23rd September, 2011
General Secretary of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Captain Niyi Labinjo, disclosed last week in Lagos that out of the 60 vessels, only six are currently doing business in the offshore sector.
“Of the about 600 vessels currently in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, only about 60 of them are owned by indigenous operators,” the ISAN scribe lamented, adding that the rest are anchored at the nationâ€™s waters without jobs. Labinjo disclosed that each of the vessels participating in the offshore operations collects at least $5,000 per day, which, according to him, is the least amount collected by foreign vessels doing business in the nationâ€™s waters. He noted that with the situation, the country is losing about N2 trillion annually as capital flight, a situation, which, he said, does not mean well for the countryâ€™s economy.
â€œWe have plenty of hydrocarbons. As at today, it is 37 billion barrels but our government is working towards making it 40 billion. That is our proved reserve. We are said to be the 10th-world producer of oil. The world as a whole daily uses 84 million barrels of oil and Nigeria produces 2.5 million barrels per day. For gas, we have 24 trillion reserves.
“We have the best shrimps in the world called tiger shrimps. That is why you have many Indian fishing companies in Nigeria. All the tiger shrimps are exported. We import into Nigeria five million metric tonnes of cargo yearly, 100 million metric tonnes of general goods. We import 65 million litres of petroleum products every year.
“In the oil and gas industry, Nigeria has close to 500 oil wells that we are drilling,” he said, adding that for each well, there is a rig which is supported by a minimum of five ships, and they are called oil support vessels.
“As at today, ships that earn $5,000 and above per day are about 600 and there are those that even earn $150,000 per day. You now have 60 of the 600 vessels belonging to Nigerians. Those 60, if you go to our waters, you will see them there without jobs. So, for offshore, we are not just there,â€ Labinjo said.