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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.

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