The Joint Body of the Nigerian Seafarer’s Professional Groups (NSPG) on Sunday said that the nation’s maritime industry is losing over $100 billion annually due to the inability of the Federal Government to implement the Cabotage Act.
Implementing The Cabotage Act
Speaking on Sunday at the 2023 IMO Day of the Seafarers celebration with the theme: “MARPOL @ 50 – Our commitment Goes on,” the Secretary General of Merchant Seafarers Association of Nigeria, Captain Alfred Oniye, said that there is a need to implement the Cabotage Act to create more jobs. He added that most of the jobs that belong to Nigerian seafarers are being occupied by foreigners, adding that the implementation of the Cabotage Act is enough to generate nothing less than $100 billion for the maritime industry yearly because it will open channels for opportunities in the industry.
According to Captain Alfred Oniye, “80 percent of the seafarers present here are jobless as most of them have been out of the sea. If we want these seafarers to meet up with their global counterparts, all they need is to add to their training and let them be more professional and create jobs for them…”
Lack Of Political Will
Meanwhile, the chairman of the organizing committee of the 2023 Day of the Seafarers, Captain Ogunshakin Rotimi William, said that the problem facing Nigerian seafarers is so complicated because of a lack of willpower or political interest in solving it. “It is a thing that they can solve, but they don’t want to solve it. The major problem is that Nigerian seafarers suddenly do not have jobs again. Nigeria suddenly does not have ships again. I can tell you 20 to 25 years ago, I spent over 30 years in the sea business, I can tell you the owners of ships, Olodoja, and so many of them are no more. “All those containers you see in the Tin-Can Island, Apapa port, killing people on our roads, no one was brought in by our ship. We don’t have ships bringing containers. Instead of the maritime industry bringing a source of revenue to the Nigerian citizen and to the economy of Nigeria to boost our economy, it is a drain pipe. It is draining our economy…”
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