The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has said that the Federal Government will adopt a new ship finance model to stabilise the shipping sector of the economy in the years ahead.
He explained that he new ship finance model will help in reversing the present poor fortunes in the shipping sector of the economy.
Amaechi stated this in Lagos ahead of the Nigeria Ship Finance Conference where ship finance experts and other critical maritime industry stakeholders will discuss and propose a suitable model for financing ship acquisition in Nigeria.
He expressed his willingness to present such resolution to the Federal Government for implementation.
Amaechi pledged the federal government’s commitment to courses that would drive progress in the maritime industry as the nation diversifies its sources of revenue to sustain the economy.
His words: “I assure you that whatever decisions come out of this ship finance conference, I will present it to the President and ensure that we progress with it to benefit the maritime industry in Nigeria”.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and safety Agency (N IMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside in a goodwill message said the ship finance summit is at the heart of the agency’s operations, as discussions will focus on vessel acquisition.
He said the NIMASA appreciates the fact that the conference will establish a new perspective as it concerns one of its principal functions to boost shipping operations.
“This conference will constitute a roadmap to get more Nigerians to access funds for ship acquisition, and NIMASA is particularly pleased because it is about one of the critical things for shipping development,” he said.
The Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dr. Seconte Davies said it will be well appreciated for the conference to come up with resolutions that will address the need for ships to fly Nigerian flag.
According to Davies, new business inroads are bound to open to Nigeria’s maritime industry if, and when Nigerians are able to acquire ships and fly the Nigerian flag.
On her part, President of the Shipowners Forum, Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi, called on banks and other financial institutions to play active roles in the drive towards a workable ship finance model.
“I hope we will hear from the banks and other financial institutions because what we need are funding to bring back Nigerian fleets. It is all about working to ensure that Nigerians have sea-going vessels that can engage in world-class business, and particularly provide Nigerians with fish for protein needs”, she said.
Orakwusi added that it was vital to develop capacity in shipping which will also provide jobs for Nigerians.