The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, says Nigeria is losing, every year, some $9 billion to foreign shipowners.

The reason, Bello explained, is because the country does not have any vessels involved in international freight services.

Bello explained further: “In 2015 alone, Nigeria spent $9 billion on freight and not a single ship is owned by a Nigerian or Nigerian firm. Meaning that this huge revenue went to foreign vessel owners and this development may have lingered.

“However, with the support of the government in diversifying the economy, we have been engaging stakeholders in order to do something about this. So, we are targeting that in about three years’ time, Nigerians will own and operate vessels and benefit from the revenue there.”

He stated this at a one-day seminar for transport and aviation correspondents in Abuja.

The NSC boss added that the government had taken various measures to ensure that Nigerian firms own vessels in order to benefit from revenues being generated from global freight services.

Speaking further, he pointed out that Nigeria made no money from the billions of dollars spent by importers and exporters as freight fees to owners of vessels.

He attributed the situation to the fact that there is no Nigerian-owned ship involved in international cargo movement.

But Bello revealed that a committee had been set up to see that the country has its own shipping line and said about five million jobs could be created if the estimated $9 billion that had been going to foreign shipowners was invested in the sector.

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