• Govt Set To Establish New National Carrier
About 14 years after the demise of national carrier; the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has received approval to establish a new national carrier.
Although details of the modalities for the project were not disclosed, the minister of transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio disclosed last week that t would be a partnership between the public and the private sector. “The modalities for the successful take-off of this scheme are being finalized with the constitution of an inter-agency committee”, he added at a press conference last week in Abuja.
The erstwhile national carrier NNSL was liquidated n 1995 by the then-minister of transport; Major General Ibrahim Gumel (now deceased) after serial seizures of the company’s ships in different parts of the world for alleged unpaid bills and breach of contractual agreements.
Alleged mismanagement and undue, but regular inference from the government led to the failure of NNSL to meet its litigations in different parts of the world and subsequent seizures and depletion of its fleet led to its demise.
An attempt to float a replacement for NNSL, in the name of Nigerian Unity Line (NUL) also ended up as a failure and its eventual sale about three years ago to Sea Force shipping company which owned by business mogul, Mr Femi Otedola.
Otedola had been assured that he would use the NUL status as a national carrier to lift crude oil, hence his accepting to pay $20Million for the company.
He was to later demand for a refund of the money when he could not lift crude oil as earlier promised.
Since then, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has been unable t get another buyer for the company.