About $ 5 billion in freight is transported annually by maritime vessels operating in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said.

Freight refers primarily to goods transported in bulk by truck, train, ship or plane.

Speaking on the theme “Strengthening an effective synergy between the oil, gas and maritime sectors for greater value creation”, during the 4th Annual Conference and Awards 2021 organized in Abuja by Value Chain Magazine, the Managing Director from the NNPC group, Mele Kyari, described the opportunities in the vast maritime space.

In his presentation at the event, which was made available to our correspondent on Wednesday, the NNPC boss described opportunities to include maintenance, mining, support services, insurance, between other.

Kyari, who was represented by Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, NNPC, Yusuf Usman, said: “Available statistics show that there are over 20,000 vessels working for the oil and gas industry in the US. Nigerian waters with an annual expenditure of over $ 600 million in the upstream sector.

“The oil sector spent $ 3 billion on ships between 2014 and 2018, 73% of which was spent on crude ship interventions, security and power.

“This reflects the enormous potential of the sector as we aspire to increase our production to three million barrels per day. Without a doubt, the potential of Nigeria’s blue economy is enormous and remains largely untapped for the benefit of the country. ”

Kyari said the maritime sector has the potential to contribute at least 10 percent of the country’s GDP in the near future, as Nigeria has the largest market in Africa, generating around 65 percent of freight via Africa from the west.

The NNPC boss said: “The shipping industry in Nigeria shares a common commercial interest with the oil and gas sector, as shipping has always been of strategic importance to the industry since Nigeria began to operate. exporting crude oil about five decades ago.

“We have recorded more oil production carried out at sea and more than 70% of the total oil production carried by ships, because this industry generates 5 billion dollars of freight post per year and has the potential to have it at 8 billions of dollars.”

However, he said that despite this resource, Nigeria has yet to fully benefit from this economy, adding that the challenges facing the maritime, oil and gas sectors are manifesting themselves in different forms.

This, he said, was due to the capital-intensive nature of the sector, at enormous risk, as foreign vessel owners had a competitive advantage over local players.

“There is a need to look inward and bring capacity locally to strengthen the synergy between the maritime and oil and gas sectors,” Kyari said.

He explained that with the emergence of COVID-19 and its impact globally, the oil, gas and maritime sectors should not be seen as operating in isolation from each other.

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