By Oge Obi,

For effective shipping logistics in the country, the Director General of Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has called for the synergy between the Local Content Act 2010 and the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003.

The NIMASA boss made the call on recently at a one-day seminar on “Local Content Development in Shipping, Oil and Gas Logistics Operations in Nigeria,” held in Lagos.

Represented by the Assistant Director, Shipping Development, Anna Akpan, the DG said that shipping is strategic and very importance to the oil and gas industry.

He noted that the cooperation between the two governing acts of the maritime sector would ensure the smooth transportation of over 70 per cent of all crude oil production by ship and boost the nation’s economy.

“More oil production activities are being carried out offshore. This shows that the oil industry relies heavily on maritime industry for its smooth operations.

“In Nigeria, the maritime industry shares not only common business interests with the oil and gas sector but also common challenges.

“The most pronounced of these challenges is foreign domination. In spite of the huge revenue generated by these two industries, their impact in terms of employment and generation of economic growth had been so low.

“The oil and gas sector accounts for almost 90 per cent of the foreign earnings but contributes less than 20 per cent to Gross Domestic Product and five per cent of total employment which is a misnomer,” Peterside said.

He said that statistics have shown that the country generated an estimated annual cargo throughput of N150 million tons with freight earnings in excess of five billion dollars in international trade transactions.

Peterside said 95 per cent of the income was earned by foreigners with the attendant job deprivation to the country.

He said it has become necessary for the two agencies to identify areas of national interests and design a strategy for an effective implementation of the act.

Speaking further, he said that NIMASA had examined the provisions of the Local Content Act and came up with its implementation within the ambit of the Cabotage law.

Speaking also, the Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordinator, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Ginah Ginah said that lack of vacancy has hampered active participation of trained workforce in local content development.

“We have trained 500,000 Nigerians on Local Content developments but there was no vacancy to enable them to operate.

“There is need to improve low functional steel sector to solve the immediate problem of the oil and gas sector in the country,” Ginah said.

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