The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello has spoken out concerning the harsh conditions investors at the nation’s ports are currently facing.
Bello who spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2015 edition of the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) said the access roads leading to the ports are in an extremely poor state and terminal operators now rely almost exclusively on generating sets to power their operations.
The Shippers’ Council boss therefore asked the government to intervene by providing an enabling environment for maritime investments to thrive. “Government must provide environment necessary for the growth of the [maritime] industry because investors are operating under an unfavourable climate. There is no power for terminal operators to power their operations; the access roads to the port need improvement,” he said.
He continued, “It is the duty of all of us here to make it clear to the government that this is the time for them to step in comprehensively so that the maritime, shipping and transport industry will respectably contribute to the national economy. I think this is what NIMAREX is all about.”
Also speaking, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Patrick Akpobolokemi said the Agency was ready to partner with maritime stakeholders to move the industry forward.
Akpobolokemi who was represented by Executive Director, Marine Labour and Cabotage Service, Calistus Obi said there is need to turn around and regenerate the industry.
“NIMASA is at all times willing to partner with stakeholders in the industry because this industry holds a lot for this country. There can never be a better time than now to begin to discuss how we can regenerate our economy using the maritime sector as a very critical vehicle. “It is now that the industry has to be turned around. The fact remains that there are so many factors militating against the growth of the industry … but, what is imperative is for us to thrive as we are doing now, and we must come to the full realization that this industry has to grow,” he said.
By Pita Ochai