The Nigerian maritime industry is projected to grow between 2.5 percent to 5 percent from 2018 to 2019, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said.
Speaking at its maiden industry forecast in Lagos, Peterside based his projection on an increase in demand for maritime services in the country Nigeria within the stipulated period.
Reeling out figures to back his projections, the NIMASA helmsman noted that the forecast showed that Nigerians should expect total fleet size to grow by 4.08 percent in 2018 and 4.41 percent in 2019.
He noted that the maritime forecast also project that oil tanker fleet size will decrease by 2.23 percent in 2018 and increase by 1.7 percent in 2019, stressing that the non-oil tanker fleet size is projected to increase by 8.15 percent in 2018 and 8.72 percent in 2019 while the oil rig count is projected to increase by 27.67 percent in 2018 and 0 percent in 2019.
Stressing that the maritime sector plays a major role in the exploitation, distribution and export of Nigeria’s ocean resources, NIMASA boss also noted that it is with a total annual freight cost estimated at between $5 and $6 billion annually.
Speaking further, Peterside hinted that the maritime component of the Nigerian oil and gas industry was worth an estimated $8 billion, which he said further reflects the prominence of the sector to the Nigerian economy.
He said that the maritime industry forecast was intended to serve as a compass to local and international investors willing to do business in the Nigeria maritime domain.
He explained that the forecast period 2018 to 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 commitments as these are 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”, he said.
The Secretary General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Mrs. Mfon Usoro in her goodwill message commended the forecast as a great interaction with the industry players to move the sector forward.
Usoro who was the pioneer Director General of NIMASA observed that the increased presence of NIMASA activities in the maritime sector of the West and Central Africa sub-regions was an indication that the present leadership of the agency was on course.