In 2015, Nigeria lost $9 billion in crude oil freight to foreign vessels which lifted all of the country’s production for that year without a single Nigerian flagged vessel going to oceans and the development may have continued till 2019, Hassan Bello, executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, has revealed.
“In 2015, Nigeria lost $9 billion in freight on dry and wet cargo to foreign ship owners. However, the massive support and diversification drive of the present administration will see to a rise in the engagement of seafarers. I therefore commend NIMASA for providing huge resources for training of our cadets to fit into the global seafaring profession, ” Bello said
Bello who chairs a committee also charged with actualising the re-establishment of a national shipping line, lamented that with no Nigerian vessel to share in the lifting of crude oil produced in the country, Nigeria had continued to suffer massive capital flight from an industry that could employ five million Nigerians if well harnessed.
Speaking to journalists at the “Day of Seafarers” in Lagos Tuesday, Bello said the federal government was determined to reestablish a national fleet in partnership with the private sector.
“We are working on setting up the national fleet. We are involving the NNPC, Chevron and other oil companies and now we are looking into so many factors in international shipping such as the FOB or FIB. All these must be determined to know the volume of cargo available for the vessel or vessels, ” Bello said.
By Samson Echenim