The newly appointed Chairman of the Benin City River Port Technical Committee of Edo State, Engineer Greg Ogbeifun has urged the Ship Registry Implementation Committee headed by Engineer Emmanuel Ilori to be more open with positive developments on Nigeria’s ship registry review process in order to boost the nation chances in global trade participation.
This is even as the former President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) warned that too much confidentiality will negate the efforts being put in to reform Nigeria’s Ship Registry.
Speaking to selected maritime journalists recently in Lagos, Engineer Ogbeifun who is also Chairman/CEO of Starzs Investments Company Limited stated that leading maritime nation’s has a checklist, and monitors developments in ship Registry world over online.
According to Engineer Ogbeifun, “the ship registry committee is now an implementation committee. After their inauguration, I called Ilori and told him that I want to set up a global fleet that must be registered and flagged Nigerian. That how can his committee come in?
“Ilori replied me that everything is still confidential. What is confidential? If the essence of restructuring is to attract global shipping into Nigeria’s Register, the place to start from is to ensure that people know that Nigeria Ship Registry is getting reformed.
“Every step we take positively on our ship registry, we ought to let the world know. People in China, Hong Kong, London have a checklist, and if they don’t know that Nigeria is restrategising her ship registry, then we won’t be achieving anything.
“I asked Ilori to put everything online so the world can see, he is telling me it’s still confidential. What is confidential? If you press a button, you will see the Liberian ship registry online; you will see the London ship registry online. So as I am sitting here right now, I don’t know what is happening with the implementation committee on ship registry.
“If for example, that implementation committee has sent delegations to Liberia or to England, asking to appoint Non-Exclusive Surveyors because Nigeria is improving her flag registry, it should be online. That shouldn’t be confidential.”