Nigeria can generate $12bn annually from seafaring — SOAN
The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has revealed that if the current training pattern in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) is sustained, Nigeria can generate $12 billion annually from the seafaring profession.
Speaking during the recent 2020 passing-out-parade/graduation ceremony held in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, president of SOAN, MkGeorge Onyung explained that Nigeria has the vast potential to overtake Philippines as the world’s leading seafaring nation.
According to him, “We are very happy with development at the maritime academy, and want to express our readiness to continue to support the Academy. We are the true benefactors of the training that is taking place at the maritime academy in the last few years because we have invested so much in shipping, and cannot afford to have incompetent seafarers manning our vessels.
“I want to assure the graduating seafarers that they have entered the best profession in the world because without them, the world would have been in serious trouble during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
“The seafarers and the ship owners have the key to unlock the economic potential of this country. The Philippines which ranks as number one in seafaring today has only 400,000 seafarers manning ships globally. The 400,000 Philippine seafarers generate $6 billion annually to their country’s economy. Nigeria can raise 800,000 seafarers given our large population, which can translate into $12 billion annually into the Nigerian economy. That is why I left the practice of medicine because seafaring is the biggest business in the world.
“We take seafarers as members of our family. Whenever they get kidnapped by pirates, we don’t sleep. How can we sleep when we are in the comfort of our homes and these seafarers are on the high sea making money for us? Our heart goes out to those who have lost their lives during this Covid-19 pandemic.”
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