Nigeria’s maritime industry strategic for investment, says Minister
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi,
The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has assured investors that Nigeria’s maritime industry remains a safe haven of opportunities for the global maritime industry to fully take advantage of.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has assured prospective investors that the agency would stop at nothing in providing investment-friendly environment with a view to enhancing huge returns on such investments.
The Minister gave this assurance while speaking at the “Africa @ Nor” session of the recently concluded Nor-Shipping 2017 which held at Lillstrome, Norway with the theme: ‘Catalyst for Change’.
The Nor-Shipping is a bi-annual event that brings together stakeholders in the maritime sector from various continents aimed at improving the global maritime industry. The event also featured exhibitions among others.
He assured the global maritime audience that Nigeria is a strategic destination for investment opportunities, stressing that the country epitomises a broad spectrum of the African continent.
He said: “Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with about 183 million people and by extension, with the cumulative population of two landlocked countries of Chad Republic which has a population 14.9 million people and Niger Republic with a population of 21.3 million people creates a huge consuming market and comparable cheap labour”..
“I wish to assure you that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is committed to ensuring that Nigeria becomes a maritime hub for the West and Central Africa sub region, we therefore call on both local and international investors to join hands with us in enhancing Nigeria’s per capital income by supporting the various developmental initiatives”.
The Minister also assured the Nor-Shipping participants that the anti-corruption stance of the Federal Government and the establishment of the National Trade Data Centre are expected to eliminate inherent corporate governance abuses and assured investors that they will have good returns on their investments.
On the security challenge in the country, he stated that the enhanced synergies between the various arms of security agencies have resulted in efficient performance,
The NIMASA DG also told participants at the event that Nigeria as a maritime nation is endowed by nature with over 850 kilometers of coastlines, adding that the country has six modern port complexes and a fast developing intermodal transport system as well as abundant trained workforce combined with a standard regulatory regime among others which are benefits accruable to those investing in the Nigeria maritime industry.
“We are surrounded by two land locked countries of Chad and Niger, so we are not just serving goods coming into Nigeria; we are also serving goods going to Chad and Niger”.
“Nigeria will soon take delivery of the fifth largest floating dock in Africa, which is expected to be delivered by the last quarter of this year”, the DG had said..
According to him, as part of the efforts to enhance ease of doing business in the country, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission NIPC was established to fast track investment entry into Nigeria, among which is the commencement of a 24-hour seaport operations.
He also identified the key areas of achieving a hub status such as; putting the right infrastructure in place, right regulatory regime and a proper maritime security, adding that the country has not only put the right infrastructure in place, but has put the right regulatory regime as well as a set of incentives to make Nigeria a hub in Africa.
He also disclosed that in terms of economic stability, the country has achieved so much, adding that the government is currently working on intermodal transport system to facilitate the ease of doing business and of course good regulatory framework.