By Ajibola Abayomi,
February 27, 2018.
Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has projected the nation’s maritime industry to grow by 2.5 – 5 % within 2018 and 2019.
The statistics was released in Lagos during the unveiling of NIMASA’s maiden forecast.
He also projected increase in demand for maritime services in Nigeria during the period.
The analysis in the publication as presented bu Peterside showed that Nigerians should expect total fleet size to grow by 4.08% in 2018 and 4.41% in 2019 and projected that oil tanker fleet size will decrease by 2.23% in 2018 and increase by 1.7% in 2019.
The non-oil tanker fleet size was projected to increase by 8.15 % in 2018 and 8.72% in 2019 while the oil rig count was projected to increase by 27.67% in 2018 and 0% in 2019.
While noting that the maritime sector plays a major role in the exploitation, distribution and export of Nigeria’s ocean resources, with a total annual freight cost estimated at between $5 and $6 billion dollars annually, the NIMASA presentation indicated that the maritime component of the Nigerian oil; & Gas industry was worth an estimated $8 billion dollars further reflecting the prominence of the sector to the Nigerian economy.
The forecast according to NIMASA was intended to serve as a compass for local and international stakeholders willing to do business in the Nigeria maritime domain.
Peterside stated that the forecast period 2018-2019 covers a time of continuous recovery from recession, to the 2019 general elections and finally culminates in the post-election era.
“As a regulator, we are driven by values and commitment, as these is the only ways that investors can be attracted to harness the great potentials in our maritime sector. On our part, we will continue to work out incentives and maritime sector specific interventions to attract investments”, the DG said.
He expressed delight at the maritime forecast release which coincided with the release of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) confirming Nigeria’s exit from recession. He noted that it is a positive indicator that Nigeria’s economy is rebound for growth in 2018 and beyond.
He said the forecast reviewed developments in the industry in 2017; shows expected International and Local Developments in Policy and Regulatory Environment for the Maritime Sector in 2018 and 2019 and also takes a look at Emerging Opportunities and Challenges for the Maritime Industry; all with the sole aim of realizing a robust and business friendly maritime domain that will also create avenues for economic prosperity.
He identified five bills undergoing legislative processes at the national assembly as key regulatory developments in the Nigerian maritime industry that will affect the maritime industry.
These include the Anti-Piracy Bill, the establishment of the Maritime Development Bank, Inland Fisheries Amendment Bill, the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Amendment Bill and the Cabotage Act Amendment Bill 2017.
He said “the gradual growth being recorded in the sector are the receding crime in the Niger Delta Region, the Deep Blue Economy scale up of our maritime security architecture and continuous collaboration, which is addressing the immediate challenge in this areas aimed at suppressing the emerging threats on our waters.”