Despite the introduction of NIDAS Shipping Services last September by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into the international shipment of crude oil and petroleum products, findings have revealed that no Nigerian ship owner or Nigerian flagged vessel has benefited from crude oil carriage under NIDAS.
Speaking to maritime journalists recently, the President of the Nigerian Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Mallam Aminu Umar stated that, “NIDAS is hiring international vessels and not Nigerian vessels to do the transportation. They keep on saying that Nigerians don’t have the vessels that can handle such cargoes.”
Although Umar agreed that most Nigerian ship-owners didn’t have the required vessels to do the business, he assured NNPC that a guarantee of the market would enable ship-owners source funds to acquire the vessels.
“Yes, Nigerians don’t have such vessels but if the market can be guaranteed Nigerians would raise the money to buy the vessels. This issue can be likened to putting the cart before the horse” he said
Explaining the effects of patronising foreign ships he said; “the freight earnings of crude alone is in the region of billions of dollars. Since most of the ship owners are in Europe and other parts of the world, this means the money doesn’t come into the country. They don’t pay tax in Nigeria. They don’t employ Nigerians nor have companies in Nigeria. The money doesn’t even go through Nigerian banks because they receive the earnings right from the comfort of their offices abroad and Nigeria benefits nothing”
He urged NIDAS to specify patronage by Nigerian ship owners or Nigerian flagged vessels, noting that foreigners could be patronised if they had their offices in the country at least to employ Nigerians and register the vessels in the country.
“What we are pushing for isn’t just for the Nigerian ship owner but to say it must be a Nigerian flagged vessel. Let it be a registered vessel under the Nigerian flag. This is what we are trying to develop. In promoting the Nigerian flagged vessel, we are talking about the Nigerian ship owner and Nigerian seafarers because that is the condition for registering a vessel under the Nigerian flag. We are still moving to that level to see NIDAS take more of Nigerian registered vessels instead of foreign registered vessels”.
The post Oil lifting: NIDAS yet to favour Nigerian ship-owners —NISA appeared first on Tribune Online.