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Business News of Friday, 9 September 2022


FG seeks NNPC’s support to establish national shipping line

NNPC towers in Abuja NNPC towers in Abuja

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, said having 100 per cent support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) would secure the establishment of a strong and sustainable national fleet in two months.

The Minister stated this, yesterday, in Abuja, when he received an interim report from the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC) on the need for establishment of a strong and sustainable national fleet.

Sambo stated that if Nigeria, as a maritime country, could get its acts together, it would not necessarily need the contribution to survive.

Speaking on how the project can be immediately realised, he said if the NNPC could give 100 per cent support, the establishment of national shipping would be certain.

“I don’t know whether, in the course of the committee’s consultations, it was able to have some conversations with NNPC, because if NNPC can give 100 per cent support, this matter can be closed in two months,” he said.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee, Emmanuel Jime, said the committee was constituted by the immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to implement the recommendations by an earlier ministerial committee on modalities for the establishment of a Nigerian fleet.

Jime, who was represented by the Managing Director, Sea Transport Group and member of NFIC, Umar Aminu, stated that the initiative was a way of responding to the non-participation of Nigerians in the carriage of the country’s international cargo as well as the loss of freight revenue, jobs and other benefits.

“In the course of carrying out the mandate, lessons have been learnt and some modest achievements have been recorded. These have been captured in this interim report, which we are submitting.

The work is still ongoing and the goal of creating an enabling environment for the growth of a sustainable Nigerian fleet will be achieved in due course,” he said.

Jime noted that there were challenges that impeded the quick realisation of the project as earlier envisaged, which include, a review of certain trade policies, access to funds and technical/human capacity that need to be resolved.