The Nigerian maritime industry is projected to grow by 2.5 per cent to five per cent between now and 2019 amidst an expected increase in demand for maritime services during the period.
This was contained in the Nigerian Maritime Industry Forecast for 2018/2019, which was unveiled in Lagos on Tuesday by the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside.
According to the forecast, Nigerians should expect total fleet size to grow by 4.08 per cent this year and 4.41 per cent in 2019.
The forecast released by NIMASA also projected that oil tanker fleet size would decrease by 2.23 per cent in the current year and increase by 1.7 per cent in 2019.
It projected that non-oil tanker fleet size would increase by 8.15 per cent in 2018 and 8.72 per cent in 2019, while the oil rig count should increase by 27.67 per cent in 2018 and zero per cent in 2019.
The maritime sector, according to the report, plays a major role in the exploitation, distribution and export of Nigeria’s ocean resources.
“With a total annual freight cost estimated at between $5bn and $6bn annually, the maritime component of the Nigerian oil and gas industry is worth an estimated $8bn, further reflecting the prominence of the sector to the Nigerian economy,” it stated.
According to NIMASA, the Nigerian Maritime Industry Forecast for 2018 and 2019, which is the first of its kind in the sector, is intended to serve as a compass for local and international stakeholders willing to do business in the country’s maritime domain.
It stated, “It is part of the initiatives of the Peterside-led management aimed at realising a robust and virile maritime industry in Nigeria. The forecast period, 2018-2019, covers a time of continuous recovery from recession to the 2019 general elections and finally culminates in the post-election era.
“As a regulator, we are driven by values and commitment as these are the only ways that investors can be attracted to harness the great potential in our maritime sector. On our part, we will continue to work out incentives and maritime sector specific interventions to attract investments.”