Against the backdrop that Africa is the world’s biggest untapped market, the Federal Government is wooing more foreign investors to the continent, particularly the Nigerian maritime market space.
Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside and the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, have however charged foreign investors to tap into the opportunities that abound in the African maritime sector, stating that the continent is one of the largest in terms of cargo contributions to global maritime trade.
Head, Corporate Communication, NIMASA, Isichei Osamgbi, quoted Peterside as saying that Africa generates and receives a lot of cargo and this makes it a hub of the present and future.
Speaking at the Nigerian Business Summit during the recently concluded Shipbuilding, Machinery Technology (SMM) conference in Hamburg Germany, he noted that the Nigerian maritime sector is specifically open to investments, adding that the Federal Government of Nigeria has put policies in place that would be beneficial to interested investors.
“It is known worldwide that Africa is the world’s biggest untapped market waiting to be unveiled and if you want to tap into the market of today and the market of the future, then Nigeria is your destination, Nigeria is welcoming you, Nigeria is the investment destination of today and the future”, he said.
The NIMASA boss however stated that any investments from outside the continent must be mutually beneficial to both parties noting that Africa will not be shortchanged.
He advised foreigners willing to participate in the biggest maritime industry to propose symbiotic terms that would ensue sincere trade amongst participants.
He added that the continent is leaning towards China because they offer better understanding of the African market.
Dakuku added that Europeans must also come to the party with genuine interest and opportunities of financing for the sector which the industry is in dire need of.
“China appears to be offering Africa favorable terms of engagement in terms of cost of financing project, in terms of the duration for the payment of facilities and in terms of ease of transfer of technology, Europe may offer better technology, Europe may even offer better managerial capability, but what of the issue of financing, it is up to Europe to realize that the market of the future is in Africa and offer mutually beneficial terms not terms that benefit Europe only to the detriment of Africa.
So if you offer us favorable terms of engagement then Africa is open for business, Nigeria is open for business”, he emphasized.
Similarly, Tuggar said that Nigeria is ready for investment, adding that the government has remained resolute and determined in providing enabling environment and repositioning of the maritime industry to optimally compete with its counterparts around the world, especially with the introduction of policies and programmes that have remarkable impacts on the sector, thereby making it more attractive for foreign investments.