Home Maritime Institute seeks executive order to facilitate shipping

Institute seeks executive order to facilitate shipping

by Business News Report

The Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS) has urged the Federal Government to pronounce an executive order that would facilitate shipping. Dr Chukwuemeka Enebeli, newly-elected President of NIS, made the call at the institute’s Annual General Meeting and Award ceremony on Thursday in Lagos. Enebeli said that the executive order would help strengthen the National Shipping Policy. He added that the order when put in place would address issues surrounding ownership of ships in the country. According to him, Nigeria is the centre of the maritime world today, even though it is at the lowest ebb, it controls about 65 per cent of the cargoes in the subregion.

“On the issue of Nigeria owning ships, it lies with government policy and we will soon present our reasons to the Nigerian President, minister of transportation,  the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, as well as other relevant agencies as professionals. This will guide the policy trust of government viz-a-viz owning of ships. We should consider how owning ships will benefit us economically, impact on economy, viz-a-viz the growing population, particularly the action of litoral state, the shipping industries and others. We have the Nigerian Maritime Authority Shipping Policy. What we need to do is to enhance it and also move a step further to advise Mr President who has the power to make regulations,” he said.

He noted that when he makes an order, it  gives a clear direction on the way to go, particularly because of the country’s strategic importance in Africa and the world in general. Enebeli added that the issue of cabotage was very important for the growth and development of the country. He also said that it would make the country not to rely on foreign shipping nations for assistance. “Today, we don’t have a very effective cottage dry dock that one can go in and out to bring a ship. So, what we really need is a clear policy to that effect and also create some independence around cabotage away from NIMASA,” he said. Enebeli noted that NIMASA had a lot work at the moment ranging from international shipping trade, ship registration, manning and general regulation of the entire industry.

“The Nigerian government should look deeply if we must enhance our local industry, as this has to do with the welfare and survival of Nigerians,” he said. On top priorities for the institute, Enebeli said he would focus on four pillars which include enhanced collaboration with stakeholders and addressing paucity of funds, among others. Capt. Anthony Onoharigho, outgoing president, urged the new executive to make the building of the shipping house top priority to give the council a stand in the country and the world, as a whole. Prof. Bamidele Badejo, former Dean, Faculty of Social and Management Services, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, noted that the council was experiencing policy summersault. Badejo stressed the need for policy consistency to enable the shipping industry to thrive in the country. He also urged government to tackle issues affecting trade in the seaport which he listed as insecurity, banditry and gridlock, among others. (NAN)

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