OSLO – Nigerians will be able to lift its country’s crude oil for export immediately the national fleet comes into operation, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has said.
Dakuku, who was speaking at a media breakfast meeting on the sideline of the ongoing Nor-Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Oslo, Norway, said such an outcome will end the capital flight, associated with the present arrangement where Nigeria sells its oil on free on board basis to customers.
The NIMASA boss said the new national fleet would be owned 49 per cent by a technical partner and the balance of 51 per cent by Nigerian investors. According to the plan, the Nigerian investors will hold equity in lots, so there will be no domineering shareholder.
The national fleet is part of the country’s new strategic direction on the blue economy, which is designed to tap its maritime potentials. He invited local and foreign investors who are interested in the project to partner with the country.
The opportunity in crude freight is just one of the many potentials in the sector. He said the country is also taking its maritime security serious and has invested in the acquisition of security assets to boost the policing of its waters.
These assets include patrol boats, helicopter, unmanned air vessels and naval ships. He noted that the assets, acquired under the ‘Deep Blue Project’, which he calls a homeland security solution, will be operational by September this year.
Dr Dakuku Peterside called on investors to tap into the rich potentials of the maritime sector in Nigeria saying the government has incentivised the sector with offers of tax holidays and institutional support.
Nigeria, he reminded his audience is an investment friendly environment with comprehensive maritime security, a robust financial sector and seven port complexes. The country accounts for 70 per cent of seaborne trade into West Africa and is endowed with a skilled workforce and the world’s ninth largest hydrocarbon deposits.