Having the full backing of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC), according to the minister of transportation Mu’azu Sambo, will ensure the creation of a robust and long-lasting national fleet in two months.
The Minister made this statement yesterday in Abuja when he received an interim report on the need to develop a robust and long-lasting national fleet from the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC).
Sambo claimed that Nigeria, a maritime nation, would not necessarily require the contribution to survive if it could get its act together.
When asked how the idea could be realized quickly, he said the development of national shipping would be possible if the NNPC could provide complete assistance.
“I don’t know whether, in the course of the committee’s consultations, it was able to have some conversations with NNPC, because if NNPC can give 100 per cent support, this matter can be closed in two months,” he said.
Emmanuel Jime, the chairman of the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee, stated that Rotimi Amaechi, the previous minister of transportation, established the committee to carry out recommendations made by a previous ministerial committee on the modalities for the establishment of a Nigerian fleet.
Jime said that the initiative was a way of responding to Nigerians’ lack of participation in the transportation of the nation’s international cargo as well as the loss of freight revenue, jobs, and other benefits. Jime was represented by the Managing Director, Sea Transport Group and member of NFIC, Umar Aminu.
“In the course of carrying out the mandate, lessons have been learnt and some modest achievements have been recorded. These have been captured in this interim report, which we are submitting.”
The task of developing a supportive environment for the expansion of a sustainable Nigerian fleet is still ongoing, but it will be completed eventually, according to him.
Jime observed that there were issues that needed to be handled in order for the project to be quickly realized as originally intended, including a review of some trade rules, access to funds, and technical and human capability.