The Chairman, Nigeria Shipowners Association(NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapamo has reiterated his call on the Federal Government to give urgent attention to the shipping sector and revive it from the near collapse status.
Jolapamo who made this known at the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2014 tagged,” 100 years of Maritime Development in Nigeria”, held in Lagos, Monday stated that the shipping sector was still faced with numerous challenges after its 100 years of existence saying, “We have not paid the required attention to the shipping sector. One hundred years after, we are still struggling with getting it right especially in the indigenous ownership of key operations in the sector”,he said.
Continuing, he said that the legacy laid by the colonial masters who were the initiatives of the shipping sector had a framework which has not been developed on since Nigerians took over.
“Our colonial masters set up a framework; they built schools and till today, some of the mission schools are about the best in the country because of their discipline and personal development programmes”, he explained.
Jolapamo who noted that the role of the shipping sector in the economy of Nigeria cannot be overemphasized said that the implementation of the report of the Presidential Committee on Development of the maritime industry will solve some of the challenges experienced.
“One quick way of resolving the situation we have found ourselves in the shipping sector today is by implementing the report of the Presidential Committee on Development of the maritime industry set up by the President and chaired by the Honourable Minister, Senator Idris Umar”, Jolapomo said.
He further employ that the Federal Government to remove the waiver clause on the Cabotage Act of 2003 to support the efforts of the Nigeria Ship Owners Association (NISA) especially as they have owed indigenous banks over half a trillion Naira in debt.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of NIMAREX, Mrs. Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi said that the prosperity of the country lies in the exploitation and harnessing of the maritime resources adding that the key focus of the forum which was organized by the Nigerian Indigenous Ship Owners Association(NISA) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transport and other stakeholders in the industry will help reposition the maritime industry.