‘National Fleet Will End Capital Flight’ - THISDAY
BY Eromosele Abiodun
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that Nigerians will be able to lift crude oil for export immediately the national fleet comes into operation.
Dakuku, who was speaking at the Nor Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Oslo, Norway, recently, said it would also end the capital flight associated with the present arrangement where Nigeria sells its oil on free on board basis to customers.
The development, he further said, would also lead to job creation.
He said the new national fleet would be owned 49 per cent by a technical partner and the balance of 51 per cent by Nigerian investors.
According to the plan, the Nigerian investors would hold equity in lots, so there will be no domineering shareholder. He said the planned national fleet would be private sector-led for sustainability and profitability.
“The national fleet is part of the country’s new strategic direction on the blue economy, which is designed to tap its maritime potentials.
“We are inviting local and foreign investors who are interested in the project to partner with the country. The opportunity in crude freight and right of first refusal to lift cargo generated by all tiers of government are just some of the potential in the sector, “he said.
He said the country was also taking its maritime security seriously and has invested in the acquisition of security assets to boost the policing of its waters.
These assets, he stated, included patrol boats, special mission aircrafts, helicopters, unmanned air vessels and special mission ships.
He noted that the assets, acquired under the ‘Deep Blue Project’, which he calls a homeland security solution, would be operational by September this year with a standing specially trained intervention strike force.
He called on investors to tap into the rich potential of the maritime sector in Nigeria, saying the government has incentivised the sector with offers of tax holidays and institutional support.
He added that Nigeria remains an investment friendly environment with comprehensive maritime security, a robust financial sector and six port complexes and numerous terminals.
“The country accounts for 70 per cent of seaborne trade into west and central Africa and is endowed with a skilled workforce and the world’s ninth largest hydrocarbon deposits, “he said.