The new arrangement by the Federal Government to make indigenous ship owners participate in the lifting of Nigerian crude oil has come under the skepticism of some stakeholders, The Sun reports.
According to them, local ship owners do not have enough vessels to compete effectively with their foreign counterparts. They argue that any effort geared towards changing the trade term from Free On Board (FOB) to Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) is an exercise in futility. They maintained that indigenous ship owners will merely collect the Standard Purchase Order (SPO) and still give it to their foreign counterparts. The CIF trade term is expected to make crude oil affreightment more attractive and competitive for local ship owners if it is implemented.
A freight forwarder and co-ordinator of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Dr Patrick Chukwu, doubted the success of the exercise because, according to him, the ship owners do not have enough ships not to talk of having ships that are ISPS compliant. President, Merchant Navy Engineers, Matthew Alalade submitted that there will be crisis if indigenous ship owners take over the lifting of oil from foreigners. He suggested that rather than totally remove the foreigners from the business, the domestic vessel owners should partner with them.