Expert decries lack of dedicated funds for shipping business in Nigeria

Engr. Alex Egenti, CEO, Millennium Shipping

A marine engineer, Mr Alex Egenti, on Tuesday said the indigenous shipping sector lacked dedicated funds to boost operations in the sector.
Egenti, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Shipping, stated this in an interview in Lagos.
He said that ship owners only had access to commercial bank loans which were of high interest rate and unfavourable to the business.
The mariner said the development had limited the shipping sector from employing as many people as it should have been able to do.
``Maritime has so much if our financial institutions are revived.
``The major problem is that our financial industry only gives loans on commercial basis, which has one of the highest interest rates.
``When you are going to get a loan for 35 per cent or 28 per cent, which is the cheapest; tell me what you can afford to achieve with a 28 per cent interest rate.
``If you request for N10 billion to commence a project and you are taking it at 28 per cent, it means that you will be paying back N2.8 billion to the owners of the money yearly,’’ Egenti said.
He wondered if such a business would ever survive.
The ship owner suggested that there should be a way of bringing in funds for shipping business and not commercial loans.
``Ship owners have become stranded due to lack of funds and that is the reason why most ships in Nigerian waters belong to foreigners, ‘’ Egenti said.
The mariner said the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) was unreliable as there had been no beneficiary.