LAGOS – Mr Olu Akinsoji, a former Director-General, Government Inspector of Shipping (GIS), has urged the Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) to participate actively in international shipping.
Akinsoji made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.
He stressed the need for stakeholders to close ranks to enable them benefit from the business opportunities in the international shipping circle.
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“From my experience, I believe that a nation cannot compete favourably in international shipping if the private sector is not organised.
“This is the beginning of many more things to come and we must appreciate SOAN for putting themselves together to say they want to come together in order that they would give feedback on our aspirations as a nation.
“To partake in international shipping and even cabotage (coastal shipping), because when you do not have private sector organised, you are not likely going to have an organised feedback.
“Which will allow you to readjust yourself as a nation concerning the policy and objectives for the developments in the maritime industry.
“So therefore, at this time when we have a change of government and this body is coming on board, I want to say from my experience that the new government should take note.
“And encourage organised private sector like this; so that we can have inputs from the people who are supposed to be the executors of policies to give feedback on policy execution.
“So that the objectives of the policy would be achieved.”
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Akinsoji disclosed that about 60 million tonnes of Nigerian cargo were brought into the country annually, with about 4, 000 ships bringing those cargoes into the country.
He, however, urged the Federal Government to encourage the association to float a standard shipping line to enable it compete favourably in international shipping business. (NAN)
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