The maritime sector’s contribution to the national economy stands at N7 trillion annually, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has revealed.
Nevertheless, the industry requires the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria to be able to reach its full potential and contribute more to the economy.
Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary of the NSC, who made the disclosure to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, said the Federal Ministry of Transportation was making efforts to connect the new Lekki seaport in Lagos by rail.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the CBN to look towards our direction. It is intervening in the aviation, agriculture, movie or entertainment industries, and so on.
“Here is an industry that will give oil a run for its money if properly managed. We are talking about a N7 trillion per annum industry; that is the maritime transportation industry.
“So I want the CBN to look no further. The logistics chain must be supported and we have to export,” he said.
According to Bello, 80 per cent of the receipts by the Nigerian Customs Service come from the maritime industry.
He said the council was planning 24-hour operations at Nigerian ports, further stating that evacuation of cargos via rail from the ports in Lagos had scaled down the cost of transporting containers.
The shippers’ council boss noted that the process of full digitalisation of Nigerian ports had kicked off, saying the decision would enhance efficiency at the facilities.
“The port itself must be digitalised because we realise that the physical presence of people is slowing port operations. We need to have paperless ports.
“And we have terminals in Nigeria that are almost 80 per cent digitalised. So that is our focus now.”
Bello observed that various agencies at the ports were being incorporated into one system to support the full digitalisation of ports in the country.
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