The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been accused of causing the loss of $15 billion due to its inactions on the implementation of the Local Content Act.
Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, the President, Nigerian Licensed Ship Chandlers Association, (NLSCA), Martin Enebeli said the agency has to pay attention to its core mandate which is safeguarding the sector and stakeholders from those he described as hijackers.
Enebeli who is also the Coordinator, Local Content Shipping Group, said indigenous Ship Chandlers are being sidelined and their jobs given to foreigners.
He stated that the activities of ship chandlers can not be over emphasized because, ” a ship can not move without victuals, lubricants among other things that will make the ship to be able to surmount the challenges on sea.
In his words, ” major ship chandlers requirement are being allocated to foreigners in the country. We only come in as third party operators
” As I speak to you, there’s less than 1 per cent of Nigerians’ participation in the Upstream Sector despite the persistent cry by stakeholders.
” They deliberately form alliances to sideline Nigerian ship chandlers from participating in the sector.
” if we continue to be complacent in making some of the subsectors in the sector to be properly attended to, we would have a system that is violent in nature,” he said.
According to him, the Association has met with the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the National Assembly without positive results.
He therefore called for the formation of a standing committee to look into the challenges and proffer possible solutions.
Speaking further, he said the importance of ship chandlers can not be overemphasised because of the nature of its activities in the international maritime space.