Every year, Nigeria suffers a tremendous financial setback due to the absence of ocean-faring ships capable of transporting its crude oil, refined petroleum products, and various other goods. The country’s economy sees a substantial loss of millions of dollars as a result. During a recent television program , Dr. Bolaji Akinola, regarded as a knowledgeable individual in the maritime field, conveyed that out of the 5,000 ships that travel to Nigerian seaports every year, not a single one can be attributed to Nigeria.
On the other hand, he expressed sorrow over the fact that Nigeria is not involved in the transportation of its own crude oil or the importation of processed petroleum products into its borders. His opinion suggests that the nation must devise a thoughtfully devised roadmap to guarantee that, throughout the tenure of the current administration, individuals of Nigerian nationality attain the capability to possess ships and handle 10 percent of the cargo traffic coming in and going out of the country.
Each year around 5,000 vessels dock in Nigeria.
Furthermore, it was stated that Nigeria faces significant financial losses due to international trade, as crude oil is exported out of the country and refined products are imported in, alongside the importation of various foods. Surprisingly, each year around 5,000 vessels dock in Nigeria, astonishingly not a single one being owned by a Nigerian entity. Consider a scenario where a well-crafted blueprint is embraced to tackle the vast fleet of 5,000 vessels engaged in trade.
It is the country’s utmost focus to guarantee that, under the current administrative tenure, Nigerian individuals will have the capability to undertake 10 percent of this fleet. A potential solution lies in Nigeria’s investment in port infrastructure, the streamlining of regulating processes, and the enhancement of operational efficiency. These efforts would rejuvenate both the inland and coastal shipping sectors, leading to a reduction in trade imbalance and the promotion of inclusive economic growth within the country.
Focus on the accessible opportunities like coastal trade.
In order to achieve the expected trillion dollar benefits promised by the government in relation to the blue economy, it is not enough to just talk about it; action must be taken and there must be an implementation of tangible initiatives. It is crucial to synchronize the goals in order to address various aspects within the fishery sector. Specifically, the country must focus on the accessible opportunities like coastal trade, international trade, and the fish trawling industry.
Moreover, it is imperative to find ways to increase the number of Nigerian fishing trawlers. By doing so, Nigeria can minimize capital flight and promote local value retention. Nigeria’s financial losses incurred through international trade are substantial, stemming from various sources such as the exportation of crude oil, the importation of refined products, as well as the influx of other food items into the country. Every year, approximately 5,000 ships dock in Nigerian ports; remarkably, not a single vessel among them is owned by a Nigerian.
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Dr. Akinola expressed his vision of enabling Nigerians to play a significant role in the shipping industry, even with a conservative estimate of 10 percent within the time frame of their administration. This ambitious plan involves careful strategic planning to achieve a noteworthy presence among the vast 5,000 vessels involved in global trade. In contrast, he suggests that Nigeria has the potential to reinvigorate its inland and coastal shipping industry, achieve a more equitable distribution of trade, and foster comprehensive economic development by allocating resources towards enhancing port infrastructure, streamlining regulatory procedures, and maximizing operational efficacy.