There are indications that Nigeria may not be losing less than $700 million monthly (N137.9 billion) to the dominance of crude oil shipment by foreign ship owners.
The president of the Nigeria Indigenous Ship Owners Association (NISA), Mr. Aminu Umar, who made the disclosure in Lagos on the sideline of the Annual General Meeting of the association, lamented that the country was losing 700 million dollars monthly to the dominance of crude oil shipment by foreign ship owners.
He urged the Federal Government to grant indigenous ship owners between 10 to 20 per cent allocation in lifting crude oil, saying that the country was losing a huge amount of money due to the fact that the foreign ship owners had dominated the transportation of crude oil.
“Almost 70 to 77 crude oil vessels load oil monthly out of Nigeria. The foreign ship owners do not employ Nigerians and they do not pay tax. What we are telling the Federal Government is to give us the support so that we can take at least 10 per cent of the crude oil vessels operating in Nigerian waters,” Umar said.
He was optimistic that if government could give indigenous ship owners 10 per cent allocation to lift crude oil, they would create jobs for the teeming youths as well as retain the proceeds in the nation’s banks.
Umar said that indigenous ship owners would also pay tax, which would assist the government in its responsibilities, adding that the association was ready to partner with the government to check the shortcomings in crude oil trade.
Umar also noted that there was zero participation by indigenous ship owners in transportation of crude oil, lamenting that government’s policy had not been supporting indigenous ship owners.
He urged government to give indigenous ship owners maximum support and to also create a conducive environment for them to excel, noting that the recent changes in leadership of the maritime sector had slowed the association down in arranging meetings with both the minister of transportation and heads of maritime agencies.
He said that the association would like to partner with government for proper understanding of the maritime industry as an alternative to foreign exchange challenge confronting the nation, explaining that if government could grant at least 10 per cent licence to indigenous ship owners to lift crude oil, the freight earnings through the maritime industry could be an alternative source of revenue to the country.