The Nigerian National petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has pledged greater support for indigenous fleet owners to strengthen the synergy between the corporation and the private sector.
To this end, it assured of active participation in the oil and gas maritime business in Nigeria.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, gave the assurance while playing host to members of the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee who paid a visit at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
“We believe in this process, we will ensure that Nigerian ships enjoy a greater patronage in the business henceforth,” he said in a statement by Dr. Kennie Obateru, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, emailed to Persecondnews.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Hassan Bello, said Nigeria was losing $1.9 billion to foreign ship owners annually while appealing to the GMD to encourage NNPC subsidiaries to always engage indigenous shipping companies in their businesses.
He urged the corporation to grant local shipping companies the right of first refusal in crude oil lifting contracts, saying it would help grow the economy and sustain their businesses.
Bello said the Committee was set up three years ago by the Federal Ministry of Transportation with a mandate to promote Nigerian ownership of ships and vessels.
He explained that it would also enable local companies to take control of the shipping business which is in line with the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government.