Can indigenous shipowners match their foreign counterparts in the capital intensive crude oil lifting business? Yes, says the Nigeria Shipowners Association (NISA), which has launched a campaign to be involved in the business.
The association says its involvement in the trade would be in national interest.
Its participation would reduce youth unemployment, generate revenue and ensure security, its General Secretary, Captain Niyi Labinjo, told newsmen.
Labinjo said it was more profitable for a Nigerian ship to lift crude as the country was losing by using foreign vessels.
“We will gain about N968 million a day if we use our own indigenous ships to lift crude oil. This is because Nigeria carries about 2.5 million barrels of crude a day at the rate of $2.50 per barrel,” he said, adding that the huge sum would have accrued to Nigeria and created employment for at least 5,000 professionals in the sector. The advantage is that indigenous ships will get their water, food, tug boats, chandelling, engineers and rags from Nigeriam he noted.
Labinjo said there are many qualified Nigerians in these fields who have no jobs, adding that using foreign vessels was not in the best interest of the nation because when the dependent country has crisis, Nigeria may have challenges lifting its crude.
He said as at the last count, indigenous investments in the sector have created over 40, 000 jobs across the hydrocarbon value chain.
Meanwhile, the Shippers Association, Lagos State has attributed the drop in the revenue collected by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to inconsistency in government policies.