A master marine; Engineer Tijani Shehu has faulted the Federal Government’s recent signing of Memorandum Of Understanding with a Singaporean shipping company to acquire ships to boost the nation’s fleets.
Speaking exclusively with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos, the mariner noted that Nigeria was hugely indebted during the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line(NNSL), a situation he described as likely to witch hunt the current process of rebuilding the nations bottoms.
He stressed the need for the Minister of Transportation; Mr Rotimi Ameachi to consult top officials of the defunct NNSL on possible ways to address such issues, noting that the process might hinder success of the fleet expansion deal with Singapore.
The marine engineer also called for the cancellation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Singaporean firm, stressing the need for government to meet with the people behind the NNSL project.
According to him, the debt incurred in time past, during the reign of NNSL still exist on foreign list and there are ways it might bounce back to affect the government and private participation, when the project kicks-off.
The mariner maintained that 90% of officials who had worked in NNSL are still alive, even as he called for a critical meeting on how to drive the new initiative successfully.
He also described the move by government and some indigenous ship owners with Singaporean authorities as a failed project.
‘’There is no way we can float a national line with our facing challenges ahead, when such ships sail to countries we owe debt in time past ,the ships will be impounded, knowing fully well that we are debtors in time past", he warned.
Continuing, he added that, "government and private operators should go back to NNSL staff and ask about the debts; otherwise there will be big problem for the said project".