More Than A Score Shipping Companies Exit Nigerian Shores

By Uche Mbah

Maersk Supply Service is  a part of Danish shipping and offshore energy conglomerate Maersk Group. In recent times, this supply arm  is making moves to reduce their Offshore Supply Ship Vessel (OSV) fleet by 20 within two years as well as its crew pool by 400 offshore points. This is symptomatic of the crisis that has befell the business world due to the repressive policies and unfavorable business environment that has become the hallmark of the present Administrations. Already, dockworkers are being laid off, reeling under $7 billion joint venture cash calls that went awry. At the last count, over 20 shipping firms that are affected have exited the Nigerian shores. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Maersk Supply Service, Jorn Madsen,  “We are facing unprecedented market conditions, and regrettably we have to further adjust our crew pool. It is an unfortunate, but necessary step to safeguard the future of our company”.

According t Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN),over 3,000 workers lost their jobs in various shipping, terminal operators and logistic companies due to the inability of the Federal Government to fulfill their own part of Joint Venture cash calls. Most Multi National Oil companies like shell have such subsisting contracts. Heres a roll call: Mitsui O.S.K Line, Nippon Yusen Kasha, Taiwan’s Evergreen Line, Messina Line, Hapag-Lloyd and Gold Star Line (GSL), and a host of others besides.

Stakeholders have knocked the import policies of the Nigerian government, and calls for review of such policies before more damages will be done to the country. Intels and other logistic companies are considering downsizing, and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) are making moves to sack a section of dockworkers, tally clerks and onboard security men.Duty regimes has reduced the importation of cars to an all time low. “In the last two years the number of vehicles in Nigeria has shrunk by almost two-thirds, while the volume of cars smuggled through Cotonou continued unabated,”  said the President, Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN), Anthony Emmanuel Nted.

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