Indigenous shippers are currently eying over N11 trillion which they hope to realise from coastal trade annually.

They are therefore appealing to the federal government, through the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, to ensure that the rights of indigenous shippers are protected.

They said foreigners have taken over the coastal trade as a result of stringent and unfavourable conditions which local shipowners face.

The shippers are of the opinion that if allowed to play active role in the nation’s coastal trade, that will stem capital flight and boost government revenue.

Speaking about the plight of local shipowners, maritime lawyer, Emeka Akabogu, said the country was losing $4 billion to lack of local marine transportation in the country.

Akabogu said, there are three legs to shipping -fleet expansion, ship repairs, and shipbuilding – adding that the country is losing $9 billion annually to the non-participation in international freight services.

“Nigeria’s coastal resources have an estimated capacity of $504 trillion. Current realised capacity is $106 trillion in export, and import on frozen fish is $876 million,” he stated.