How Nigeria’ll become maritime hub for AfCFTA, Shippers’ council

By Godfrey Bivbere

As the maritime business year 2022  commences, some stakeholders have called for a different approach to operations to fully exploit the potentials of the maritime industry.

They are of the opinion that the solutions to the maritime industry challenges do not lie in doing things better but in the resolve to do things entirely differently.

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A maritime consultant and former National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Eugene Nweke, said there is a need for relevant stakeholders to unite in deploying “Creative Solutions” as the way out of the industry challenges.

According to him, “Though it requires boldness to implement extreme solutions, but the preparedness and willingness of the critical stakeholders at embracing this resolve is a million-dollar question? Else the year 2022 may not be different from the previous years. We have to do something entirely different in a radical way.”

He also said merit must take over the place of mediocrity, adding that technical regulation of the industry should only be administered by professionals from the executive cadre, purposely revisit institutional reforms.

They also advise removal of Agencies revenue from the Treasury Single Account, TSA, as well as allowing for the direct deployment of revenue into a prioritize departments and projects.

They explained, “By this, executive performance can be measured in innovation into the area of industry infrastructural facility, with closer monitoring,” he concluded.

Similarly, a former Director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Enisouh Warredi, said there is a need to make maritime safety autonomous and also make Shipping Development and Cabotage appendages with safety as a priority.

Warredi explained that “the mechanism is already in place. The problem is that in any environment infested with collective failure, there are few big winners, and these winners will use all instruments within their reach to maintain the status quo.

“Unless you break their back, failure will be a constant visitor at the maritime doorstep. Once the safety and environment regimes are high, you will be shocked at the way shipping will develop.”

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