#MaritimeRealityCheck: Keynotes In Nigeria’s Shipping Development

Nigeria Maritime Industry needs ‘fixes’ to harness over five million jobs- Jolapamo

On this edition of our series “Maritime Reality Check,” the CEO Morlap Group, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, a prominent Nigerian Shipowner and founding father of Nigerian Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), gives insights and shares his thoughts on the very many issues that have shaped shipping development in Nigeria.

Jolapamo points out keynotes in efforts at developing Nigeria’s shipping sector, from a government-managed Nigerian National Shipping Line to government funding for ship acquisition and the issues with the provisions of the Cabotage Act, which aimed at giving indigenous ship owners broader opportunity to partake in the shipping trade.


A report from the interview:

Nigeria Maritime Industry needs ‘fixes’ to harness over five million jobs- Jolapamo

Indigenous ship owner and CEO of Morlap Group, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, wants Nigeria to begin to make necessary fixes in sub-sectors of the maritime industry, particularly shipping development, in order to create at least five million jobs that can care for the nation’s employment needs.

Jolapamo was speaking on the interview programme ‘Maritime Reality Check’ where he highlighted the importance of the nation having a foreign-going national fleet.

He said: “We have said it over again that the maritime industry is capable of generating more than five million jobs for young people walking the streets now.”

He, however, said that the first issue to address would be the need for the country to acquire a foreign-going national fleet that would serve multiple economic purposes of trading as well as seatime training for cadets.

“We have enumerated lots of reasons in the past, of the need for us to have our own flagship, our own carrier. And our founding fathers even thought of this before independence.

“They already started training Nigerians with Elder Dempster and so on, even before the formation of the National Line. But of course, the interest and lack of knowledge brought about the collapse of the NNSL and whatever followed thereafter.

“The politics of shipping development have also dampen the morale of people who had invested into shipping. The likes of Fajemirokuns in the 70s, the Yaraduas, the Danjumas. But, you cannot find a success story. And it is very shameful in the sense that we do not believe in ourselves. We do not trust ourselves.”

He expressed disappointment that since 43 years ago when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation planned on acquiring a tanker fleet it had failed on that plan, which would have saved the country huge amount of foreign exchange.

He said: “I joined the NNPC in 1977, because the NNPC was going to have a tanker fleet. But today that has not happened, 1977 to date. These are politics of it.

“All that Nigeria needs in the wet cargo trade is to change her trading policy. But those that want them to believe it is impossible, have their voices louder than those that knows it is possible.”

On the issue of seatime training, Jolapamo warned that Nigeria must understand the importance of training her own people as no country would actually develop manpower for another, as they would rather such countries continue to rely on them for their manpower needs.

“If you have your own line, which is the easiest way with which you use to train your people, it is better because, people would tell you they would help you with training. It is a lie, they are training for themselves. Because, when they train them, they would not encourage them to come back. Even if they encourage them to come back, they would not have anything to come back to.

“Whichever side, if you don’t get your acts right, you are going to lose out. If we train foreign-qualified people, we have the tendency to earn foreign exchange from them like they are doing in Philippines and those places. But, like I said, we started on the wrong foot,” he added.

A basis for concern in manpower training, according to Jolapamo, is that Nigeria has stopped training the other ranks who are crew on board vessels.

He called the attention that: “On the other rank, which are the crew, you have from boson to the seaman, as well as in the engine room, maybe motorman, the average is 60/40.

“The officers take 40 % on a ship, while the other ranks is 60 %. Assuming that we are training the 40%in Oron, how are we training the 60 %? We have stopped training the 60%. We have made effort to continue to train them, but of course, the effort has not been good.”

Speaking on the new normal in shipping operations and global trade, Jolapamo urged Nigeria to make haste to define what the country is actually doing with developing the shipping sub-sector, as a significant way to establishing her place in global trade.

1 Comment
  1. Vina O. says

    Really insightful!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.