The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, who is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee has disclosed that Nigeria is losing $1.9bn to foreign ship owners annual.
Bello, made this disclosure when he led members of the NFIC on a working visit to the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
In a statement issued on Friday by the spokesperson of NNPC, Kennie Obateru, the shippers’ council boss appealed to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, to encourage subsidiaries of the oil firm to always engage the services of indigenous shipping companies in their businesses.
Bello urged NNPC to grant local shipping companies the right of first refusal in crude oil lifting contracts, saying it would help grow the economy and sustain their businesses.
He told Kyari that the committee was set up three years ago by the Federal Ministry of Transportation with a mandate to promote Nigerian ownership of sips and vessels so as to enable local companies take control of the shipping business in line with the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government.
In response to this, Kyari said NNPC would support indigenous fleet owners to enjoy greater patronage and participation in the oil and gas maritime business in Nigeria. He noted that with the scale of the corporation’s activities in the maritime sector, NNPC would get more active in the affairs of the fleet management committee with a view to strengthening the synergy between the oil firm and the private sector.