The maritime and shipping industry in Nigeria is a goldmine of opportunities. Since the pre-colonial times, the industry has contributed immensely to the economic progress of the most populated West African nation with a statistical cut mark of 40% of the total GDP of the Nation every year.
With a land mass of 923,768 km2 (356,669 sqm) and a coastline of over 823 kilometres and navigable inland waterways of about 4,000 kilometres the maritime potentials in Nigeria are enormous.
Nigeria’s strategic location on the coast of West Africa also puts her at an advantage of becoming a globally recognised hub of shipping activities. The first and most important opportunity to note here is the opened possibility to be structured as a maritime hub to all landlocked States within Central and West Africa respectively.
The nation is a coastal state, with broad coastlines and tremendous exclusive economic zones. It has inland waterways which are a home to large volumes of various commodities, minable minerals, and oil and gas exports.
The rich opportunities within the maritime sector have amassed overtime as the present developments and achievements are attached to a very reputable history. In the early days, the country had only two major sea ports which were in Lagos and Port Harcourt. These ports were inadequate to facilitate all imports, exports duties and maritime businesses across the coastlines and on behalf of the country. Presently, the number of sea ports has more than doubled under the auspices of the Nigerian Port Authority (the “NPA”).
There has also been large support in key legislations, policies and programmes, all aimed at boosting the global reckoning of the maritime sector; and developing local expertise. Some legislation worthy of mention are the Cabotage Act which provides a legal framework to guard the activities of transport within the inland waterways across the country. Presently, the National Assembly is deliberating on a new “Nigeria Inland Waterway Authority” (NIWA) Act which will primarily see to the execution of the Cabotage Act and administer every other function and responsibility to ensure that the territorial waters are kept in best conditions and meet up to world standards.
The robust activities in the sector and continuous growth premised on the above developments, present enormous opportunities for investors. For instance, the deregulation and liberalization of the port sector has given additional impetus for private initiatives in terminal operation.
Investment in the provision of port infrastructure, super structure and terminal facilities for container operation is available for private interest through different public–private sector interest such as leasing, Build, Operate and Own (BOO), Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) in the different segments of the port sector. Generally, Nigerian ports lack modern cargo handling plants and equipment, infrastructure and service facilities. Investment in the provision of these operational and service facilities are essential and therefore constitute viable investment options.
Apart from terminal operation, another area of investment is in fleet acquisition. Vessels represent a major segment of assets in the sector where tanker and cargo vessels are very popular. The Nigerian investors usually buy used vessels because of the huge capital outlay involved in purchase of new vessels. It has been estimated that a minimum of 20 vessels will be needed as take off to efficiently improve the transshipment of import and export in the next five years in Nigeria.
Other assets that are required in the sector include cranes, reach stackers, haulage vehicles, heavy duty handling equipment, forklifts etc. Part of the findings revealed that on a monthly basis, over 200 units of trucks will be needed for distribution of goods from ports to their final destination.
For more information, advise and consultation bothering on immigration issues, foreign investment and participation in the maritime and shipping or any other sector in Nigeria, contact:
5A Dozek Close,
Off Alternative Route,
Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria.
TEL: +2348034869295, +2348020550410