FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday, May 16, advised the Federal Government against resuscitating the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line, NNSL. Obasanjo gave the advice in his address as chairman of a two-day stakeholders’ conference on the maritime industry held in Lagos.
The former president blamed the demise of NNSL on lack of professionalism and high level corruption at the time. He said: “NNSL had been liquidated, they tried Nigeria Unity Line and it collapsed.
“19 brand new ships were specially built for Nigeria, we did not take delivery of some of them until I left office in 1979. When I came back in 1999, NNSL had been liquidated with all the 19 ships gone as well as the five ships in existence.
“Two of the ships were missing for almost two years and it was discovered that one military man was using them all over the world and no accountability,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the ex-president as saying at the summit.
The former president urged the present administration to “think out of the box and come up with what should be done to grow the maritime industry. Until NIMASA became a source where people steal money, nobody knew too much about it.
“Before we tried to privatise Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), I went to Singapore where you get your container within one hour of arriving the port. If we cannot perform like Singapore, we have to do better than what we are doing now,” Obasanjo said.
Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Federal Government was ready to create an enabling environment for steering the maritime industry to its rightfully position. – The Nation
— May 16, 2016 @ 18:40 GMT