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Shipowners partners NNPCL on vessel purchase



Shipowners have partnered with the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation Limited to boost ship acquisition in the country.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday after a meeting between the shipowners and NNPCL in Lagos hosted by the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping.

 The Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Shipping, Mr Panos Gliatis, suggested that pooling system as a viable approach for Nigerian shipowners to surmount fiscal challenges in ship acquisition.

 Gliatis lamented the nonavailability of contracts for shipowners, adding that NNPCL would address the challenges.

 “In the next few years, we can hope to see more Nigerian ships and the pooling system is an idea that is in the works. I think it should be discussed and explored because it is a system that assures impartiality, transparency and equal sharing of earnings,” he stated.

He reiterated the need for the two groups to leverage the new arrangement to address the challenges of ship acquisition.

 “I hope that we can build on this collaboration as a private company to find solutions with Nigerian shipowners, who are private businessmen as we look forward to achieving more together. This is the hope for everyone and it will be good for the entire shipping industry,”  Gliatis added.

Earlier, the President of NCS, Mr Aminu Umar, described the meeting as an opportunity to build collaborations and networks instead of the non-productive approach of confrontation.

“The Managing Director of NNPC Shipping didn’t just come here, but he came with his top management team. He wants to see how we can work together to develop the industry. So, I am very excited and believe this interactive session has been worthwhile. We should engage more because there are lots of opportunities which we are all losing out on.”

 “If we are able to engage and we bring all our strengths together, there is high possibility that we will change the way the industry stands today,” the NCS president noted.

 On his part, the President of Nigeria Shipowners Association, Mr Sola Adewunmi, lamented that Nigerian shipowners had been unable to attract investors on account of the unavailability of jobs in the sector.

 He equally complained that no Nigerian shipowner had participated in the supply of crude oil to Dangote refinery.

Adewunmi stressed that indigenous operators were losing out and the government also lost potential earnings via taxes.

“How do you borrow money from the bank when you are not securing a job that can actually pay for that loan? We have looked at it. One of the ways we can improve shipping is for NNPC to give us the platform to collaborate with international partners.

 “If indigenous shipowners do not have the capacity right away, there should be an opportunity for us to collaborate with foreign shipowners to bring this in the process. Our people are undergoing training,” he declared.

 The President of Shipowners Association of Nigeria, Mr Sonny Eja, remarked that it was high time Nigerian shipowners shelved their differences and come together to have one body that would explore the pooling strategy.

Eja also asserted that a united body of shipowners would also be more successful in engaging government agencies with a view to addressing the myriad of challenges affecting shipping.

For the Vice President of NCS, Ify Akerele, shipowners needs to collaborate as private entities and individuals in order to avoid the political conflicts that could arise from partnerships as associations.

 Akerele also noted that the chamber would continue to engage all categories of stakeholders to address problems affecting shipowners in the country.



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