Develop Cabotage locally to solve problems of seatime training, Folarin urges FG
Chairman of the Port Consultative Council (PCC) Otunba Kunle Folarin has advised the Federal Governmentto develop Cabotage within the country’s territorial waters in other to solve the problem of seatime trainings facing Cadets.
Folarin, while speaking with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, urged the Federal Government to provide training ship for the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
Folarin said, “It may not accommodate all the graduates but it will be a start in the right direction. It is a major issue, if you look at the huge trade generated by Nigerians and the number of ships that carry thosetrades; if Nigerians are taking only five per cent of that opportunity, then we could have created over 4,000 employment,” he said.
The PCC boss advised Nigerian shipping companies to look for alternative way to fund the acquisition and repair of ships beyond the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, (CVFF).
Otunba Folarin said this alternative is expedient in order for the indigenous companies to remain in business.
According to him, “Since we don’t know when the government will disburse the CVFF, I advise the indigenous ship owners to look for alternative ways to fund ship building and ship repair.
Giving the alternative, the PCC Chairman said, “The easiest alternative is joint ventures, time charter, slot charter and the rest. Like the massive transformation going on in the power sector, our ship owners should be able to use ships to service the power project, they can use their ships to import turbines that will be used in the power sector.
“Iif indigenous shipping companies cannot buy ship, they can do slot charter in which they buy a space in another ship to bring cargoes into the country.
“With slot charter, the shipping company can issue bill of lading for the containers they brought into the country and this will on the longrun provide a huge amount of profit for the shipping companies.”
The PCC boss also stated that any company that engages in this type of alternative would find it very easy to get investors that would help them acquire new ships.
“If investors financing acquisition of ships know that you have goods you freight regularly and they know that you have reasonable amount of money due to the businesses you are doing, it will be easy for them to finance your ship acquisition,” he said.