***urges FG to pay attention to shipping business 

The Nigerian Ports Authority is losing whooping $41bn daily due to  poor management of the maritime sector, President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, Mkgeorge Oyung, has indicated.

Oyung who gave the indication in Abuja on Monday at a public hearing on a Bill titled the  Nigerian Economic Diversification Bill 2022, noted that NPA was making a total of $2m instead of $43bn as daily revenue. 

According to him shipping is the biggest business in the world; hence, Nigeria should pay attention to it. 

His words, “Shipping is 90% of global trends and as far as the world is concerned, nothing moves and nothing goes on without shipping and like I mentioned, without shipping, there is no shopping.

“NPA makes $2m a day by their revenue, whereas it is an industry where it is $43bn dollars a day;  $1.8bn  an hour and $30m a minute.

He indicated that NPA is making $2m a day, it means something must give way and my suggestion is that we should relocate from Ajegunle.”

The SOAN president also noted that the ports are functional but the poor management of the ports and lack of diversification has continued to inhibit the optimization of NPA. 

Commenting on the functionality of the ports, Oyung said, “All ports are functioning; the constraints of the ports are a matter of congestions due to poor port management of the port. 

“I am not trying to indict anybody but the fact that you have to manage the ships that come and make sure that  the ships that comes are producing and discharging and you don’t delay them at the port because the ship come to the port, it doesn’t dwell.  

“It is supposed to be very controlled, however in our port, especially Apapa port, it is so congested that the roads are not only the problem and of course what need to be done, I have suggested. On other ports, they are bound by infrastructure decay, they are bound by the fact that they are not being utilise.”

He further advised that the Apapa and Lekki ports, “particularly be a feeder ports where when the goods arrive and it has a two put of 3,000 containers a day, we don’t see the possibility of all of that being able to leave that port. So, we have other ships that will take them to other ports.”

He added, “If somebody imports a car, there’s really no reason why he should clear it in Lagos. If the car is taken to Port-Harcourt or Warri or Calabar, and cleared there, person can drive back to Kaduna, Imo, Maiduguri or other states.  So, when every car comes to Lagos and we diversify and say that some ports are for the exports,  rail road, cars and some ports for minerals, that will help the economy.”

Onyung noted that one of the ways to save the situation praticularly in Lagos was to relocate the Ajegunle community in other to save the ports. 

He noted that decisions like that must be taken in order to save the economy. 

He said, “There used to be a Tejuosho market, until Lagos state then decided to demolish the market and turn it into a market, today, people use AC there. 

“If you go abroad that’s how they started, when the market becomes chaotic and people do not get the value of their money, they try to modernize the market, so that people will be able to enjoy their money.”

Onyung noted that people can be relocated like the case of Maroko but Ajegunle should not be relocated in such manner, but should be compensated properly. 

He said, “I understand that the FG has spent N1-3tn on Agriculture, that expenses may not go far because the ports are not working, there is congestions and the ships are not working. 

“If that kind of money is invested in the ports and the ships, we’ll get back our economy easily. If N25m is given to bungalow owners and about or more than N45 to N55m is given two storey-building owners, and they leave Ajegunle within six months to one year. 

“And within a year based on what NPA is making in a year based on the $2m a day, it will be about $800m a year instead of the full optimization of $1.2bn an hour.

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