Stakeholders in the maritime sector have been blamed for the country’s inability to own a national shipping line.
Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotomi Amaechi said unless Nigerians provide 60 per cent of the investment as required by law, establishing a national shipping line would not be realisable.
Mr Amaechi said the law requires that 60 per cent of the funding be provided by Nigerians while the remaining 40 per cent is contributed by foreigners.
He said the plan has become practically impossible due to the unwillingness of major players in the maritime industry to raise the funds
The Minister disclosed a thanksgiving service to mark the 71st birthday celebration of the Chairman of a popular shipping company in Nigeria, Mr Gregory Ogbeifun, in Benin, Edo State, yesterday.
Mr Amaechi said though a foreign firm had assured of providing 100 per cent of the money required for setting up the shipping line, he would not grant such approval as doing so would amount to flouting the law.
“For not having a national shipping line, some stakeholders in the maritime sector think that I may not have done well. The law setting up a national shipping line says that Nigerians would provide 60% of the investment and foreigners will provide 40%”
“So, I went to Singapore, got a company that accepted to bring the forty per cent but unfortunately, till today, no Nigerian has been able to provide the remaining sixty per cent. The company had said to me that they would bring all the 100% and hire some Nigerians as stakeholders, but I disagreed because that would amount to breaking the law”.
“There is also a company in Dubai that said they would set up the national shipping line by providing the 100% but I have told them that the law only allows them (foreigners) to provide 40%”.
He observed that his job was to provide a conducive environment for business to thrive, which he would always strive to achieve.