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Nigerian Government Grants Approval For Zero Import Duty On Vessel Acquisition By Ship Owners

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the approval of zero import duty for the acquisition of vessels by ship owners. This is part of the tax incentive by the federal ministry of transportation for the maritime sector in order to boost investment and stimulate growth in the industry.

This disclosure was made by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, during a session at the maiden edition of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) held in Lagos on Tuesday, with the theme, ‘Becoming a Significant Maritime Nation.’

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Jamoh, in his advice said that for the country to become a maritime nation, the government needs to focus on such areas as security and incentives which are physical and monetary to help the sector grow.

The NIMASA boss said that the zero import duty, which is a physical incentive presented to the ministry, had been approved in August and is expected to create a situation where the country will be having a national fleet.

Jamoh said, “The maritime industry cannot achieve anything without security and we are pushing towards that and the major issue is to sustain the tempo.

All modes of transportation, be it rail, road and air, have enjoyed incentives only the shipping sector. We are pushing for two types of incentives, physical and monetary, and I am pleased to announce that the physical has been granted.

“The federal government have granted the physical incentive which is zero import duty for ship owners and what is remaining is the monetary one and we are interfacing with stakeholders on this.’’

Jamoh argued that no nation could develop without the maritime industry noting that the country’s aspiration to be a maritime country was not debatable but necessary.

Speaking at the event, a former Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Temisan Omatseye, was of the opinion that constituting a legal framework and taking ownership of the country’s natural endowment would enable the country to become a maritime nation.

He said, “Being a maritime nation requires more than providing seafarers and ships, relying on resources on the sea, we must think, breathe and act maritime.

“The country has navigable waterways that have not been used and should be used.’’

The Federal Government has been under pressure from stakeholders to grant zero import duty in the shipping industry, the same that is applicable in order sectors like aviation, telecommunication, power and agriculture.

Recall that in July 2021, the federal government said that it is putting finishing touches to plans for the introduction of zero import duty for all commercial vessels imported into the country as part of efforts to grow the indigenous fleet and curb current foreign domination in the country’s shipping industry.

The NIMS is the only whole-of-value-Chain business event for international organisations, policymakers, regulators and others in Nigeria’s maritime industry that highlights the most important issue affecting maritime investment and operations in Nigeria.

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