Expert urges Buhari to tap maritime potential

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

A MARITIME expert and consultant, Engineer Emmanuel Ilori has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take advantage of the ample opportunities in the maritime sector to diversify the economy.

Ilori, who is a consultant in maritime engineering and management with over 20 years international experience, said if the sector is reformed, Nigeria has the capacity to be a global player in the industry.

In the recent past, experts had ascribed the industry’s poor performance to statutory instruments, but Ilori said it is not peculiar to Nigeria.

According to him these instruments are essentially Maritime Technical Development Regulations that require technical expertise for their effective utilization and implementation.”

Ilori explained that it is called Home Trade in the United Kingdom, and it addresses trade, technical and human capacity, while in the United States, The Jones Act was designed to protect existing maritime industry and prepare it for growth.

Relating it to Nigeria, he noted that the most populous country in the African continent has the benefit of two excellent instruments in the Local Content Act and the Cabotage Act.

“The first was adopted based on the internal technical local content gaps identified within the oil and gas industry. Its modest positive impact is largely due to its implementation by technical experts with thorough understanding of the industry.”

Ilori argued that “The Cabotage Act is the most important instrument that is capable of transforming the Nigerian maritime sector; both technically and economically.

Presently, he disclosed that an initial $200 million is available in the CVFF, emphasizing that it is a great impetus for Nigerian engineers and technicians to build ships locally.

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