At NMLA Breakfast Meeting, Renowned Economist, Bismarck Rewane Advocates Tax Holidays for Maritime Sector


Bismark Rewane


A finance expert and the Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, has encouraged the federal government to introduce tax holidays in a bid to enhance investments in the nation’s maritime sector.

Rewane gave this directive while speaking at the 2nd Maritime Breakfast meeting organized by the Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA), on Wednesday, themed: “The Interplay of the Maritime Industry and the Macro Economy in Nigeria – The Way Forward.”

His words: “There are three dynamics – leadership, policies, and institutions. If you have good policies, good leadership, and weak institutions, the economic outcome is negative. If you have bad leadership, strong institutions and good policies, the economic outcome is positive. If you have good leadership, strong institutions, and bad policies, the economic outcome is positive. So what is common to positive economic outcome is strong institutions.”

According to Rewane, the foreign exchange complications have largely affected the maritime sector business in recent times, and the challenges are likely to persist in the near future.

While opining that the Nigerian water transportation sector has been unstable in the last two years, Rewane called for the harmonization of maritime activities and monitoring of implementation efforts.

Speaking on the headway to optimize the nation’s maritime sector, Rewane said: “addressing corruption and promoting transparency will boost investor confidence. There should be tax concessions for investors.”

“Cooperation between public and private sectors for establishment of key infrastructure. Improving port facilities, connectivity and logistics before efficient operations. Ethical business practices.”

Lamenting on the strenuous cargo clearance procedures at the nation’s seaports characterized by corruption, smuggling and manual processes, he said these actions have led to cargo diversion to ports in Benin Republic and Togo.

Also speaking, the President, NMLA, Mrs. Funke Agbor (SAN), maintained that a growth in the maritime sector would invariably lead to holistic national economic development.

Funke Agbor, SAN

“We saw the issues with foreign exchange and how the naira fell so woefully against the dollar. We are talking about maritime, logistics, international trade and we can’t even import goods with naira, we have to change it into dollars through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). There are certain things that have to be in place. We need to have the right leadership, right policies, strong institutions,” she said.

Noting the federal government’s revenue generation drive, Funke stressed that taxes have to be captured properly in a bid to provide infrastructure, water, power supply, among other social amenities.

Funke, however, expressed optimism that the government understands the importance of maritime to the nation’s economic growth.

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