Mariner advocates indigenous participation in shipping to create more jobs

A Master Mariner, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, has said that more jobs could be created if indigenous ship owners acquire more ships and engage in transportation of oil. 

Iheanacho, who is the Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd., stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said Nigeria’s vast trading network in oil was improving other economies, considering the exportation of crude oil and importation of refined petroleum products, while indigenous ship owners were not involved.

``Nigeria suffers from a lot of unemployment and one of the areas in which we can actually achieve fuller employment would be if we have ships and we have Nigerians who would work there. 

``Nigeria has a vast international trading network where we export oil and they are bringing in finished products.

``But look at the basis upon which that trade is carried on currently; we export oil on an F.O.B. basis. What it means is that we give up the right to carry that oil.

``The right to carry that oil creates jobs and profits for those who own the ships and for those who work on board those ships.

``Then, when those oil are taken and taken to the refinery, value is added to it through refining and that refining process creates jobs in those economies for those who are involved in that business.

``And when the finished product is brought back, it creates jobs again for those who work on board the ships that bring the products here.

``Why then are we discounting all these value opportunities?'' Iheanacho asked.

According to Iheanacho, the ideal situation would have been to add value to the oil by refining it locally, thereby creating room for trading in refined oil. 

He said Nigeria must begin to do more in terms of local production and increasing capacity development to safeguard the economy.