Maritime expert says NIMASA capable of boosting shipping


 A maritime educationist, Dr Alex Okwuashi, has said that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) could boost the shipping sub-sector through adequate financing.
Okwuashi made this statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, NIMASA could do this by floating a ship financing project and involve the shipping companies to form a consortium of managers to manage the ships professionally.
“NIMASA can dust up shipment and ship acquisition fund and allow shipping companies to form consortium of managers.
“So that if they finance the purchase of ships, the managers, depending on their professional areas of competence can manage the ship in that sector; tankers, fish trawlers, RORO vehicles and others,” he said.
Okwuashi noted that this module of finance and operation management could be all that the sector requires to meet up with the expectations for a shipping hub in the West African sub-region.
Commenting on the face-off between the Terminal Operators and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Okwuashi said it was not realistic to ask the operator to reverse to charges agreed on six years ago.
He said the terminal operators needed to recoup their investments because the Nigerian Ports Authority did not give the concessionaries money to develop and maintain the port infrastructure when they took over.
“Why did the Federal Government in the first place privatise Nigerian ports? They did that because they know that Nigerian Ports Authority could no longer provide the needed infrastructure to manage efficient ports.
“They called in the concessionaires and they did not give them loans for infrastructure, so, how do they recoup the money?” he noted.
Okwuashi however said an appeal rather than a face-off should be made to the terminal operators regarding their charges.