Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Chief Executive Officer, Multi Trade Limited, Mr. Chijioke Collins, has blamed inadequate capacity building, bad policies and unexploited opportunities in the sector as major factors responsible for the declining growth of the nation’s economy.
Collins, who spoke at the 20th Annual Businessmen Journal outstanding achievement award, which held in Lagos, appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to put hands together to salvage the problems bedeviling the nation’s economy and promote the maritime industry.
According to him, maritime has a lion’s share in global economics across the globe, particularly in Nigeria, but expressed regrets that “insecurity, bad policies and unexploited opportunities” have become the order of the day in the country.
While calling for all hands to be on deck, Collins said: “Nigeria’s success of yesterday must be guaranteed. We must arise and be participants to save ourselves, our children’s future, the businessenterprise and the nation at large.”
He said it was pathetic that our teaming youths roam the streets in hopelessness and despair, despite the country’s abundance resources.
“Our industries are not functioning well, and without power, we might never get to the stage we need to be as a country. Nigeria is still an import dependent country despite its potentials.
Outlining the abundance of opportunities in the industry which could present employment avenues, he noted that available data from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had indicated that the import statistics in Nigeria stood at over 82 million tons of cargo in year 2008, while the preceding year recorded 93.7 million tons”.
With a visible geometric growth, the figure, according to him, stood at above 100 million tons in 2010 and conversely hit over 150 million tons between 2011 to date.
Collins further posited that allied to the untapped opportunities, government had made matters worse by consistently pursuing an unfair shipping policy of lifting its crude oil under the contract terms of freight on board (FOB) bases, rather than the worldwide preferred
option of cost insurance freight, (CIF).
He added: “Amongst all the oil producing nations in this world today Nigeria is the only nation that runs a different trade policy. Other oil producing nations of the world trade their crude oil on cost insurance and freight bases. This means that if you are buying their product it will be their responsibility to delivery to your destination wherever the cargo is going to.”
In his remark, the President Corporate Press Services and publisher the Businessmen Journal, Dr. Emmanuel Ibeziako, stated the urgent need address the nation’s woes.
“The economy is suffering. People are going on a merry go round. Many industry players and investors have been run aground by the economy despite Nigerians position as the 6th producing country in the world”, he said.