Nigeria to revive its national shipping line

Nimasa director general, Dakuku Peterside.

Nigeria is looking to revive National Unity Line (NUL), its national shipping line which collapsed in 2005.

Yesterday the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Nimasa) announced that they would partner with the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in order to make this happen.

Commenting on the reasons behind the move, Nimasa director general Dakuku Peterside said that if the country had no vessels of its own it could not be a major player in the maritime space.

“You can only be a major player in name, but in reality you will not get maximum benefit from trade,” he said.

Peterside noted that Nigeria’s transport ministry had already initiated a process where the private sector would pool resources to float a national fleet while a National Fleet Implementation Committee had already been appointed and would be headed up by the executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello.

Nigerian transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi, said that core investors from the private sector would own 49% of the shipping line’s shares while Nigerian shipowners would own 51%.

According to Peterside, involvement of the private sector was the only way to guarantee the effectiveness and efficiency of shipping in the country.

“We have looked at the Nigerian Unity Line and the only tangible asset they have is [an] operating licence, [which] confers on the enterprise certain privileges deriving from the Cabotage Act and also from the local content policy,” added director general of the BPE, Alex Okoh, “This can be the foundation of a virile shipping business in Nigeria.”

Before its collapse the NUL only had one ship to its name, the MV Abuja.

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