Why FG Approved Zero Import Duty For Vessels - INDEPENDENT
LAGOS – Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that the Federal Government has approved zero import duty for ship owners to acquire vessels.
Jamoh, who disclosed this in a session at the maiden edition of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) held in Lagos with the theme, ‘Becoming a Significant Maritime Nation’, said that for the country to become a maritime nation, areas such as security and incentives which are physical and monetary to help the sector grow should be looked into.
He added that the zero import duty, a physical incentive presented to the ministry, had been approved in August and this would create a situation where the country will be having a national fleet.
“The maritime industry cannot achieve anything without security and we are pushing towards that and the major issue is to sustain the tempo.
“All mode of transportation, be it rail, road and air, have enjoyed incentives only the shipping sector. We are pushing for two types of incentives, physical and monetary, and I am pleased to announce that the physical has been granted.
“The Federal Government has granted the physical incentive which is zero import duty for ship owners and what is remaining is the monetary one and we are interfacing with stakeholders on this,” he said.
Jamoh said that speaking as a regulator, the country aspiring to be a maritime nation was not debatable but necessary as no country today could develop without the maritime industry.
Former Director General, NIMASA, Mr Temisan Omatseye, noted that constituting a legal framework and taking ownership of the country’s natural endowment would enable the country achieve a maritime nation status.
“Being a maritime nation requires more than providing seafarers and ships, relying on resources on the sea, we must think, breathe and act maritime.
“The country has navigable waterways that have not been used and should be used,” he said.
Mr Binyah Kesselly, immediate past commissioner, Liberia Maritime Authority, while speaking, said that the economic base of each country needed to be completed so that synergy of countries to attain maritime nationhood could be felt.
He advocated the need for specialisation, saying that each country should have their biggest advantage, like Nigeria being a gateway for port for other countries.
“The starting point should be the comparative advantage which each country has, and everyone must be integrated,” he said.
In her welcome speech, the Chairperson of the NIMS, Mrs Mfon Usoro, stressed the need to bring all necessary ministries together in a bid to get them in sync to adopt a holistic maritime national strategy.
According to her, a whole government approach to adopt the maritime industry growth is key to attaining the anticipated goals of the shipping sector