Capt. Dennis Osah, the First President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), on Monday said that lack of funds had hindered the development of local shipping operations.
The mariner made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that a number of shippers who operated small crafts such as barges had found it difficult to maintain their fleet.
Osah said the situation was closely linked to how the banks in Nigeria treated requests for finances for shipping operations.
“The indigenous shippers have not had it easy because they cannot access funds from the banks.
“The banks are not interested in giving us loans to improve on shipping operations,’’ he told NAN.
Osah also said that many indigenous ship operators had not benefited from the cabotage law because it was difficult for individuals to buy ships.
According to him, vessel specifications are always given when companies want to give contracts and it becomes difficult when you cannot access funds to acquire the specified vessel for the operation.
“The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund has also not been accessible and people cannot continue waiting for no fixed time, ‘’ Osah said.
He said that charterers had also made shipping operations difficult by owing for services rendered, adding that arbitration had also not been able to solve the problem.
“It is as bad as charterers of barges not paying for close to one year and arbitration efforts have also not been able to solve the problem,’’ Osah added.