Lebannese, Greeks and Indian have a taken over coastal shipping business in Nigeria.
This is contrary to the tenets of the Coastal and Inland shipping Acts. The interpretation of this Cabotage act was to reserve the transportation of goods and services within the Nigerian coastal and inland waters for vessels flying the country’s flag and equally those owned by citizens of Nigeria.
Report has it that the dominance by foreigners is increasing on daily basis, which many describe as unfortunate and would want government agencies to quickly address.
According to a master mariner, “it is unfortunate that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency is doing nothing about it. I spent N1bn last month buying freight from Indian ship operators. It is sad that this money is leaving the Nigerian economy. If those ships had been owned by Nigerians, the money would have remained in the country, it is a bounty Nigerians are not benefiting from.
Another source lamented on NIMASA’s inability to empower shipowners over the years with the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds, which he attributed to the shift in focus of the NIMASA objectives.
He called on government to ensure that a proper policy for shipping was formulated so as to achieve its sets objectives.