Crude oil Lifting Ship
The continued exclusion of Nigerian vessels from lifting crude oil from Nigeria to other countries continued to be criticized and condemned by many stakeholders in the shipping and maritime sector as being anti-patriotic and retrogressive.
Among those who criticised the federal government for this continued attitude against indigenous ship owners and operators in Nigeria is the President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria and Chief Executive Officer Starz investments limited Mr. Greg Ogbeifun.
Ogbeifun who observed an irony whereby Nigeria an oil-producing nation would rather prefer to patronize the ships of other countries to lift her crude oil than give such opportunities and incentives to her indigenous ships. He lamented that this has been the practice for the last 60 years of oil exploration and production in Nigeria.
He was a guest speaker at a summit held by the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) whereby he spoke on the theme “Ships Operations in Nigeria, Policy, Technical, Financial Challenges, and Solutions”. Ogbeifun wondered how Nigerian local shipping company will ever grow to compete with their foreign counterparts when the federal government is not supporting or patronizing them with crude oil shipment contracts.
He, therefore, called on the federal government of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC to patronize local shipping companies by giving them opportunities to lift crude from Nigeria to other countries. According to him, such lighting contracts will help to sustain local participation in the industry thereby enhancing growth and capacity.
Reacting to the call made by Ogbeifun, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council NSC Hassan Bello called for the adoption of the Public Private Partnership PPP to drive the transport sector development.
Delivering a paper titled “Nigerian Transport Policy: Maritime Dimensions” Hassan opined that the Public sector is an appendage of the private sector hence the need to support it to succeed. He called on the private sector to lead the maritime sector in investments in transportation.
Hassan assured the private sector in the transportation sector of continued government support and encouragement in evolving policies that would drive growth in the sector. He spoke of plans by the government to harmonize the various means of transportation e.g railways, Roads, waterways and air transport towards effective use and convenience of the people.