The demise of the Nigerian National Shipping Lines (NNSL) taught Nigerians many lessons of commitment and the dangers of not taking responsibility in issues of management and sustainability.
They may be seen as tales, but the fact remains that because the financial commitment was solely that of the government, the resources management, finance and personnel, was handled shoddily, which lead the national carrier aground.
Years after the ‘death’ of the NNSL, it has dawned on the maritime industry that for another national carrier to surface and survive it must be done on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach.
The model, according to industry operators, will require the funding of the vessel to be done based on agreed percentages from the government and the other from the private sector participants.
In this regard, the presence of government will be expected to give the public confidence that the nation owns a carrier while the private sector presence will actually give the needed commitment to ensure that the business is not run at a loss; of course.
Various stakeholders in the maritime industry have attested to the fact that a PPP approach will rebuild and boost the effort toward revamping the national carrier.
In the same vein, reference can be made to how the Nigerian ports were overhauled to full and efficient operations when private partnership with the government was introduced. But for the concession of the ports, the activities at the ports would have been completely lost.
The story is different today because every investor at the port wants the best service provided for clients and while he profits from his investment he is certain that the management is able to sustain the business for the time ahead.
It is encouraging and well commendable that the PPP is also being adopted to ensure robust development in such a vital area as the automotive industry, considering that the industry drives agriculture and virtually all sectors of the nation’s economic activity.
Not only has the policy been made to ensure that the industry begins the local assemblage of vehicles, it has also gone a step ahead to tidy up every part of the system for effective workability; in this regard, setting up a structure for manpower development in automobile repairs.
As expressed by the National Automotive Council, the curriculum and infrastructural manuals for the design and development of the automotive mechanics training was initiated after consideration that the local mechanics were not able to understand and repair new generation vehicles in the country.
A study by the council to identify the areas of skills gap showed that 80 per cent of the skill deficiencies of the automobile technicians hinge mainly on the electrical/electronic systems of these modern vehicles while 20 per cent are on incorrect work methods, safety and environment as well as poor workshop management.
The curriculum also covered the provision of the training for the award of trade test certificates 11, 11 and 1 in automotive mechatronics. And over time, a number of state governments have made provisions of land for mechanic villages as they collaborate with the National Automotive Council and other stakeholders to enhance private participation in the design, financing construction, operation and maintenance of selected mechanic villages through concession on contractual basis.
These training initiative incorporated into the policy is going to be driven on a PPP model and it is only on such basis that assurance of productivity and sustainability of the programme can be assured.