Nigerias Maritime Sector Still Struggling after 60 Years
EromoseleAbiodun writes that the Nigerian maritime industry has been held back by corruption, policy inconsistencies and decaying infrastructure 60 years after the country gained Independence
Nigeria is blessed with a vast coastline that many other country could only wish they have. Wits 853 nautical miles of coastline located on the corridor of Gulf of Guinea and the Bright of Benin, 200 nautical miles of Exclusive Economic Zone, 30,000 kilometres of waterways, comprising over 50 rivers, eight out of the 36 states having littoral status coupled with vast and fast growing population estimated at more than 200 million, Nigeria has no reason not to be a force to be reckoned with in the global maritime community.
However, like many sectors of the economy, the maritime sector is also bedeviled by many challenges that look impossible to resolve. But a few government agencies in the sector in the last few years have made efforts to make things right. The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for instance, has taken several steps to make Nigeria a hub in West Africa. However, years of neglect and corruption have made it looked like nothing is been done. The founding fathers of Nigeria knew that the state of the ports is a critical factor for efficient maritime operations, hence the establishment of the NPA by Ports Act (Cap 155 LFN 1954). This created the structural framework for the management and regulation of port operations. The authority executed its first wharf extension project betwe....