Development Shipping Sector Paramount – Barr.Usoro

 

 

 

 

By Sandra Chukwunyere

 

The development of only shipping subsector without considering other integral parts of maritime industry may not achieve much without a holistic developmental approach that would affect and enhance the operational  structure of the entire gamut of maritime industry.

This disclosure was made by the General Secretary Abuja, MOU, Barr. (Mrs) Mfon Ekong Usoro who was one of the guest speakers at the just concluded Alumni
of Maritime Academy of Nigeria , MAN, Oron (AMANO)  Second annual convention held at Naval Dockyard Victoria Island in Lagos between November 9 and 10 2018.

According to Usoro whose paper had the topic: ”Examining  Government Policies for the Development of Nigeria’s Maritime Industry ” said: ”The theme of this Convention resonates very much with industry stakeholders.
We are all very passionate about the maritime industry and have expectations on where the maritime should be the same. I was to speak on government policies towards shipping development but have taken the liberty to adopt a holistic approach and therefore the paper speaks to government policies for the development of the maritime industry. Shipping is unarguably central to the maritime industry but to have a sustainable and thriving shipping development, a country must develop other areas of the maritime industry.”

Usoro who is a maritime lawyer and the principal partner, Paul Usoro & co was also a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and  Safety Agency (NIMASA)

While referring to what made up the entire maritime industry, Barr.Usoro stated that: ”Referring to maritime industry encompasses ship ownership, seafarers, shipbuilding and ship repair yards, ports and logistics, maritime academic institutions, maritime finance, shipping lawyers, equipment, manufacturers, fisheries and several other shipping related activities.”

While trying to giving a definite definition of the maritime industry, according a report from the leading maritime nations of the world, as it defines maritime industry as ”all companies that own, operate, design, build,deliver equipment or specialised services to all types of ships and other floating units,” 2018 by Menon Economics and DNW GL.

On the Nigeria’ abundant marine resources, Usoro was of the opinion that: ”Everyone is in  agreement that Nigeria has abundant marine resources. To mention but a few, the Atlantic Ocean that abuts our coastline, petroleum, gas, fisheries and inland waterways etc. Nigeria is located along the Gulf of Guinea with a coastline of 852 km bordering the Atlantic Ocean and a maritime area of 46,000 km bordering  square meters.

Usoro said: ”While
the major revenue earner for the country is the hydrocarbon industry, statistics
indicates that the maritime transport component of that trade is an estimated
USD8m annually. – NIMASA: Nigeria’s Maritime Industry Forecast 2018-2019′
Commenting on the Emerging Opportunities and Challenges, she added that:
”Major shipping countries adopt a comprehensive approach in the formulation of
policies for the maritime industries. Such policies cover the entire gamut of
maritime industry so provides for ownership and operation of ships, ship building
and repair, freight industry, supply of services to and management of ships,
maritime infrastructure, import and export services involving shipping
transportation, ship finance, marine insurance and maritime laws. The rationale
for this method is the realization that fiscal condition in one segment affects
the overall profitability of the shipping sector and its attractiveness or otherwise
for investment purposes.

In further description of the industry and its contributions to the nation’s economy, Abuja MOU secretary General said: ”Maritime industry is on itself a major source of wealth creation and at the same
time is a major service provider to other industries and therefore could be said
to be central to the overall development of the economy. This underscores the
need to develop a comprehensive and coordinated policy for the maritime industry
that will galvanize the sector towards a structured and sustainable development.
This paper will dimension and examine the policies required to catapult Nigeria to
a major maritime nation.”

In her words : ”Emerging Leading Maritime Nation
Globalization, technology and specialization has disrupted the traditional trend in
world fleets and market dominance by the British, Greeks, Norwegian and the
Japanese shipping companies. Today, the 10 leading maritime nations are China;
United States; Japan; Germany/Norway/South Korea for 4th position; Greece;
United Kingdom; Singapore; followed by France and Italy for 10th position,” this according to  2018
“Leading Maritime Nations of the World” Report published by Menon and DNV –
GL.

For Nigeria to achieve the hub status, she said: ”Nigeria desires to be one of the strong maritime nations, at least, in Africa. One
indication of this desire is the country’s efforts to be admitted into the Council
of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). To achieve this goal, Nigeria
has to demonstrate that it has significant interest in shipping.

”IMO-Importance
is one of the indicators employed by DNV – GL in assessing the 30 countries
studied in its 2018 Report on the Leading Maritime Nations. Secondly, the
Nigeria Vision 2020 expresses the country’s goal to emerge as “one of the 20
leading global economies in the world by 2020” and presumably that should include
the development of its maritime industry.
At the core of the maritime industry is the shipping sub-sector. Ships (floating)
provides the platforms necessary to convey goods and passengers from one point
to another – long and short distances and remains the preferred mode for
transportation of goods in international commerce. Logically, therefore, the
fulcrum of a nation’s maritime policy must be centred around shipping and related
businesses ”

From right. Capt. Suleiman Baidu, Capt. Warredi, Engr. Kiniyi Edubio, Engr. Ekong, Barr. Mfon Usoro, Mr. Austin Ume Zurike, Mr. Emmanuel Maiguwa and Engr. Owolabi

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