Real reasons Nigeria struggles with establishment of National Fleet, after NNSL

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Unfavorable crude oil trade policies, high taxation and poor business practices have been identified as major impediments to the successful establishment of the long-awaited National Fleet, commissioned at the beginning of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2016.

The call for the establishment of National Fleet became essential following the need for Nigeria and Nigerians to take their pride of place in the nation’s lucrative shipping business, largely dominated by foreign-owned ships.

BusinessDay understands that since the demise of the Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) in the 90s, the country has not been able to establish shipping lines that will fly Nigerian flags, thus the domination of the business by foreigners.

For the success of the project, the Buhari’s administration in 2016 set up a National Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC), which said it is currently clearing some of the impediments that would pave way for the establishment of a sustainable National Fleet in Nigeria.

Hassan Bello, chairman of the committee and executive secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), who spoke in an interview with newsmen last week, expressed worries that a total of $9 billion in terms of freight on dry cargo was earned in Nigeria in 2015, all of which went to foreign ship owners due to the absence of a vessel on Nigeria’s fleet.

According to him, this has had serious negative implications on creating jobs for Nigerian seafarers and cadets including women, the banks, insurance companies, shipbuilding and ship repair yards and the overall economy, a development that makes it urgent for the country to have an enduring national fleet.

“At the course of the work of the committee, which is a 3-year programme, it was established that there exist some major impediments in terms of laws, policies, taxes and business practices … Read More...