The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has identified the types of vessels that local operators in the shipping business should purchase that can guarantee good business and return on investment.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, stated this in Lagos on Tuesday, during the Shipowners Association of Nigeria’s annual workshop and dinner.
Speaking at the workshop, themed, ‘The Nigerian Maritime Industry; Galvanising Stakeholders, Engagement for Sustainable Growth,’ Wabote said the NCDMB, in partnership with key stakeholders, had developed a five-year vessel demand profile for oil and gas operations, based on data received from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services in October 2018.
According to the analytics carried out using types of vessel categories and industry spend, the top five vessels in projected demand between 2019 and 2023 would be tugboats, security patrol vessels, jargon barges and crew boats, among others, he noted.
He said, “These ships account for 66 per cent of marine vessel requirements. Crew boats, security vessels, guiding support vessels account for 49 per cent of vessels that will be in demand over the period 2019 to 2023.
“Accommodation vessels, supply vessels, anchor handling truck vessels, tug boats, barges, will account for 23 per cent of the demand in the oil and gas industry.
“In the next five years, industry spend on tugboats and other vessels is projected to be $1.6bn, or 51 per cent of total spend, and the annual spend is projected to be $641m over 519 marine contracts in Nigeria between 2019 and 2023.”
He said from the outlook, the vessels listed should occupy the focus of Nigerians who aspired to own vessels in the coming years.
Wabote listed other areas of intervention of the board to include the $200m Maritime Intervention Fund, launched in partnership with the Bank of Industry to provide a single-digit interest loan to Nigerian oil and gas service providers.
He added, “Based on the feedback from our stakeholders, we recently secured approval to increase the limit of loans for refinancing to $10m from the initial $2m. We hope that this will free up some of the highly leveraged assets of the industry.
“We understand our kind of business moves with the oil price.
“As at the end of October 2018, $21m had been given out as loans to beneficiaries but there is still significant head room for disbursement to interested applicants.”
He said a committee had also been set up between NCDMB and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to harmonise standards for categorisation of marine vessels.
“Such vessel harmonisation has been concluded to agree on the definitions of various nomenclatures of marine categorisation,” he said.
In his opening address, the President, SOAN, Mr Greg Ogbeifun, said that the association had several engagements with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government and stakeholders on maritime, regarding cabotage funds, vessel categorisation, vessel hire rates, dollar/naira payment rates, training, waivers and intervention funds, among others.
He said these engagements were aimed at facilitating the streamlining of government policy direction towards the actualisation of realistic maritime potential.
He said shipowners had been making plans to purchase vessels that could be put on hire to the NNPC so that the corporation could patronise local shipowners instead of the usual practice of chartering ships from the United Kingdom.
“We are optimistic that these engagements will yield the desired results in the nearest future in order to ease the burdens currently faced by shipowners in running their businesses, facilitate the emergence of a competitive Nigerian maritime industry that is at par with other maritime nations and contribute to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product,” he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, who was represented by the Executive Director, Marine Operations, NPA, Mr Sekonte Davies, stated that shipping would continue to contribute to the world maritime trade.
She said the NPA had been engaged in capacity building to handle ship to port interface in the maritime sector by encouraging the development of deep seaports to attract larger vessels and ensure maritime security by sustaining vessel tracking information.
Bala-Usman added that the agency was also deploying simulation facility for the training of seafarers.
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, in his address, assured the stakeholders that the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, was working on the guidelines for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund that was meant to help operators acquire new vessels and maintain existing ones.
He said the disbursement would begin effectively in 2019.