A source at the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning has disclosed that Nigeria has recorded a total of $50 billion loss in its shipping services to international ship companies from 2015 to 2022. The source gave the breakdown as $25 billion between 2015 and 2017 and another $25 billion from 2018 to 2022. Nigeria has spent $20 billion on dry and wet cargoes that were transported by foreign ships between 2018 and 2019 because local fleets did not apply international routes.
The anonymous source said that loss has been recurring for some years in the sector. He hinted that there was over $9 billion opportunity loss in 2010 and $9.6 billion was lost in 2020 on the export and import of cargoes. He urged subsidiaries to patronize the indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria to improve their businesses and enable them to take over shipping business, which will in turn reduce the country’s loss and grow the economy.
Expert asked FG to provide conducive environment with good policies.
Gbolahan Adesoji, a shipping expert, charged the Federal Government to provide a conducive environment with good policies and incentives for shipping companies and staff. This will help boost their operations. He recalled the history of cargo exports and imports since 1956. He talked about how it rose in those days and called for its present-day development. He said that there has been a rapid rise in cargo throughput, which has culminated in an unprecedented volume in 2011.
“It is worthy of note that average cargo throughput from 1956 to 2005 is 14,467,024 metric tons, while the average throughput increased from 49,173,324 metric tons,” he said. The yearly average cargo throughput of 70,926,939.38 metric tons of cargo from 2006 to 2018 over the yearly average of 14,467,024 metric tons from 1956 to 2005 shows a percentage increase of 490.26 percent. Adesoji said that this trend shows the remarkable progress that was made in Nigeria’s port development efforts since the port concession era.
Country loses $5bn annually in freight to foreign shipping companies.
The Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank has said that Nigeria is losing over $5 billion yearly as freight payment for shipping services without any alternatives to domesticate such funds in the nation. Mr. Hope Yongo, the Technical Adviser to the Managing Director/CEO of NEXIM Bank, revealed this while speaking at the just-concluded 9th African Shippers’ Day in Lagos. He said that with investments in fleet being championed by the Sealink Consortium, the nation and other countries in Africa, will be able to keep the colossal shipping funds in the continent.
Nonetheless, he said that Nigeria could explore the export of bulk commodities worth $600 million to $1.2 billion annually with the provision of adequate transport infrastructure. Nigeria is endowed with about 38 valuable solid minerals, but he said no one reckons with the country in this aspect because of the numerous challenges with infrastructure in moving these commodities. Because of this, solid minerals such as coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, etc. are not being explored at an optimal level for export because of infrastructure challenges.
Sealink Consortium reveals how African countries can gain economic control.
Worried by the foreign dominance of freight earnings from shipping services in Africa, the Chairperson, Sealink Consortium, Mrs. Dabney Shall-Holma revealed how African nations could regain economic control. She revealed this while delivering a paper titled, “Coastal Shipping: A Sine qua non for Integration of Trade in Africa” at the 9th African Shippers’ Day, in Lagos. She explained that ownership of cargoes means that Nigeria and other nations on the continent could dictate shipping conditions for their cargoes. She bemoaned the low level of trade among African nations, stating that only one out of ten exports from countries in the region ends up in Africa while the stats for West Africa is worse with less than one-tenth export trade within the sub-region.