How Nigeria loses N2.4bn daily in the shipping sector
Nigeria is suffering a debilitating revenue haemorrhage, as the Federal Government says the nation is losing a whopping US$15 million (about N2.4 billion) daily to unrecorded ship movements and under-declaration by vessels calling at the seaports.
Senior Special Assistant on Maritime Services to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Leke Oyewole, revealed this during an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office at the State House Complex, Abuja.
The Presidential aide said that the loss is arising from the illegal activities of some ships that fail to declare their presence on Nigerian waters and those that under-declare the volume of cargo on board.
He said that government agencies in the maritime industry also failed to capture up to 10,000 ship movements on Nigerian waters in the last six months.
“This is a most unfortunate situation but we are working with all the agencies concerned to stem this ugly tide. It is so sad that the Nigerian economy is losing such a huge amount of money due to the activities of some dubious shipping companies. We are closing in on them and I assure you that before the end of the first half of the year, we will block all the loopholes in our system,” he stated.
Oyewole, identified lack of inter-agency cooperation between key maritime and security agencies, including the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Navy (NN), as a source of concern to the Federal Government; a situation, which, according to him, has fuelled insecurity on the waters and contributed to substantial loss of revenue to the nation.
“Out of concern for the lack of synergy, I requested Mr. President’s approval, which he granted, for an maritime inter-agency meeting. We started meeting in June, last year, and, within the first three months, we recorded 6,000 ship movements on Nigerian waters ,” he stated.
The Presidential aide said that the insecurity problem and other challenges facing maritime activities in Nigeria were as a result of weak governance in the sector.
He disclosed that the Federal Government had plans to increase surveillance on Nigerian waters to ensure that all movements are captured and all vessels effectively monitored.
He explained that a system will be put in place to enable real-time monitoring of all ships by all government agencies “right from their offices.”
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