A former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mrs. Mfong Usoro, has advised the federal government to work on maritime transportation, especially now that the country has signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Usoro who gave the advice in a chat with Shipping Position Daily at a recent event in Lagos also reiterated that the success of the manufacturing sector depends also on transportation.
She however charged the government to unlock the potentials in the maritime sector to make the nation’s seaports to be the preferred ports for importers.
“While we may be talking so much on manufacturing sector with reference to AfCFTA, we intend to forget that the manufacturing sector depends very much on maritime transportation. Because the equipment that are needed for instance on energy sector must be transported by ship; same thing with agriculture, even though we produce few products in Nigeria”
“So we need to unlock those potentials so that Nigerian ports will be the port of choice in the region. We all realize and know that the majority of cargoes that are being discharged in some neighboring countries are destined for Nigeria”
“The question is, why does it make economic and commercial sense for the consignee and the shipping companies to prefer using other ports rather than coming straight to Nigeria”
“Why does it make economic or commercial sense; while we ask why, then we will be able to perhaps improve our system so that it would be a port of choice to discharge cargoes destined for Nigeria”, she concluded.