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    Posted January 21, 2012 by
    elleblanche
    Location
    Ikoyi, Nigeria
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Nigeria unrest

    elleblanche and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Unrest in Nigeria
    More from elleblanche

    SUBSIDY OR DIE: NIGERIA'S SHIPPING SECTOR HIT HARD BY SUBSIDY REMOVAL

     

    IKOYI, LAGOS -The fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government of President Goodluck Jonathan on the 2 January 2012 caused a lot of turmoil in Nigeria.

     

    The apparent focus on the effects of the fuel was on the oil and gas industry leaving the shipping industry in the background.

     

    The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), the trade association for the Nigerian Maritime Industry represents the entire sector and is the legitimate body for all stake holders in the shipping and maritime sector in Nigeria.

     

    The Director General of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping Mrs. Ify Anazonwu-Akerele stated: "In the shipping sector, [the fuel subsidy removal] affected the ports, importation, exports -we were hit hardly. I am not happy that it affected the members of the Chamber adversely financially."

     

    "The removal of the fuel subsidy is a very bitter pill for Nigeria to take down. We should reach a middle of the road compromise with the people and Government. Then of course we would have swallowed the pill" she added.

     



    THE AFFECTS ON COUNCIL AND BOARD MEMBERS OF THE CHAMBER

     

    Mr. Mina Oforiokuma, CEO, Sopetro Marine stated that :"From the operations perspective,a lot of importers who already had allocations of imports became quite uncertain about what the future would be. Unfortunately, we had a few [ships and containers] sitting without cargo waiting [to see how the strikes] would develop."

     

    While Sopetro Marine was adversely hit, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) was not. ABS provides classification and survey work in the maritime industry.

     

    According to Mr. Chris Anyaegbunam ESQ, Chairman, ABS, "the increase in fuel did not really affect our own operations. [ABS] is fortunate in an ironic way, that whatever the situation is, our services are a mandatory requirement.

     

     

     

    THE STRIKES AND THE ADJUSTMENTS

     

    "Government polices must have a human face and government policies have to be such that businesses can develop and grow to ensure that Nigeria takes its place as a major oil producing and refining country and a major exporter of oil and shipping industry", said Dr. Chinelo Koko, Director of Advocacy at the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping.

     

    Mr. Oforiokuma argues that the strike was "a good opportunity for the Nigerian people to express their views to Government. It was a great opportunity for us as Nigerians to assess the sincerity of Government in this very indecisive era."

     

    "The people spoke and government in a way listened and adjusted. Whether the adjustment is adequate is another matter," said Mr. Anyaegbunam.

     

    Mrs. Anazonwu-Akerele added: "I believe that any body in future who thinks that they can take decisions without consulting the majority of the populace will think twice."

     

     

     


    WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE CHAMBER AND ITS MEMBERS?

     

    "Our members are adjusting to the [subsidy removal] with the acquisition of knowledge through the training programs we offer at the Chamber", stated Dr. Koko.

     

    Dr. Koko added: "[The Chamber] will continue to improve training programs to help our members develop efficiency, capacity, human development and international relations."

     

     

     

     

    Photos taken by elleblanche on the 18th January 2012

     

    PHOTO 1: FRONT PAGE OF SHIPPING POSITION, A SHIPPING PUBLICATION IN NIGERIA

     

    PHOTO 2: (L TO R) MR MINA OFORIOKUM, BOARD AND COUNCIL MEMBER OF THE NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING AND CEO, SOPETRO MARINE, DR CHINELO KOKO, DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY, NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING, MR CHRIS ANYAEGBUNAM ESQ, BOARD AND COUNCIL MEMBER OF THE NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING AND CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN BUREAU OF SHIPPING (ABS) AND MRS IFY ANAZONWU-AKERELE, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING

     

    PHOTO 3: NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING MANIFESTO

     

    PHOTO 4: GROUP DISCUSSION OF THE EFFECTS OF THE FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL

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