So, since Nigeria imports virtually everything it consumes, it is not completely out of place that the country should be losing billions of dollars to foreign ship owners.

According to the Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigeria lost $25 billion, about 9 trillion naira, to foreign ship owners between 2015 and 2017.

According to the Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, over $9.08 billion, about 3.2 trillion naira was paid as freight for dry and wet cargoes to foreign ship owners in 2015 due to the absence of Nigerian-owned fleet plying the international route.

Bello disclosed this when members of the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, in Abuja on Friday.

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The NSC boss said the trend had been recurring over the years till date, adding that in 2016, over $7.55 billion was estimated as being lost to foreign shipping firms.

According to him, $8.60 billion was freight opportunity loss from import and export of dry and wet cargoes in 2017.

“As a result of this, the Federal Ministry of Transportation, through the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, set up a committee for the Nigerian fleet implementation,” Bello said.

He stated that the committee was to examine the possibility of using existing shipping companies to run a Nigerian fleet and provide guidelines on procedures of establishing a shipping firm.

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