ECOWAS Shipping Project Takes Off December

Orya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the company, Sealink Shipping Company is to be established by ECOWAS at the cost of $60 million.

He said the company, initiated by NEXIM under Public-Private-Partnership, would own a vessel, and is expected to begin operations in December or January, 2015.

He said the company would handle mainly cargo consignments.

He explained that the company was set up to promote the development of a regional maritime business that would be private-sector driven.

Orya said the shipping concern would be of immense benefit to Nigerian manufacturers and exporters, as it would allow a structured access to markets in West and Central Africa.

‘The project is aimed at boosting maritime trade among member countries of ECOWAS, as well enhancing regional integration.

‘We are looking at December 2014 or January 2015 to take off.

‘The kind of ship that we are having is the one that will be able to carry both passengers and goods because people are used to trading with their own goods,’ he said.

‘The project is ready and we are currently doing a capital-raising of 60 million dollars.

‘Three weeks ago, we were in Abidjan for a road show on it and we will be in Duoala (Cameroon) for another one soon and another one will be held in Nigeria later,’ he said.

The NEXIM boss said that the sub-regional shipping business would be all-inclusive as it would involve all stakeholders in the Anglo-phone and Franco-phone blocs in the area.

‘We want each and every country to have a sense of ownership in the business because there are some concessions that you might be asking from various governments.

‘At this point in time, we are allocating offer to various governments and when the offer closes and the people from that country have not been able to take up their shares, then we can allot it out,’ Orya explained.


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