Cargo availability will guarantee financing for shipping development in Africa-- ASA


Transportation Minister, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi(Seated fourth from left) with ASA President, Temisan Omatseye and members at the 2016 African Shipowners Conference held in Lagos

President of the African Shipowners Association(ASA) Mr Temisan Omatseye on Wednesday said the availability of cargoes would enable Africans engage in trade and guarantee the financing needed to develop the shipping sub-sector in the African Continent.

Omatseye made the assertion at the opening of the three-day 2016 African Maritime Conference at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, with theme ‘‘Financing The African Fleet: ‘Capacity  Development In The African Maritime industry.’

He said, “Financing of vessel is not the problem. When you look at the focus of the conference, you are talking about financing and African fleet.

“ I can tell you categorically that for me, I know where to get the money from. All the discussions, we know how to fund the vessel.

“Where the problem is, is the cargo. Once I can guarantee cargoes, I will get the money to fund the shipping.”

The ASA President said the association would meet with African Leaders in Lome to request that they changed their ECO-terms agreement.

 He said it would mean that any cargo leaving Africa must be on a C&F basis, so that it is the African nations that would determine the vessels that would carry their cargoes to deliver.

He added said that ‘any importer bringing on FOB, we will send our vessel there to pick up the cargo and bring it to Africa. That is what we need to do.”
 He said when that was done; the financing would be locked-in.

In her goodwill message, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), represented by Mr Kazeem Karris, said the Africa desired should be an integrated, peaceful and prosperous continent.
She called for efficient use of Africa’s resources.

Giving his goodwill message, President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun said Africa needed efficient ship-owners’ association, to strengthen shipping development.

He said that in spite of the need to diversify economic activities from oil and gas, Nigerian fleet had yet to participate in the increased shipping activities.

Ogbeifun said that collaboration to strengthen the sector in the continent was important, even as they looked forward to re-establishing a Nigerian fleet, which would create jobs, reversing capital flight.

Frontline ship-owner, Chief Isaac Jolapamo , said Nigeria had lost control of the cabotage trade, leading to capital flight through using foreign-flagged vessels for transporting the nation’s cargoes.

He, however, encourage efforts in development of human resources and sectors of the maritime industry to benefit the nation’s economy.

Discussants at the interactive session observed that Africans must take effective steps toward financing shipping, building infrastructure and human capacity.

They agreed that member-states there should be institutions to monitor performance, to ascertain level of growth relative to agenda goals.

They also noted that the Africans had only initiated about 5 per cent financing of ocean-going vessels, while calling for a target-driven approach to developing the industry.