Maritime Industry: NIMASA Projects 5% Growth In 2018, Post -Election Period …Predicts Huge Investment windows
DG NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside
By FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has projected that the country’s maritime industry would record a growth rate of between 2.5 – 5 per cent in 2018 and the post- election era 2019. The industry is also projected to experience increase in demand for maritime services in the country, according to a maritime industry forecast for 2018/2019 unveiled in Lagos, Tuesday by the Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside.
Details of the forecast also show that the total fleet size would grow by 4.08 per cent in 2018 and 4.41 per cent in 2019, even as oil tanker fleet size will decrease by 2.23 per cent in 2018 and grow by 1.7 per cent in 2019. The non-oil tanker fleet size is projected to increase by 8.15 per cent and 8.72 per cent in 2018 and 2019, respectively while the oil rig count is projected to increase by 27.67 per cent in 2018 and 0% in 2019.
While noting that the maritime industry plays a major role in the exploitation, distribution and export of Nigeria’s ocean resources, with a total annual freight cost estimated at between $5billion and $6 billion annually, the maritime component of the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is worth an estimated $8 billion, further reflecting the prominence of the industry to the Nigerian economy.
“The Nigerian maritime industry forecast for 2018 and 2019, which is the first of its kind, is intended to serve as a compass for local and international stakeholders willing to do business in the Nigeria maritime domain. It is part of the initiatives of the Dakuku Peterside- led management aimed at realising a robust and virile maritime industry in Nigeria. The forecast period 2018-2019 covers a time of continuous recovery from recession, to the 2019 general elections and finally culminates in the post-election era.
“As a regulator, we are driven by values and commitments, as these are the only ways that investors can be attracted to harness the great potential in our maritime industry. On our part, we will continue to work out incentives and maritime industry specific interventions to attract investments”, the DG said.
He however expressed delight at the maritime forecast release which coincided with the release of the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP, figures by the National Bureau of Statistics NBS, confirming Nigeria’s exit from recession. He noted that it is a positive indicator that Nigeria’s economy is rebound for growth in 2018 and beyond.
It was also gathered that the forecast reviewed developments in the industry in 2017; which show expected international and local developments in policy and regulatory environment for the maritime industry in 2018 and 2019 and also takes a look at emerging opportunities and challenges for the maritime Industry; all with the sole aim of realising a robust and business friendly maritime domain that will also create avenues for economic prosperity.
The DG also identified five bills undergoing legislative processes at the National Assembly as key regulatory developments in Nigeria’s maritime industry that will affect maritime activities positively. These include the Anti-Piracy Bill, the establishment of the Maritime Development Bank, Inland Fisheries Amendment Bill, the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Amendment Bill and the Cabotage Act Amendment Bill 2017. “All these if passed to Law will help realize the dream of making Nigeria the maritime hub in Africa,”
“Despite the fact that the oil sector remains one of the pillars of the Nigeria’S economy and a catalyst for measuring the nation’s growth, its success is still largely dependent on the maritime industry, which continues to play a strategic role in the economy of the country. Some other factors that have contributed to the gradual growth being recorded in the industry are the receding crime in the Niger Delta region, the Deep Blue Economy scale up of our maritime security architecture and continuous collaboration, which is addressing the immediate challenge in this areas aimed at suppressing the emerging threats on our waters.
“The outlook is the key parameters that will drive the maritime industry and highlighted some key drivers of the sector as; geographic factor, availability of skilled labour force, an efficient and effective regulatory environment, manpower and human capacity development, maritime infrastructural development, globalisation and new technology among others”, the DG also said.
Also speaking at the event, Dr. Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business School noted that forecasts are essential tools for growing an industry. In his analysis of the maritime forecast, he pointed out that the gaps in the sector must be filled by policy makers in the sector in order to realize its potentials. He urged all investors, local and international to take the forecast serious as a way of enhancing the growth of their businesses.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding MoU, and former DG of NIMASA, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, while delivering a goodwill message at the event, commended the forecast as a great interaction with the industry players to move the sector forward. She also observed that the increased presence of NIMASA activities in the maritime industry of the West and Central Africa sub-region is an indication that the present leadership of the agency is on course.