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‘Maritime Sector Revenue Can Surpass Oil’

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L-R: Cajetan Agu, director of Consumer Affairs at Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC); Vicky Haastrup, chairman of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN); Akutah Pius Ukeyima, executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), and Mark Walsh, executive director of ENL Consortium, when the NSC Executive Secretary visited Haastrup in Lagos recently.

The nation’s maritime sector has the potential to surpass the oil and gas industry in terms of revenue generation for the country if given priority attention, Vicky Haastrup, chairman of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), has said.

Haastrup said this recently when the executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Akutah Pius Ukeyima, visited her.

While reiterating support for the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, she said the Federal Government’s desire to realise more revenue from the maritime sector can only be attained through ‘careful and strategic long-term planning’.

She also made a case for the passage of the National Transport Commission (NTC) Bill.

She said the proposed NTC will serve as an independent economic regulator in the transport industry including maritime, rail, aviation and land transport.

“It is expected to promote competitive market conduct and ensure that the misuse of monopoly or non-transitory market power is prevented in the provision of transport services.

“It will also promote private sector participation in the provision of transport services; ensure that operators and users have equitable access to the use of transport facilities, services, channels and routes,” she said.

She assured the Nigerian Shippers’ Council of her support for its transmutation into the NTC when the Bill is passed into law.

The STOAN Chairman said terminal operators at the nation’s seaports have addressed multiple challenges associated with cargo-handling operations through substantial private-sector investments made at the various terminals.

According to her, port concessionaires have increased the efficiency and productivity of the ports, reduced vessel waiting time, reduced the cost of doing business at the port, freed government resources for use in other vital sectors, increased the revenue of government generated through the seaports and generated jobs.

“Terminal operators in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority have improved the state of the ports in terms of security, quaywall and yard infrastructure, productivity and efficiency.

“The efficiency of our ports has improved multiple folds. Vessel waiting time has since been eliminated resulting in significant savings for importers and exporters. The government now generates revenue in trillions of Naira through the tax authorities, Customs, NPA and NIMASA as against the few billion generated before the concession,” she said.
Also speaking, Akutah Pius Ukeyima, executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council commended terminal operators for their investment at the port.

He said the visit gave him insight into the operations of terminal operators, promising to foster collaboration with the operators and provide the atmosphere required for businesses to thrive at the seaports.

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