Why Nigerian owned vessels perform below expectation -Emeraku


The Centre for Marine Surveyors Nigeria has given reasons why most of the vessels bought by Nigerian indigenous ship owners rarely perform beyond the first few months after purchase before they park up.

Speaking at a media parley with Journalists in Lagos recently, a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Centre, Engr. Ijioma Emeraku observed that most Nigerians who had money to invest in ship ownership rely on seller surveyors who in most cases did not have professional knowledge as to which ship would stand a test of time.

Engr. Emeraku opined that that was the major reason why within a very short period, the vessels were abandoned thus causing the country as well as the financing banks to lose money.

According to him,” Those of us who have money to invest in ships go and rely on the seller surveyors. So, it is what the seller tells you the ship is like that, you will have and that is why we have vessels coming into Nigeria performing below par and within a very short space of time, it is abandoned. Nigeria loses money; the banking industry loses money because they part financed or financed virtually most of the investment in the purchase.

“And the people who have the dream of being on that vessel to earn income are laid off because we relied on seller surveyor. But by the time we begin to educate ourselves, to start trusting the professionals within the shores of Nigeria, then we will begin to get good value.

“Yes, I will want to own a vessel but I should also be able to tell you that this vessel will not serve you or it is good and that is it as much as it concerns supporting the industry and also we have to advise people based on our experience in the industry, how to go about investment in the sector”.

While applauding the progress being made in the Aviation industry by the Aviation professionals whom he said kept advocating for expansion of airports and introduction of infrastructure to make operation of aircrafts safe, Emeraku however regretted that nobody talks about the professionals in the maritime industry, port facilities and shore based facilities to support the sector.

“And that is why you have so many of our vessels littering everywhere off shore our ports because the government or the people of Nigeria who are encouraging Nigerians to come into maritime industry by introducing cabotage lose sight of a very key element, not providing adequate shelter where indigenous ship owners can berth as less cost because when that is done, adequate security will be provided for them, they will pay less.

“If they will have to rely on taking their vessels to commercial ports like Apapa ports, Tincan ports, they cannot survive and it is not everyone who wants to be in the industry can afford to own a jetty facility.

“So, these are some of the things that I believe with time, the Centre will be able to put across to the society and to the government so that we begin to do things the way things are done”< he said.

He restated that members of the Centre for Marine Surveyors Nigeria wanted that maritime industry to develop properly so that everybody would have a job to do in an environment they would be proud of practicing their respective profession within the industry adding that there were so many things they felt they could do through the Centre.

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