Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) yesterday said Nigeria required more ships to be globally competitive in the shipping trade and to unlock economic prosperity.
Speaking at the First Lagos International Shipping Expo, with the theme: “Shipping, Global Economyand National Development, SOAN President, Dr. Mcgeorge Onyung, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assist ship owners to acquire more ships, adding that ship owners have the key to unlock the national economic prosperity only if Nigeria has enough ships to be able to enjoy what is in the blue economy.
He noted that, “ship owners holds the key to unlock the economic prosperity because we know if there is no shipping, there is no shopping, which is why there is a connection between shipping and national development and, of course, shipping controls 90 per cent of the global economy.
“In addition, our seafarers are the most important workers on earth as declared by United Nations and we, ship owners, value them because their future is our development. We cannot have ships and then hand them over to those who are incompetent. That is why you see them as a member of our family.”
Speaking on the importance of the event, he said SOAN organised the event in order to speak with one voice so that stakeholders and government who regulates them can hear their voice loud to address and proffer solutions to the challenges facing real ship owners.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Committee (House of Representatives), Legor Idagbo, commended the SOAN for organising the extraordinary event, which showcases the vital and pivotal role of the shipping value chain across the full spectrum, not just of Nigeria’s national economy but indeed the global economy accounting directly or indirectly for 90 per cent of the global international trade.
According to him, on the eve of major upcoming legislative interventions: the amendment of the Nigerian Content Act, the Finance Bill 2019 and the Petroleum Industry Bill, I must confess the timing of this event is impeccable. The National Assembly shares a special bond with the maritime industry. We are partners in progress.