• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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NIMASA’s Mobereola told to unlock N7trn revenue potential

NIMASA’s Mobereola told to unlock N7trn revenue potential

Dayo Mobereola, the new director-general of the Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has been urged to direct the affairs of the nation’s marine and blue economy to unlock its estimated N7 trillion annual revenue.

The task was one of the many that industry stakeholders listed for the new DG to execute to chart an effective course for the Nigerian maritime sector and create an estimated two million jobs over the next five years.

Presenting a paper titled ‘Marine and Blue Economy: Navigating to the Promised Land,’ at a recent maritime stakeholders group meeting with the new DG, Emeka Akabogu, a maritime lawyer, said the maritime sector was potentially the largest economic sector outside of oil and gas. Akabogu put the estimated Nigeria’s untapped blue economy potential at $296 billion.

According to him, the country loses $4 billion annually due to a lack of local marine transportation.

“There are three legs to shipping, fleet expansion, ship repairs, and shipbuilding and the country is losing $9 billion annually to the non-participation in international freight services,” he said.

Akabogu added that the fishing sub-sector of the maritime industry contributes N282 billion annually to the economy.

He quoted Bashir Jamoh, former DG of NIMASA, to have said that Nigeria loses approximately, $25.5 billion annually to illegal maritime activities while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited loses $1.35bn on oil bunkering.

He said in 2024 alone, the number of registered ships in Nigeria was 4419 with a total tonnage of, 5.8 billion.

“Summary of the valid registered vessel, 2136 with a 4.2bn gross tonnage, invalid registered ship, 61 cabotage registered vessel, 1033, with a gross tonnage of 1.9m. The foreign-owned vessel, 18 with a gross tonnage of 125m,” he added.

Earlier, Emmanuel Ihenacho, managing director of Genesis Worldwide Shipping and chairman of the event said the industry expected NIMASA to make significant strides in promoting ship safety, maritime security, and environmental sustainability in Nigerian waters.

According to him, the new leadership of NIMASA should dedicate itself to driving the development of Nigeria’s marine and blue economy.

He said the industry was confident that under the leadership of Mobereola, NIMASA would drive innovation, pursue collaboration with stakeholders, and engender positive progress in our industry as a whole.

He urged the DG to work closely with the International Maritime Organisation to pursue international conventions, including Solas, Marpol, STCW, ILO, and other relevant conventions.

On his part, Mustapha Hassan, flag officer commanding the Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, called for inter-agency collaboration in the cabotage regime.

He said doing so will address issues of boarding and inspection of vessels, especially with the automatic identification system.

He said Nigeria can make a lot of revenue from the implementation of the Cabotage Act.

Mobereola said NIMASA would work hard under his leadership to ensure the automation of Nigeria’s ship register to make it viable and competitive.

He promised to put all the recommendations into the soon-to-be-unveiled plan that would guide his leadership in NIMASA for the next four years.