Baring last minute changes, Nigeria has finalised to hold 40% equity in a national shipping line (fleet) that will be set up in public private partnership, PPP or a joint venture arrangement with Singaporean – Pacific International Limited, who will own 60% stake in the venture.
It would be recalled that in August, the Minster for Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi had a signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with Pacific International Limited on a joint venture to set up shipping lines for Nigeria.
The operations of the fleet will be a joint venture arrangement with Pacific International Limited and other private investors who will form a consortium. However, the decision of the federal government to invest 40% of the equity is a sensible decision to shore up its revenue.
The decision will also encourage other foreign investors to commit their funds to the venture since the government is ready to take risk with its funds as well.
Incorporated on the 16th of March 1967, Pacific International Lines has its origins in a newly independent Singapore. Founded by Mr Chang Yun Chung and ten assembled shareholders, the company initially operated just two vessels – former Dutch ships, then re-named the ‘Kota Singa’ and ‘Kota Naga’.
Within a decade, PIL would own and operate more than 60 tweendeckers, multi-purpose semi-containers, breakbulk vessels and livestock carriers. In the late 1960’s, PIL’s expansion took its vessels to China, the Arabian Gulf and East Africa. Between the late 1980’s and mid-90’s, PIL made the transition from the predominantly breakbulk, into a largely containerised shipping operation.