The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, says policies of the Federal Government in the maritime industry are targeted at encouraging the inflow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the sector.
Dakuku stated this while addressing delegates at the West African Shipping Summit, a side event of the ongoing London International Shipping Week.
He disclosed that Nigeria was to set up an International Maritime Arbitration Centre in Lagos. This, he explained would facilitate the timely resolution of disputes within the Gulf of Guinea area and significantly reduce -the current trend where maritime players in the region are made to go to London, Dubai or Singapore for arbitration on maritime issues.
The NIMASA DG assured his audience, which included key players in the global maritime industry, that the reforms in the Nigerian maritime sector were opening up vast opportunities in the industry and invited investors to take advantage of them.
He said, “I believe that the Nigerian maritime environment has the largest potential. With a population of about 200 million, which represents over half of the entire population of West Africa, the potential in shipbuilding and repair are available.
“In the next five years, vessels built outside Nigeria will not be allowed to participate in Cabotage trade. So you are all invited to come and invest in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry in Nigeria.”
Dakuku also disclosed that the Nigerian Ship Registry was being reformed to make it more attractive by having provisions for both national and international players.
“We are also reforming the Nigerian ship registry. The bigger picture is that over time, we are going to have dual ship registry, which will effectively take care of national interest and international interest.”