SOAN eyes huge gains for economy from Shipping Expo in November

President, Ship Owners Association of Nigerian (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung (middle), flanked by SOAN 1st Vice President, Mr. Eno J Williams (left) and the Chairman Technical Committee, Dr. (Engr) Lucky Akhiwu at the SOAN Secretariat in Ikoyi, Lagos,Thursday.

The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has set plans rolling for its fourth-coming Shipping Expo, which is aimed at creating more jobs and open investment opportunities in the sub-sector.
SOAN President, Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung, disclosed in a news briefing in Lagos on Thursday that the Expo themed “The Ocean Blue Economy and National Development” would enable Nigeria explore opportunities in the Blue Economy, as it aims to boost national economy.

According to Onyung, “The Lagos international Shipping Expo”, which would come up on November 27 and 28 at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos, would expose Nigerians to the best ways to use the ocean resources for a sustainable economy.

Onyung, who commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its initiative in a phased cessation of waivers, said the strategy would ensure investment in-country, and create more employment opportunities in the sector.

He added that SOAN, which prefers a concept of ‘Shareholders’ than being seen as ‘stakeholders’  would strategise to work with NIMASA and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that NIMASA actually midwifes the initiative.

The SOAN President said the association would henceforth establish more seriously, the role of capacity building and acquisition as a laudable approach to economic development.  

He also said that the renewed efforts at growing the economy through the sector would continue to drive the support for the Cabotage Act.

He said: “Our Cabotage Law has been with us for 15 years now; we’ll see it as contribution to ensuring that we open the doors for people to understand what Cabotage really means and the opportunities in it.

“The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had established a committee between the agency and stakeholders to look into the challenges affecting the waivers in the last five years.

“We must have both ship building and ship repair yard in Nigeria, there is need to open up for acquisition.

“Within the next five years, the Nigeria Content will be in the region of 3.5 billion dollars and in order to enjoy these benefits, we need to upgrade our capacity.

“The upcoming conference will open opportunities to collaborate toward ship building opportunities in Nigeria.”

Onyung said the association was working to support efforts at decongesting the Lagos ports by reviving the other ports in the country to create more jobs for Nigerians.