With the Nigerian economy in economic downturn, the spiralling negative effects have already started to influence on the procedures of key sectors of the economy. One of the sub-sectors that's at the receiving end of the current economic depression will be the shipping business.
Moaning under extreme hardship because of government policies along with worldwide economic problems, the news from the Maritime sub-sector just isn't heartening, as over 20 shipping firms were reported to have exited the nation’s shores. As a result, no less than 3,000 dockworkers have been let go by numerous shipping firms, terminal operators and logistics firms. This is mostly due to lack of poor import policies recently introduced by the government. According to the Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN), the massive retrenchment in the sub-sector was due to the Government inability to meet its joint venture obligation with the global oil companies that are major partners with the marine logistic companies.
The shipping traces exited our shoreline because of growing cutbacks resulting from declining traffic volumes and recent government import policy.
It'll be recalled that the Federal Government last year placed restriction on the importation of about Forty one items due to Foreign Exchange scarcity. But, federal government defended its actions and promised to encourage domestic production of some of the goods that could be developed locally. However, your shipping firms are generally complaining that the bar has adversely impacted their operations. Consequently, they are asking that the restriction be raised or else it will promote smuggling, diversion of boats to neighbouring international locations, leaving our ports virtually empty as well as general loss of earnings to government.
We urge the government and the relevant agencies in the maritime sub-sector to take reveal analysis of the complaints that have resulted in the departure of the shipping companies with a view to revive the smooth operations of the maritime industry.
While it's necessary to restrict the actual importation of goods that can be made locally and help save scarce forex, the value of the maritime industry of which shipping staff play a vital role mustn't be ignored. Statistics demonstrate that since this year, the volume of goods imported in to the country has shrunk by over 30 percent. This is because the shipping lines are reportedly shifting bottom to other West African countries in response to government new policy.
Authorities should review a few of the policies as it influences the shipping functions in our shores.
There is need to meet the joint venture obligations with the overseas oil companies, that are major partners from the sector.
Government must not allow the shipping sub-sector to lag behind from the global sector.
Our own country is enormously endowed with coastlines and also navigable inland waterways, along with strategically placed on the particular Atlantic Coast of West Africa. And 76 percent of transport business that takes invest the whole of Gulf Africa is apparently done in Nigeria. Which means that Nigeria should continue to be a key player in West Africa.
Therefore, government should do everything to contain the exit regarding shipping firms in your shores and help save the jobs of an incredible number of workers. According to Economic Intelligence that watches the maritime sub-sector, regardless of Nigeria’s large export of crude and importance of over 100 thousand tons of general shipment, no Nigerian flagship happens to be plying international routes.
Also, statistics from the Nigerian Plug-ins Authority (NPA) on deliver calls to the nation reveal that between Last year and 2012, Nigeria’s tonnage has grown from 82m tons to over 150m with an estimated freight payment of soaring from $4.1bn to previously mentioned $7.5bn annually. But the engagement of Nigerians remains nearly zero.
Although the exit of foreign shipping firms may be the chance our local shipping and delivery firms may be expecting, we doubt whether they have the capacity and skill now to fill the void without harming an already hemorrhage economy with its other adverse consequences. Govt should swiftly intercede and arrest much the same experience that observed the exit of some airlines to be able to neighbouring countries.