- To establish marine development bank
As part of the measures to enhance its revenue drive, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will focus its attention on the $8 billion (N2.88 trillion) maritime component of the Oil and Gas sector in 2018, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said.
Dakuku stated this on Tuesday while unveiling the 2018/2019 maritime industry forecast , the first time in the history of the industry a forecast to reposition the sector was being showcased.
He disclosed that five bills amongst others, affecting the maritime industry will enter into force in 2018, one of which is a bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Marine Development Bank.
The other bills currently undergoing legislative processes at the National Assembly are: the Anti-Piracy Bill, Inland Fisheries Act (Amendment) Bill 2017, the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the Carbotage Act (Amendment) Bill 2017.
He said the Nigerian maritime industry was projected to grow by 2.5 â€“ 5 per cent within the period of 2018-2019, further adding that there will be a projected increase in demand for maritime services in Nigeria during the period.
Peterside stated that Nigerians should expect total fleet size to grow by 4.08 per cent in 2018 and 4.41 per cent in 2019.
He projected that oil tanker fleet size will decrease by 2.23 per cent in 2018 and increase by 1.7 per cent in 2019.
â€œThe non-oil tanker fleet size is projected to increase by 8.15 per cent in 2018 and 8.72 per cent in 2019 while the oil rig count is projected to increase by 27.67 per cent in 2018 and 0 per cent in 2019, â€œhe said.
He added that two broad dynamics would drive the outlook on the Nigerian maritime industry in 2018 revealing that the first pertains to international developments as they relate to growth in global output and trade.
The second, he added, is the domestic economic conditions, which speak to economic growth and the associated growth in trade, availability of and access to foreign exchange, as well as the evolving factors in domestic maritime regulation.
â€œAs a regulator, we are driven by values and commitment, as these are the only way that investors can be attracted to harness the great potentials in our maritime sector. On our part, we will continue to work out incentives and maritime sector specific interventions to attract investments, â€he said.
Speaking further, he expressed delight at the maritime forecast release which coincided with the release of the countryâ€™s gross domestic product (GDP) figures by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) confirming Nigeriaâ€™s exit from recession. He noted that it is a positive indicator that Nigeriaâ€™s economy is rebound for growth in 2018 and beyond.
He said the forecast reviewed developments in the industry in 2017; shows expected International and Local Developments in Policy and Regulatory Environment for the Maritime Sector in 2018 and 2019 and also takes a look at Emerging Opportunities and Challenges for the Maritime Industry; all with the sole aim of realising a robust and business friendly maritime domain that will also create avenues for economic prosperity.
The NIMASA boss also maintained that despite the fact that the oil sector remains one of the pillars of the Nigerian economy and a catalyst for measuring the nationâ€™s growth, the success of it is still largely dependent on the maritime sector which continues to play a strategic role in the economy of the country.
He also pointed out that some other factors that have contributed to the gradual growth being recorded in the sector are the receding crime in the Niger Delta Region, the Deep Blue Economy scale up of our maritime security architecture and continuous collaboration, which is addressing the immediate challenge in this areas aimed at suppressing the emerging threats on our waters.
In a goodwill message at the event, the Secretary General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a former DG of NIMASA, Mrs. Mfon Usoro commended the forecast as a great interaction with the industry players to move the sector forward. Furthermore, she also observed that the increased presence of NIMASA activities in the maritime sector of the West and Central Africa sub-region is an indication that the present leadership of the Agency is on course.