A financial expert, Mr. Johnson Chukwu has said that contrary to expectations, the maritime sector of the Nigerian economy accounts for a very minimal contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Chukwu who stated this in an interview with Primetime Reporters in Lagos said that the mere fact that the sector was not measured as a separate economic activity would attest to the fact that it was not really accounting for much.
He observed that even sectors like the entertainment industry had stronger share of the economy and accounts for only 0.24% of the GDP than the maritime sector.
According to him,” The basic thing about the maritime sector is that it is still not accounting for the net share of the GDP. Just like I mentioned earlier, if you look at even the transport sector that grew more than 15%, its contribution to the GDP is less than 1%. The maritime sector currently account for very minimal contribution to the GDP”.
Speaking on the insinuations that the maritime sector in Nigeria is next to the Oil and Gas sector in terms of money it generates for the country, Chukwu who is also the Managing Director of Cowry Assets Management Limited had this to say,” When you rank it behind the Oil sector, probably you are looking at the foreign exchange earnings or you are looking at the prospects but if you look at the contribution to the GDP, its contribution is still inconsequential. It is not even measured as a separate economic activity, so that will show you that it is not really accounting for much. Even sectors like the entertainment industry has stronger share of the economy and accounts for only 0.24% of the GDP than the maritime sector”.
He added that in terms of foreign exchange earnings, the structure of the maritime sector today does not really attract external capital flow rather it encouraged capital outflow as most of the merchant ships, even the vessels that carry the nation’s crude were all foreign flagged vessels.
“So, you realize that in almost all instances, Nigerians are paying to foreign shipping companies. The local operators are still not quite strong, their share of activity in that sector is very inconsequential and we are not seeing Nigerian vessel operators loading goods from Nigeria to outside the country so that they can also earn foreign exchange.
“So, in terms of foreign exchange earnings, if you relate it to Dollar payments that are happening, they are locally generated Dollars and they are paid within the local environment or pay to foreign vessel owner. The maritime sector is not currently earning foreign currency for the country”, he said.
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