There is a strong indication that Nigeria may have made any input to the shipping Round Table document, which implementation may ignite a significant rise in cost of cargo freight in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG).
The Round Table, in anticipation of a surge in rates of piracy attacks in Nigeria as a result of a need to raise campaigns funds, had adopted a working document, which would amongst other things, boost ships protection, with an attendant increase in freight.
Speaking on this development, a shipping guru and Lloyds ambassador, Engineer Emmanuel Ilori said it was unfortunate that such a decision was taken without any recognisable input from the Nigerian indigenous ship-owners.
“There is no evidence of any input from the Nigerian indigenous operators”, Ilori, a candidate for the post of Publicity Secretary at NISA election indicated, noting that the Round Table, a body comprising of strong memberships like the Intertanko, the Intercargo etc should not have adopted such documented decision, without ensuring that Nigeria was adequately carried along.
He insisted that while he could not speak for either the Government side or the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), he was however very certain, that the Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA) was not carried along before the decision was taken.
“The indigenous shipping operators were not carried along. If there was anything like that, I would have known”, he highlighted further, stressing that he was however not in position to know, if the RT actually contacted the NIMASA or not.
When the Maritime First contacted both the Director General of the NIMASA, Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi and the agency Public Relations Officer and image maker, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, the duo failed to respond to text messages delivered unto their phones.
Their official responses would nevertheless be made available when obtained, especially in respect of the poor image the country could be attracting to itself, if most of the vessels coming into Nigeria should be covered in barb wires, despite the huge sums being expended on the fight against piracy.
It must be noted that the Round Table in taking the decision, may have also unwittingly granted endorsement to its members to hike freight as well as insurance premium.