Inadequate Funding Hinders Maritime Growth

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Inadequate understanding of the workings of the maritime industry by Nigerian banks in formulating policies has been identified as the bane of financing in the nation’s maritime sector.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Peter Consulting Services Limited, Sir. Peter Olorunfemi, in a chat with the media recently said that a lot of banks do not understand the operations of the maritime sector, thereby treating it like every other sector.

“The banks do not understand the maritime sector, so as to be able to salvage the ship owners. And, also, the system is not allowing the banks to do their job because of the way the regulations are made.

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Olorunfemi, who was a former Head, Maritime and Aviation Desk, Skye Bank Plc, lamented that banks in Nigeria have treated maritime loans as commercial loans instead of adopting the international standard of treating maritime loans as corporate loans.

He noted that, until government and stakeholders make funds available other than the funds provided by banks, financing of maritime operations in the country will continue to pose a great challenge to operators. In his words: “Internationally what they do with ship financing is a little bit different, they take the company and then they give money.

—Esther Komolafe