Nigeria’s efforts to strengthen its domestic fleet have stepped up a gear and the country is now planning an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in its national shipping company.
Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, told press that floating the shipping company will create jobs and bring in increased revenue, according to reports from Naija247.
The minister called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to commence full implementation of Nigeria’s cabotage law, which he said is part of the organisation’s core mandate. A new NIMASA governing board has just been sworn in.
Amaechi reiterated that Nigeria’s cabotage law, passed in 2003 as the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, would protect citizens and the economy from competition by foreign players. The law will also provide a fund for vessel financing.
The law was instated before the country had a fleet of domestically flagged vessels to put into service. Nigerian owners have been trying to buy vessels for employment in coastal trades since the Act was established, but international owners have been wary of selling to what they perceive could be unscrupulous buyers in the country.
“To establish a cabotage act before you have a fleet is interesting, that’s one way of putting it,” a source familiar with the matter told Splash last year.