By Samson Echenim
Indigenous participation in the Nigerian maritime industry now stands at 40 percent, according to data from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Simbi Wabote, executive secretary of the NCDMB released the new percentage during an inspection visit to the Niger-Benue Transport Company Limited (NBTC) in Ovwian, Udu Local Government Area of Delta.
Wabote who said a lot still needed to be done in order to achieve 100 per cent of Nigerians’ participation in the maritime industry, however expressed satisfaction with the potentials.
He said: “Nigeria has the manpower and innovative ideas, but lacked encouragement and right government policies to actualise the ideas.’’
Wabote commended the management of the NBTC for the innovative strategies to continue to grow in the business.
“For a company to survive till date since 1956, shows the strength of character of the owners and managers. They have continued to revolve in terms of new business style they see in order to actively participate in the business. We are told that the company started as a trading company in cotton and later metamorphosed into supporting and providing services to oil and gas sector. I have gone round the company, there is huge potential here,” he noted.
“Looking at the strength of character of the owners and managers, I see opportunity for us to harness this particular facility to increase local content penetration, particularly in serving the oil and gas sector. Also, there is huge potential to create jobs for youths and actively support the offshore business that is emerging in our economy today,” he added.
Wabote said that the board was ready to support NBTC, noting that with the right focus, the company was prepared to deliver good services to the people.