Members of the Nigerian Indigenous Ship Owners Association have registered a shipping company, to enhance their competitiveness in the maritime business.
Members of the Nigerian Indigenous Ship Owners Association have registered a shipping company, to enhance their competitiveness in the maritime business. They are also planning to equip the new outfit with necessary shipping infrastructure before the end of the fist quarter of the year. The company is to acquire two crude carriers and four product vessels before the end of the same period.
The Chairman of the association, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, told recently that the shipping outfit would be named ISAN Shipping Company Limited for which a Director-General has been appointed.
"We have established what is known as ISAN Shipping Company Limited with a share capital of N1 billion, and all members of the association will be shareholders and we hope to acquire at least two crude carriers and about four products carriers before the end the first quarter of this year," he said.
Jolapamo, who is also the Managing Director of Morlap Shipping Company Limited, said the vessels would be procured with the assistance from some Nigeria financial institutions.
"We have at least seven banks that are in serious discussions with us and they are willing to provide all necessary funding to make ISAN Shipping Company achieve its aims," he assured.
The Guardian had published two years ago that some Nigerian ship owners were planning to form a consortium with the aim of establishing a shipping company of national carrier status.
The source said then that Nigerian seafarers would be provided the opportunity to acquire the necessary seatime training, beside job placement for Nigerian seafarers.
"Nigeria could also boast of increased tonnage if the shipping line could be nurtured to maturity, to be able to play dominant role in the nation's shipping industry.
Seafarers have suffered a serious set back
"Since the collapse of the Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL), cadet seafarers have suffered a serious set back as they hardly find a vessel on board which they could acquire seatime experience.
"But if this company could be floated and given opportunity to grow and own ships, that problem would be over.
"The seafarers, who have been roaming the streets would also be gainfully employed and before you know it, Nigeria would be exporting seafarers to improve its foreign earnings.
"I have seen people even in high places, people with little maritime experience and because of their short time public appointment in public maritime parastatals, advocating the training of youths in the Niger Delta as seafarers.
They are right, but they forget that training and ship acquisition by Nigerians are complementary," one of the ship owners told The Guardian then.
He added: "If you train and you don't have vessels for their seatime training, the training is is not complete. That is what we have been experiencing. That is why we continue to beg foreign ship owners to have our cadets on board their vessels but how many of them are co-operating with us.
"But if these ships are owned by Nigerians, the story will not be the same. They would be willing to take their fellow Nigerians on board for practical training and even employ them at the end."
Meanwhile, the association will at the weekend honour four Nigerians who pioneered indigenous ship ownership in the country.
Those on the honours list of ISAN are 96-year-old Pa John Adewunmi Shodipo, who is the first Nigerian to acquire a ship; the late Chief Henry Fajemirokun, the late Alhaji Iyanda Folawiyo and Olorogun Michael Ibru.
Jolapamo, who disclosed this in Lagos over the weekend said the founding fathers would be honoured at the association's New Year Party billed to hold at the weekend at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He disclosed that Governor of Niger state, Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu would be the chairman of the event, while Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola is expected as the Special Guest of Honour.
"It is our tradition in ISAN to gather like this every year to not necessarily to make merry but to reflect and focus attention on critical issues affecting indigenous tonnage in the sector", Jolapamo said.