By Godwin Oritse
lagos—At the backdrop of a sustained economic recovery in the country, the Nigerian Maritime industry is projected to grow by between 2.5 percent and 5.0 percent in the next two years.
Revealing this yesterday at its maiden Nigerian Maritime Industry Forecast covering the period 2018 – 2019 in Lagos, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director General of NIMASA, said that Nigerians should expect total fleet size to grow by 4.08 percent in 2018 and 4.41percent in 2019.
However, the greatest growth in the sector is expected in oil & gas maritime operation where rig count is projected to increase by 27.7 percent in 2018.
According to NIMASA’s forecast non-oil tanker fleet size is projected to increase by 8.15 percent in 2018 and 8.72 percent in 2019, while oil tanker fleet size will decrease by 2.23 percent in 2018 and increase by 1.7 percent in 2019.
The forecast period 2018 – 2019 covers a time of expected sustenance of the economic recovery, but Peterside hinted of some down-sides to the expected performance of the maritime industry in Nigeria, which includes the electioneering effects, the real outcome of the elections in 2019, finally culminating into the post-election era.
He also noted other extraneous factors in the maritime outlook, stating: “Two broad set of dynamics affect would drive the outlook on the Nigerian Maritime Industry over the 2018-2019 periods.
“The first is international development as it pertains to growth in global output and trade development in the global market a nd international maritime convention regulatory conditions.
“The second is the domestic economic conditions, which speaks to domestic economic growth and associated growth in trade, availability of and access to foreign exchange, as well as development in the domestic maritime regulation”.