The recent increased rate of kidnapping of crew for ransom may have fueled a refusal by experts to take job offers in Nigeria for manning of automated ships.
President of the indigenous ship owners association, Mr. Aminu Umar said in an interview that the development was hurting the shipping business as insurance and freight costs had risen.
“All our insurances have gone up because of these attacks that are happening, and the crew, the experts we are supposed to employ to man some of these ships are declining coming to Nigeria.
“If you look at it, all the recent attacks have been about kidnapping. Nobody who has an alternative to work elsewhere that there are no kidnapping incidences, will like to come and work in an area
where there are kidnapping incidences.
“So, we are finding it difficult to even get experts to come and man our automated ships, while vessels that are supposed to call here to load cargoes to be taken to international ports, are
now declining to come.
“Really, why should they put themselves at a risk when there are other areas they will go to be able to transact business?”
Umar said that the attacks on ships had caused a great loss to the country as owners of vessels coming to Nigeria now have to pay additional war risk allowances to all the crew working with him.
“The ship owner now will pay his insurance company, he takes what is called K and R policy on the ships that are coming into this country, which he does not need in any other place in the world.
“So, the financial cost is so high that it is actually a huge loss for the country. This is what we are also going to tell NIMASA, so that they can take it up to the Nigerian Navy to address what is
happening,” he said.