By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, Dec 31, 2020 The Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS) on Thursday said that adopting new measures in the maritme industry would enhance its contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021.
NIS President, Capt. Tony Onoharigho, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
Onoharigho said that the new measures would ensure that the country generates more income to boost the economy.
He urged government to look into the issue of cargo generation to boost revenue.
According to him, government can make more money in the coming year by ensuring cargo generation from the federal, state and local levels.
Onoharigho noted that the 40-40-20 cargo sharing formular was a practice government embarked upon in the past to help generate cargo for export.
“The 40-40-20 sharing formular means that 40 per cent cargo will come from the local government, 40 from the state and 20 from federal.
“The system was phased off and because of this, people lost containers of cocoa, wood, even cashew from the hinterland.
“The 40-40-20 cargo sharing formular is the Shippers Council’s perogative; they are in charge of cargo generation, and so they should cultivate what they have in the local government and encourage people to go into export.
“Previously, many people were generating cargo, like timber, which was being containerised in Calabar for export; so if they can be generating a lot of cargo from local governments, a lot of raw materials will be at the port for export,” he said.
Onoharigho said that curently, nobody was thinking about the cargo sharing formular because of the focus on oil.
He added that if the country was able to go back to the system, it would get a better GDP for the country.
Speaking on port automation, Onoharigho who commended the initiative, called for construction of roads leading to the port corridors.
The NIS president noted that the automation of the port was a good development, adding that the only solution that would aid the automation of the port was to construct the road leading to the corridors of the port.
“Throughout the year, things were tough with the COVID-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS protest, nothing actually moved forward, ships were stuck offshore, they could not even go for time-off and many tankers were at the high sea being quarantined.
“By next year and with all these things put in place by the government agencies, the automation and call-up system, I am sure that money will come into the country, with the ports running and other things happening, it means we will get over things very well.
“So, I am sure it is going to be a very good development in 2021 because it will raise income for the country,” he said.