Lagos, July 7, 2023: The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) says focusing squarely on development of country’s infrastructure at port would earn Nigeria maritime hub in the West Africa sub-region.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Emmanuel Jime said this at the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) breakfast meeting held in Lagos on Thursday.
The meeting had the theme, ‘Rehabilitation of Tin Can Island Port: Proffering Workable Solutions’.
According to Jime, for Nigeria to be competitive, live up to its dream of becoming the maritime hub in this West Africa sub-region, the infrastructure should be of international standard.
“We all want a maritime space that all of us will be proud of.
“We can summarise today’s event in two ways, one the derelict infrastructure deficit that we have in our industry. There is no debate about the quality of the infrastructure that is available in this industry.
“It is clear that unless and until we focus squarely on the development of our infrastructure and make them of international standard, we will never be able to achieve our objectives of being a hub,” he said.
Jime noted that he had always been in the vanguard for the advocacy for intermodalism because all of the things discussed today point to that direction.
He said that in so far as the major mode of cargo evacuation still remains road network, that was not the sustainable way of delivering on services of any port in the world .
“Yes, inland waterways, rail linkages, these are all the moving parts that come together for us to achieve the ultimate objectives of ranking as a premium proper maritime power.
“But of course it’s one thing to know what the problem is and it’s another to provide solution and I commend MARAN for this and they have provided searchlight on this issue.
“I urge them to continue to put this searchlight on issues such as this that should be addressed,” he said.
He said that another issue that should be addressed was the regulatory framework, as at the moment the framework that was present, unfortunately was not strong.
“Some of the issues that we are discussing today is because of the weak legal framework that we are facing,” he said.
Earlier, the new President of MARAN, Mr Godfrey Bivbere thanked stakeholders for attending the occasion.
He called for the federal government to consider exemption maritime agencies from certain bureaucratic processes to enable them quickly address issues like the one at Tincan Island Port.
The event witnessed the inauguration of the newly elected executives of MARAN.
The NSC boss administered the oath of office to the 9-man newly elected MARAN exco led by Mr Godfrey Bivbere as President and Mr Gboyega Oni as Vice President.