Hopefully, it should be feasible by December. It is something that is long overdue and Nigeria needs to have a carrier of its own. As nation, we are losing so much cargo and revenue by not having a carrier and if the government and private sectors put their minds to it, it will work, though I don’t know about December. If greater fore sight is put into it, slowly but steadily it will come on stream.I like how it isgoing and i also like the fact that it is a private partnership. I want the private sector to be in charge and that way efficiency and excellence will be ensured and it will not experience the neglect of the former NNSL. I am very hopeful and i do not entertain any doubt. Nigeria is ripe for this and this is the right time for it. All the funds from the private sector should be channelled towards this National carrier; it is capital intensive and it is profitable and the process is going to be excellent and it is going to work. It is something the private sector will want to be involved in by investing.
Barrister Obe Obiangeli
If it is going to be feasible by December or not, it depends on the Minister of Transport’s effort and the charisma of the people behind it because all the necessary things that has to be put in place and made available before it could be floated has to be properly done for it to be effective. There is nothing impossible about it happening because money is not everything.’ Why we are talking about money in this particular aspect is because of the risk involved in establishing the carrier but nevertheless, with the present economic situation by the time the national carrier has been established, definitely every other thing will be energised with it because the carrier is the stimuli to bring up every other thing. For example, the insurance company will come in and definitely maritime banks will be established also because banks that have to sponsor maritime business must be a different bank that understands in details everything that goes on in the maritime sector because of the risk involved I am very sure Nigeria can float a national carrier if a country like Ghana can float one. If there is anything that will make the process of the carrier not to be effective, it will be as a result of our greediness; but if indeed we are truthful to ourselves, then it will be a possible project.
Let us not talk about the timing now but i think the carrier will be feasible. There is need for us to put our house in place i.e. having to bring in all the stakeholders, the shipping companies, finance and all related institutions in place,and then something can be started. In the newspapers, a lot has been written on the national carrier that it is a government thing but i feel it is meant for the private sector and since the government is not totally in charge; am sure it will work.
It is a good news if is going to be feasible because what we want for our country is to move forward. The benefit of the national carrier has been itemized, highlighted by government agencies and stakeholders. What we need to know is that in addition to having a national carrier, it is good to make sure that we have the capacity to run it efficiently. I believe the stakeholders, government agencies and all those involved are doing all they can in order not to allow the mistakes of the past that led to the demise of NNSL and NUL to be repeated. If we can find out and make sure that those mistakes that led to the demise of those organisations do not repeat themselves, then we are getting somewhere.
National Carrier being feasible by December will take a miracle because there arestill a lot of things that need to be put in place. We are talking about carrier and we are all aware that the Nigerian government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pacific International Line (PIL) of Singapore and it is also known that the Minister of Transportation has set up a committee headed by Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council to look into the implementation of the carrier and that is best of what we know of for now. If we want to set up a national carrier, there is more to it because if it is going to be visible by December, by now we should have some visible collaboration with PIL that the whole nation will be able to see. We have our management team already working with the PIL management but what about operational team and who are the people working with PIL from Nigeria? Barely two months to the end of the year, setting up a management system alone takes a lot of strategizing which we are not seeing now except if it is been said that something is going on behind the scene that we all don’t know and that is the reason why i said it will take some miracle for it to take off by December. I feel the committee should have the free hand without any interference and the government should be able to sincerely listen to them and whenever the committee raises any issue of concern, the government should attend to the issues raised without any form of political delay.
Captain Ojutalayo Fola