…As FG tasks IOCs to Play by the Rule, Prioritise Maritime Workers***
The President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. McGeorge Onyung at the weekend observed that the fortunes of the earth are deeply buried in the Oceans, and assured Nigerians, that SOAN, come 2023, would leave no stone unturned, to earn Nigeria, significant revenue gains.
Dr. Onyung highlighted this in Lagos, at the SOAN GALA NIGHT, an End of Year event, for the Association’s stocktaking and stakeholders’ appreciation.
The group’s Arrowhead stressed that the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria is in good partnership with humanity; and would, therefore, do its best, to create prosperity and tilt the balance of global monetary value, in favour of Nigeria.
Providing an emphatic breakdown of what the global shipping industry is generating annually, daily and hourly, Dr. Onyung zeroed in, on what Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA was currently earning; and pledged that the nation’s ship owners, would definitely, change the narrative, in 2023.
Onyung Insists that the country is earning far less than it should.
He assured that the group, by next year, following the current efforts and ongoing synergy with relevant stakeholders like the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA; NNPCL and the International Oil Companies IOCs, SOAN would grow stronger, bolder and more pragmatic enough, to properly possess its possession.
He commended the NIMASA for synergizing with the Nigerian Navy, to entrench sanity, security and guarantee that shipping within the nation’s waters, can be done, without pronounced risks to either operators or vessels.
Specifically noting that without the security of waters, prosperity would flee, he moved from the Navy to the Nigerian Shippers Council, for its yeoman’s efforts at tackling the Apapa gridlock, while advancing the expected gains of Inland Container Depots.
He particularly appreciated the NNPC leadership, its vision and its positive paradigm shift while lauding the IOCs, especially, Shell Nigeria, for the observed collaborative disposition.
“Shipping has the capacity to unlock the economic potentials of this country” highlighted Dr. Onyung, stressing that earnings that are obtained from crude oil lifting, directly fall under non-oil earnings.
He applauded the Seafarers for their dedicated commitment to the cause of national and international trade; describing the workers as earth’s most important, and noting that 90 percent of global cargo movement was done by water.
Consequently, the Arrowhead of the SOAN, Dr. McGeorge Onyung counseled Nigerians, to approach year 2023 with greater hope, because it would open up new and inspiring business development opportunities, during which Ship Owners would begin to employ more Nigerians.
In the meantime, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has assured the nation’s ship owners, that Government would go the extra mile, henceforth, to demonstrate total and unspared support, to boost their success.
“We want to say we are very proud of you, for what you do, and for growing our economy”, Mu’azu Sambo, who was ably represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, quipped.
Calling attention to the recent approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for immediate disbursement of the Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund CVFF, as Government’s unhidden support for the success of indigenous shipping, the Minister pledged that the CVFF would soon be disbursed and more Nigerian vessels would berth and operate in Nigerian waters.
Thereafter, the Minister pounced on the IOCs, and the NNPCL, stressing that they must play by the rules, if they truly want peace, with Nigerians.
He maintained that the NNPCL is now a private liability company; and therefore, must conform, alongside the IOCs, on ethics of good business relations.
“Much as we want to support you, we also want to beg you: please, kindly play by the rules!”, stated Mu’azu Sambo, tasking the IOCs to abide by the Constitution and Government’s body language.
“We insist that you support our agencies and pay them for the services they rendered.
“There is no way we can continue to support you if you don’t pay us for the services we have rendered”, the Minister indicated further, adding that the Federal Government is determined to support the IOCs, through desirable, enabling policies; but such support would not come, at the expense of the country.
“But, more importantly, you need to prioritise the welfare of the Nigerian Maritime workers” explained Sambo, stressing that the authorities could not afford to have them down tool, as such would create a very negative backlash.
“So please, IOCs, NNPCL, kindly follow the footsteps of SOAN, by trying to make sure that the welfare of the Maritime workers is prioritised!”, Sambo further said.