Despite the existence for nearly 20 years of a law that provides for the reservation of part of Nigeria’s crude oil export for local shipping operators, it may take the coming of Shehu Ladan as group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the dream to be realised.
Shortly after returning to the state oil company, Ladan told a gathering of shipping operators and stakeholders that he is prepared to actualise the provisions of Nigeria’s shipping policy which at the time it was formulated in 1987 had stated that ships flying Nigeria’s flag should lift up to 50 percent of the country’s crude oil export.
In unequivocal terms, Ladan who spoke at a reception organised by the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) said better days are ahead for the indigenous shipping community.
The reception was held in his honour and the ministers of interior and transport, Emmanuel Ihenacho and Yusuf Sulaiman, respectively, with Ladan saying that his tenure as group managing director of NNPC will assist ISAN to get technical support for their vessels which has been a major complaint against them.
While speaking on the nation’s maritime sector, the NNPC boss said that the sector is one of the most mature and organised sectors which has a regulator and operators who are willing to harness its potentials for the benefit of the country.
“This is one of the most mature sector you can think of that is why you have a policy body well in place, a regulator well in place and the players well in place and that is what the petroleum industry wants to be”, Ladan said.