African continent is one of the largest in terms of cargo contributions to global maritime trade, said the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside who charged foreign investors to tap into the opportunities that abound in the African maritime sector.
Dakuku who spoke at the Nigerian Business Summit at the sidelines of the recently concluded Shipbuilding, Machinery Technology (SMM) Conference which held in Hamburg Germany said that Africa Generates and receives a lot of cargo and this makes it a market hub of the present and future.
He noted that the Nigerian maritime sector is specifically open to investments adding that the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has put policies in place that would be beneficial to interested investors.
“It is known worldwide that Africa is the world’s biggest untapped market waiting to be unveiled and if you want to tap into the market of today and the market of the future then Nigeria is your destination, Nigeria is welcoming you, Nigeria is the investment destination of today and the future”. He said.
Dr. Dakuku however stated that any investments from outside the continent must be mutually beneficial to both parties noting that Africa will not be shortchanged. He advised foreigners willing to participate in the biggest maritime industry to propose symbiotic terms that would ensue sincere trade amongst participants. He added that the continent is leaning towards China because they offer better understanding of the African market. He added that Europeans must also come to the party with genuine interest and opportunities of financing for the sector which the industry is in dire need of.
“China appears to be offering Africa favorable terms of engagement in terms of cost of financing project, in terms of the duration for the payment of facilities and in terms of ease of transfer of technology, Europe may offer better technology, Europe may even offer better managerial capability, but what of the issue of financing, it is up to Europe to realize that the market of the future is in Africa and offer mutually beneficial terms not terms that benefit Europe only to the detriment of Africa. So if you offer us favorable terms of engagement then Africa is open for business, Nigeria is open for business”, he emphasized.
Also speaking at the event, the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany Hon. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar said that the SMM Hamburg offer a platform for maritime investors across the globe to cross fertilize ideas. He noted that Nigeria particularly is ready for investment adding that the President Mohamed Buhari led administration has remained resolute and determined in providing enabling environment and repositioning of the maritime industry to optimally compete with its counterparts around the world especially with the introduction of policies and programs that have remarkable impacts on the sector thereby making it more attractive for foreign investments.
The SMM, Hamburg is a maritime trade fair organized biannually in Germany to discuss germane issues of maritime by key players in the industry worldwide. This year’s summit brought to the fore the impact of emissions from Ships requesting every maritime nation to seek avenues of emission reduction.