Mr Henry Unuigbe, a Maritime Expert, has said that violent crimes in the Gulf of Guinea was responsible for the high cost of cargo shipment to Nigeria ports.
Unuigbe, who is also the President, Nigeria Institution of Marine Engineers and Naval Architects (NIMENA), said that Nigerian shippers have to lure vessels to nation’s ports with high prices for them to agree to come to Nigeria.
The NIMENA president said Lagos on the sidelines of the institution’s conference that unless drastic measure was taken to halt crime in the area cost of shipment would remain high.
“Most vessels dread to come to Nigeria ports because of the prevalence of kidnapping piracy and sundry organised crimes in the waters leading to the Nigerian ports.
“It is only a very few of the vessels that wish to take the risk at a high cost that venture to call at the Nigerian ports.
“For us to get it right it will take a regional concerted effort at governmental level as against ministerial and agency level that does not seem to be working out,” Unuigbe said.
According to him NIMENA as a professional body is concerned about the ugly trend because the Nigerian masses are at the receiving end of the whole thing.
He added that the outcome of it all was being reflected in the high cost of goods in the market that subjects Nigerians to hardship and low standard of living.
He appealed to the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency initiate a trans-border arrangement with other countries concerned in the Gulf of Guinea to quell the insecurity there.
“In comparison to other countries cost of cargo shipment is highest in Nigeria due to sea robbery in the waters it is something the government can tame and save the masses of high cost of good.’’