…says Eastern Ports key to economic development
In its quest to open new frontiers for potential investors in the sector, Dakuku Peterside, the Director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed that the agency is engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create a special interest rate for maritime assets acquisition in Nigeria.
Dakuku who made this known yesterday during the Maritime Stakeholders Interactive forum in Calabar, Cross Rivers state noted that other industries such as the textile and manufacturing industry are already enjoying same arrangement with the cbn and that it would be beneficial for maritime to also enjoy same opportunity in order to grow Nigeria’s economy.
“We are committed to providing opportunities for investors through public and private partnership. This applies especially to investments in maritime infrastructure, shipping and ancillary services, offshore services, ship building repairs as well as marine and bunkering services.
“In this regard, we are engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria to create a special interest rate for maritime infrastructure development and maritime assets acquisition in Nigeria this is aside looking at the early disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds”, he said.
Speaking further, he said there are enormous potentials that remain untapped in the country’s maritime sector.
He noted that the Ports located in the Eastern flank of the Country comprising of Calabar, Port-Harcourt and Onne holds a key to Nigeria’s economic development and that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the Ports function optimally.
“For us to harness our maritime potentials, the ports in the Eastern flank must be fully utilized.
“The eastern zone is the most critical because out of the 7 functional seaports in Nigeria 3 are domiciled in the eastern zone and it also harbors over 70 per cent of the 275 terminals that are in the country but unfortunately in terms of cargo reception there is no corresponding relationship between the facilities available and the reception of cargoes because the eastern zone accounted for less than 20 per cent of the vessels that visited the Nigerian ports in 2016 and 2017”.
According to him, the available statistics shows that there is need for serious collaboration with stakeholders in the sector to ensure that the environment is made conducive enough for continuous growth that is premised on sustainable development devoid of threats such as piracy and other maritime crimes.
Speaking, Greg Ogbeifun, Managing Director, Starz Marine commended the management on the sensitization and awareness that the agency is creating to drive investors into the maritime sector.