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AKHIGBE URGES NIGERIANS TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMERCIAL SHIPPING

By NBF News
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The new President, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Vice-Admiral Okhai Akhigbe (retd), has said that his dream is to see indigenous shipping operators fully participate in all commercial services in the industry.

Akhigbe, who took over from Chief Oskar Ibru, while giving an acceptance speech shortly after he was elected, lamented the poor participation of Nigerians in the nation's shipping sector.

He said, 'As I take over the helm of affairs of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, I am fully aware that the chamber's primary mission is to ensure that the Nigerian shipping industry participates fully in all commercial services within the Nigerian territorial waters in an effort to support the Local Content Development policy of the Federal Government.

'This is to stimulate the development of indigenous companies and encourage foreign investment and participation without compromising quality, health, safety and environmental standards. I do not have the energy that my predecessors have, I do not have the current level of networking with the younger generation, but I think what I have is the respect. I will leverage on that to contribute my own quota.'

Akhigbe added, 'The good news, as I read this, is that there are positive signs of recovery in the worldwide economy and as well in the Nigerian economy, especially after the banking sector reforms, and with the dynamic and purposeful administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, in taking decisive steps to enact the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Bill in April, 2010, which seeks to address the compelling need for us as a nation to have indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry.'

He called for the cooperation of all members of the chamber and other maritime stakeholders to ensure that his tenure took the Nigerian maritime sector to its rightful place in the comity of maritime nations.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director-General, NCS, Mrs. Ify Anazonwu-Akerele, called on members to be committed and involved in the sector so as to stimulate the growth and development of the sector.

She said, 'The Nigerian maritime industry is today witnessing the beginning of a new epoch in the annals of history; a period that will open up vistas to industrial harmony, cooperation and synergy.

'This will replace the era of rancour and disagreements that often generated friction and dissipation of energy and losses in resources and time. Our mission is to draw us closer to the vision of having stakeholders working as a compact unit to achieve common goals.'

Members of the NCS Governing Council include, Mr. Andy Isichgi, vice-president; Anazonwu-Akerele, director-eneral; Mr. Tonye Cole; Group Managing Director, Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti; Chairman, Standard Alliance, Chief Otega Emerhor; Chief Executive Officer, Integrated Oil and Gas, Mr. Tony Ihenacho; and Chief Executive Officer, Sopreto Shipping, Mr. Mina Ofonoruma.

Others are the Chief Executive Officer, Daddo Maritime, Alhaji Mahmud Tukur; Executive Officer, Visco Support Group, Mr. Ike Edwin Anyadigibe; Mr. Bimbola Ogunbanjo; Chief Chris Asoluka; Chairman, American Bureau of Shipping, Mr. Chris Anyaegbuna; Chief Executive Officer, C & I Leasing, Mr. Emeka Ndu; Chief Executive Officer, Starsz Shipping, Mr. Greg Ogbeifun; and President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.