Ship owners in the country have called on the federal government to tap into the enormous potential in the shipping industry and ocean resource to create employment and enhance the economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
The President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung, said this at a press briefing to announce the upcoming shipping conference with a theme: “Shipping, Global Economy and National Development,’ slated to hold between November 27 and 28 , in Lagos.
Onyung, stressed the need for Nigeria to pay more attention to its shipping industry, noting that the huge returns the country stands to gain will include expansive employment opportunities.
“The federal government needs to take advantage of the huge ocean resource and the massive opportunity in shipping to turn the economy of Nigeria around. If you are not shipping, you are not shipping. Without shipping global trade will suffer and countries are taking advantage of this, Nigeria should not be left of this. There is so much to gain in the industry, the ocean is so vast and its massive economic benefits yet untapped, “he stated.
Onyung, while noting that the ocean is not just a two-third of the earth, but has resources to take Nigeria to the next level, said the tool for harnessing the oceans which in deed is shipping, has also snowballed into the biggest business around the world, through which cargoes are moved, with wealth and employment opportunities harvested.
Positing that not less than 90 per cent of the world trade comes through the ocean, Onyung describing it is an enviable follow-up to the just concluded Abuja 2019 Global Maritime Security Conference, needed to finally consolidate the GMSC gains, before the year ends.
The SOAN boss urged the federal government to rejuvenate shipping in the country through appropriate policies, and implored investors to participate in the November conference, adding that the brainstorming sessions would concretise the investment foundation for the orchestrated Blue Ocean Economy, hence a place for every investor, who is presently not there yet.
Also speaking, the First Vice President of SOAN, Eno Williams, noted that the November conference would also enable shipping stakeholders to further and more effectively tackle the issues of maritime security, particularly in the Niger Delta, in addition to ridiculously high Customs Duty, since key decision makers from the relevant departments, parastatals and government agencies would be adequately represented.