By Samson Echenim
The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it has adopted a partnership arrangement that will allow Nigerian investors to own 51 per cent stake in the national shipping line, which the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration plans to reestablish. The remaining 49 per cent will be taken by a foreign technical partner.
The government had since 2016 muted the revival of the dead national shipping line, without showing commiserate political will to actualise the laudable plan
Dakuku Peterside, director general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), however, told the international media at a breakfast meeting on the sideline of the ongoing Nor Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Oslo, Norway, that Nigerians would be able to lift the country’s crude oil for export when the national fleet began operation
He noted that the shipping line would would end the capital flight, associated with the present arrangement where Nigeria sells its oil on free on board (FOB).
“The new national fleet will be owned 49 per cent by a technical partner and the balance of 51 per cent by Nigerian investors. According to the plan, the Nigerian investors will hold equity in lots, so there will be no domineering shareholder,” Dakuku was quoted in a statement by Isichei Osamgbi, the agency’s head of corporate communications.
Inviting local and foreign investors who are interested in the project to partner with the country, the NIMASA boss said reestablishment of the national fleet was part of the country’s new strategic direction on the blue economy, designed to tap its maritime potential.
Dakuku said, “The opportunity in crude freight and right of first refusal to lift cargo generated by all tiers of government are just some of the many potentials in the sector. The country is also taking its maritime security serious and has invested in the acquisition of security assets to boost the policing of its waters.”