Anxious to make Nigerians real players in the lucrative industry in which they have largely been mere spectators for so long, the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) has asked the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to grant national carrier status to the ISAN Shipping Line.
SHIPS &PORTS DAILY recalls that ISAN Shipping Line was formed in 2007, with all members of the association owning shares.
The sponsors planned to raise N1 billion for the emergent mega-shipping line, which was formed to enable Nigerians own ocean-going ships to participate in lifting and transporting the nation’s crude oil and other international trade.
Chairman of ISAN, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, who made the request on behalf of the association in Lagos, last week, said that the ISAN Shipping Line has fulfilled relevant conditions required for its conferment with the national carrier status.
Jolapamo said that ISAN Shipping Line was set up to enable Nigerian ship owners play effectively in carrying the nation’s cargoes, even as he lamented the sorry state of local operators in the shipping sector.
“The industry has been floundering like a rudderless ship for a very long time and we appear helpless. We are not only helpless now, but are now spectators in an industry where we should be calling the shots and this is the major challenge for the seasoned players who are dwindling by the day,” he stated.
The association met last week to adopt a constitution to enable it adapt to the demands of modern shipping practice and also accommodate all Nigerians who are playing actively in the sector.
The adoption of the new constitution was witnessed by the Executive Director, Cabotage and Maritime Labour of NIMASA, Barrister Obi Callistus Nwabueze.
During the meeting, Jolapamo listed some of the challenges facing Nigerian ship owners as non-disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), despite the years the funds have been sitting in the banks; non-implementation of the vessel repair and maintenance subsidy which was initiated during the era of Dr. Ade Dosunmu as Director-General of NIMASA; and foreign dominance borne out of personal interests, which, according to him, has been on the increase.
“We are all here to secure our maritime freedom and I implore every one of us to rise up to this challenge of moving this industry forward for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians,” the ISAN Chairman told his audience.
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