Mr Rowaye Jubril (General Secretary, NISA)
My expectation from the maritime industry for the year 2024 will be that the government will allow for the optimal utilization of marine resources to increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the benefits of all maritime practitioners. This will go a long way in contributing to shipping development, create jobs for people and contribute immensely to the development of the nation’s economy. We also hope that the Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund will be disbursed to eligible shipowners to acquire ships.
Bala Muhammed (Administrative Secretary, AMATO)
My expectations in 2024 from the Maritime regulator is the removal of artificial barriers to the free flow of traffic. There should be trade facilitation and seamless evacuation of cargo. These are the issues to be addressed and it will in no time be a catalyst for a boom in the haulage and logistics business as well as port activities and the nation’s economy at large. These are our expectations.
Babatunde Mukaila (National Secretary, ANLCA)
The Maritime industry in 2023 had a lot of challenges, but we’re grateful to God that we scaled through those hurdles into this new year. In 2024, we look forward to an improvement and development of the supply chain as well as the entire maritime industry. We look forward to transparency and predictability in the maritime sector. Simply put, this means transparency and predictability of the processes in the port to avoid human contacts and business/economic surprises. We are hopeful that 2024 will be a great year in the industry.
Dr. Segun Musa (Deputy National President, Air and Logistics, NAGAFF)
The government needs to automate the port service and especially the customs clearance processes. The port corridors need to be viable for haulage services and all the miscreants in the uniforms must be forced out of the roads. Any shipment arrested in transit after exiting the ports must attract more penalties on the Area Controller, all the releasing and exiting officers to serve as a deterrent factor. Government policies must be consistent and business-friendly. The government must create an enabling environment to encourage local and foreign investors to develop ports and lighter terminals to serve as a feeder cadre to the port.
Engr. Wale George (Vice President, Nigerian Merchant Navy)
Our expectations is for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to ensure that vessel engaging in Cabotage have Nigerian crew on board while the ship owners should involve more Nigerian seafarers in the running and maintenance of their vessel. They should also focus on the training of the crew as this will bring to an end looking for foreign exchange to pay expatriates and it will create more participation of Nigerians in the running and maintenance of vessels owned by Nigerians and operating in Nigeria. Nigerian seafarers should be made to benefit from the Cabotage law. The National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) should be signed and ensure it is functional and adhered to.
Clinton Okoro (APFFLON PRO, Tin Can Chapter)
Our hopes are high and we have big expectations for 2024. We look forward to a turnaround in all maritime activities in the port. There are so many challenges too, that we are looking up to the government for intervention like the issue of the fluctuation of the exchange rate amongst others. Recently I saw that there are improvements on the movement of cargo by rail which is a welcome development. The federal government should see how they can ameliorate the pains of importers and agents while generating revenue. This is just the beginning of the year and activities are just picking-up. We hope that between now and the end of the first quarter, things will be better.
Francis Omotosho (Registrar, NAGAFF Academy)
The maritime industry is such a dynamic one, which evolves nearly every year. Hitherto, my expectation for the maritime industry in 2024 are clearly geared towards efficient and effective impact performances of all the government agencies, industry key players and stakeholders. All hands should be on deck to bring about sincere trade facilitation agenda; markdown on port dues and terminal charges; as well as cost reduction on all paper documentation approvals and permits by all concerned Government Agencies like: SON, NAFDAC, NESREA etc. These agencies are not revenue generating parastatals, they are just to regulate and provide level playing ground for all key players and stakeholders in the maritime industry. The cost of paper documentation in Nigeria today is about 45% of the total local supply chain and logistics costs. I expect the Federal Government to look into this and take decisive steps to reduce and markdown the prices especially in this era of economic meltdown.
Innocent Elum (BoT Secretary, AREFFN)
My expectations was that this 2024 will be better in terms of trade activities in the country and that was based on the unbanning of the 43 items the government talked about last time. Unfortunately we have not seen any positive result from that policy pronouncement. We expect that the borders will be well opened for business but nobody seems to be answering our questions. I am confused and don’t know what to expect until those 43 items that are unbanned are allowed into the country. We expected that this move will bring a kind of kinetic move in the industry but unfortunately everything still seem dormant. We are confused and don’t much expectations for now in 2024.