual National Essay Competition, organised by Ships and Ports Communication Company, in Lagos, where, a Post Graduate student of the University of Ibadan, Mr. Uchenna Jerome Orji, emerged the winner with a star prize of brand new picanto car. According to him, the potentials inherent in the maritime industry, which would have been the backbone of the national economy are grossly under utilised, due to improper policies structure in the sector.
“Improper policies as they relate to maritime education have been the bane of the maritime industry and shipping sub-sector in the country. Enormous resources abound in the sector have not been adequately harnessed by the nation after 50 years of independence”, he stressed.
He lamented that individuals with the requisite knowledge and technical-know-how are not encourage to take appointments in Nigerian maritime training institutions especially the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron due to the poor state of facilities in the environment.
Speaking on the topic of the essay ‘How has the maritime industry performed in the last fifty years’, the chief executive officer, Ships and Ports Communication Company, Bolaji Akinola said that 50 years after independence, Nigerians have not derived the best of values from the maritime sector. “The nation imports refined petroleum products for virtually all its domestic requirements.
And as if these are not enough, Nigerians do not participate in shipping the nation’s neither import nor export. It is a double jeopardy. Policies to increase local content are bedeviled with controversy and insincerity on the part of the agencies saddled with the responsibilities of implementation and the appalling unwillingness of the of the oil majors to patronise services rendered by Nigerian shipping firms”, he stressed.