The actual exit of shipping organizations from Nigeria
Nigerian economy in recession, the actual spiralling
negative effects have already begun to effect on the procedures of key sectors of the economy. One of many sub-sectors that is at the receiving end of the present economic downturn is the shipping business.
Groaning under extreme hardship as a result of government policies and also world-wide financial problems, the news from the Maritime sub-sector is just not heartening, as more than Twenty shipping firms were reported to have departed the nation’s shores. Consequently, no fewer than 3,000 dockworkers have been let go by numerous shipping firms, terminal operators along with logistics firms. This is mostly due to lack of poor import procedures recently introduced by the Federal Government. According to the Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN), the huge retrenchment in the sub-sector was due to the Federal Government inability to meet its joint venture obligation with the international oil companies which are major partners with the marine logistic companies.
The shipping lines exited our coast line because of growing loss resulting from declining traffic volumes and recent federal government import policy.
It’s going to be recalled that the Government last year placed constraint on the importation of about Forty-one items due to Foreign Exchange scarcity. But, govt defended its activity and promised to stimulate domestic production of a few of the goods that could be developed locally. However, the actual shipping firms are usually complaining that the prohibit has adversely affected their operations. For that reason, they are asking that this restriction be raised or else it will promote smuggling, diversion of vessels to neighbouring nations around the world, leaving our locations virtually empty and general loss of income to government.
We all urge the government along with the relevant agencies in the maritime sub-sector to take a detailed analysis of the complaints which may have resulted in the departure of the shipping organizations with a view to regenerate the smooth operations from the maritime industry.
While it is necessary to restrict the particular importation of goods that can be manufactured locally and conserve scarce forex, the significance of the maritime industry of which shipping operators play a vital role should not be ignored. Statistics demonstrate that since this year, the volume of goods imported in the country has shrunk through over 30 percent. The reason being the shipping lines are reportedly shifting bottom to other West African countries in response to government new policy.
Federal government should review many of the policies as it has an effect on the shipping surgical procedures in our shores.
There’s need to meet the three way partnership obligations with the overseas oil companies, which are major partners from the sector.
Government should not allow the shipping sub-sector to lag behind from the global sector.
Our country is greatly endowed with coastlines as well as navigable inland waterways, and strategically placed on the Atlantic Coast of Western side Africa. And Seventy-six percent of transport business that takes invest the whole of Gulf Africa is apparently done in Nigeria. Which means that Nigeria should stay a key player in West Africa.
For that reason, government should do everything to contain the exit of shipping firms in our shores and help save the jobs of countless workers. According to Financial Intelligence that displays the maritime sub-sector, even with Nigeria’s large export regarding crude and import of over 100 thousand tons of general shipment, no Nigerian flagship is plying international routes.
Furthermore, statistics from the Nigerian Plug-ins Authority (NPA) on ship calls to the region reveal that between 2009 and 2012, Nigeria’s tonnage is continuing to grow from 82m tons to around 150m with an estimated shipping payment of soaring from $4.1bn to above $7.5bn annually. But the involvement of Nigerians remains practically zero.
Although the get out of of foreign shipping firms may be the chance our local shipping and delivery firms may be awaiting, we doubt whether they have the capacity and expertise now to fill the void without harming an already hemorrhage economy with its other adverse consequences. Government should swiftly intercede and arrest the same experience that observed the exit involving some airlines in order to neighbouring countries. for more information on international shipping click here.