The Fleet Manager, NSML, Yusuf Hambali has said that the Federal Government should declare Nigeria a maritime nation in order to drive more investment into the sector.
He called for waivers for investors in the sector in other to grow capacity and buoy the nation”s shipping sector.
Yusuf Hambali said this at the conference of Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria (SCAN) sponsored by the NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML), a sister company of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited.
He stated that only Nigerian seafarers pay tax globally, hence, Nigeria is losing qualified seafarers to foreign nations due to the nation’s tax laws.
He noted that other nations such as India gave seafarers an exception to income tax.
“In India, if you are not in the country for seven months, you won’t pay any tax. But in Nigeria if you are not around for a whole year you are still going to pay tax and you know the tax are graded depending on your grade.
“If you are a seafarer and you see where you can go and be paid fully without deducting tax, you would like to go there.
There need to be an advocacy to let the government know what is obtainable elsewhere. Some international seafarers don’t bother for pensions”
He said that in Nigeria pensions are deducted in Dollars but paid back to them in Naira.
Yusuf however noted that it is difficult to dry dock in Nigeria because the facilities in the country cannot handle the size of ships the agency has.
“Our ships are 283meters length and 45meters in width and there is no place in Nigeria now that can accommodate that size of ship. We would have loved to dry docqk in Nigeria because It would have been easier for us than to move hundred of nautical miles away. You know it will also cost some money to do that outside the country” he said.
Earlier speaking , the Managing Director, NSML, Abdulkadir Ahmed, called on the Federal government to declare Nigeria a maritime nation and facilitate investment in the sector as he believed that this would spur investment in the shipping sector.
Abdulkadir Ahmed hinted that company is vigorously implementing the Seafarers Continuous Development Program (SCDP), in conjunction with NIMASA, to ensure development and continuous supply of certified, competent, and qualified Nigerian seafarers
He disclosed that over 107 Nigerians have successfully completed their training under the Maritime Centre of Excellence (MCoE).
He added that the NLNG Bonny terminal has recently been certified by the Port Environmental Review System (PERS), as the only port in Sub-Sahara Africa that complied with the requirements of leading environmental management practices.
Ahmed noted that this was made possible because of the proactive nature of the NSML Terminal management team.
In his word “the the company has future-proof the through the continuous training,
and development of its employees to enhance their capacity and ensure they are not only up to date but also ensure they, and the company, are ready and able to adopt and adapt to the changing technological landscape,”