The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to the establishment of a strong and sustainable national fleet, saying the desire for a Nigerian shipping line is gradually being achieved.
Jamoh stated this in Lagos while receiving members of the National Fleet Implementation Committee who paid him a courtesy visit at the agency’s headquarters.
He told the team led by the committee chairman and Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barr. Hassan Bello, that the need for a national carrier cannot be overemphasised owing to the enormous economic benefits it offers.
“There is no better time to have a national carrier and develop the maritime industry than now, when the world is gradually looking away from fossil fuels, which currently form the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, and President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to diversify the economy from oil.”
He said since the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) in 1995, the country had been looking for avenues to float a national carrier, though through private sector participation.
In his remarks, Bello said the committee was at a critical stage of the national fleet implementation process, stressing that capital injection is required at this juncture to actualise the project.
“The quest for a Nigerian fleet is essential in ensuring that the country regains control of our external trade, thereby opening up the economy.
“This is a perfect time for Nigeria to invest in its own fleet, with global dependency on oil projected to dwindle considerably by 2030 and alternative power sources replacing fossil fuels in many countries.
“Consequently, a mono-economy, such as ours, should be diversifying into other revenue streams, with maritime being a major potential earner.”