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Maritime industry down with non-implementation of policies, says NCS

Mrs Ify Anazonwu-Akerele, DG Nigerian Chamber of Shipping
The Director-General,
Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Ify Anazonwu-Akerele, on Monday said the greatest
challenge of the maritime industry was non-implementation of policies.

The
director-general recalled that previous administrations had directed that a
committee be formed to review the challenges facing the industry, but nothing
had been done about the communique produced by the committee.
“We
have a lot of policies in place, but implementation is very weak. Many times,
we have shouted that the maritime industry is capable of increasing revenue and
next to oil,’’ Anazonwu- Akerele said.
She
said that government constituted a committee to diagnose what the issues were
and how the issues could be addressed.
“The
committee sat down for one year and we put together a wonderful report. That
wonderful report is just collecting dust till today. If we take up that report
and start executing all the points, there is no way we will not make
significant progress,” she said.
She
urged stakeholders in the industry to engage in advocacy, so that government
would give the industry the desired attention.
The
director-general said that though the maritime industry was potentially viable,
investments had not been high because returns would usually take a long time.
“The
maritime industry is so potentially viable but has not achieved its purpose
because stakeholders have always depended on government to drive it. There has
been lack of interest because it is a long-term thing. So, it really does not
encourage investors. I do not even know what is going to happen now because the
focus of the government now is in other areas. So, the stakeholders should
continue to speak out.
“The
Chamber of Shipping is going to be very concerned by creating a platform on
which we can speak out. It is the private sector, like in other countries, that
will now take the bull by the horn and make sure that the industry thrives for
government to now come in,’’ she said.
She
expressed the hope that appointments into various positions in the industry
would not be politicised but done to bring in people with vast experience to
help the industry grow.
Anazonwu-Akerele
said that considering the disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari, who wanted
a vibrant economy, the industry looked forward to receiving him during an
industry session.
According
to the director-general, such first-hand exposure would convince the president
better on the viability of the maritime industry to generate revenue for the
nation’s economy.

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