By Providence Adeyinka
There are indications that the Federal Government may have agreed to the maritime industry bid for fiscal incentives proposed to enhance its growth.
Dropping the hint at the Nigerian Maritime Summit taking place in Lagos, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, said that no maritime nation can grow without incentive, but in Nigeria there was no such incentives.
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Jamoh who represented Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, at the event, stated: “Only shipping industry has this challenge and I am happy to announce that when I came to office, the first thing I did was to struggle for two types of incentives; Fiscal and Monetary; the government granted approval for fiscal incentive (zero duty) since first week of August, what remain is the monetary incentive.
“When I discussed with the minister of transport concerning this industry, he told me that this is the only industry that is disorganized, where you have different faction of segmented unions.
“What I picked from the discussion is that the lack of coordinated effort in the industry is a big challenge”.
He said that the maritime industry deserve more attention than what it is having now.
He said: “Maritime is capital intensive. There is no how you can say a shop owner, stakeholder should do business in maritime without palliatives.
Similarly, Chairperson of the Summit, NIMS, Mrs Mfon Usoro, said that one could describe Africa as a giant island surrounded by seas and oceans, adding that about 38 countries in Africa are coastal States bordered by either the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea or the Mediterranean Sea and in some cases by more than one body of water.
She stated: , “With these abundant natural resources, why has an African nation not emerged as a maritime superpower? Why is there not a single African nation in the list of 10 or 20 top shipping nations? Should we dare aspire to be among the significant maritime nations? What are the impediments – domestic and external?”
However, Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu, said that the Nigeria maritime sector is still ripped with untapped potential capable of driving social economic growth.
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