By Innocent Orok
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Bank of Industry (BOI), other government agencies and banks  are set to participate and make  their   presentations at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Maritime Finance Fair being organised by a group of reporters under the aegis of Association of Maritime Journalists Of Nigeria (AMJON).
The event which is expected to hold on Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th of June 2019  is the first  of its kind in the maritime sub- sector in Nigeria and  will attract a cross section of maritime operators and players and  the banking sector  as part of measures to boost investments in the Nigerian  maritime industry.
According to a statement signed by President of AMJON, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri on Friday in Lagos, the purpose of bringing both the private and public sectors especially the banks  to participate at the event is to create a common meeting point for bankers and other lending institutions to interface with critical stakeholders of the maritime community in order to open investments and funding windows for investors and stakeholders alike.
Ogbuokiri said the maiden edition of ” Nigeria Maritime Finance Fair” will provide an avenue for explanations about products and services that will make funds easily accessible and available to entrepreneurs  in the maritime sector, adding that it will provide network opportunities among participating organisations, individuals and groups.
While harping on the benefits of the fair, the AMJON President reiterated that the “Programme will create a virtual hub for easy interaction outside and beyond the finance fair environment for future deals among participants.
” It will raise more awareness on the need for government to increase its interests toward harnessing full potentials of the maritime sector for national economic growth and advancement of investors interest, as well as provide a workable platform for Public Private Partnership for business ventures.
“The Maritime Finance Fair will also create an avenue for the banks and lending institutions to understand and identify players in the maritime sub- sector and aid intending investors to be educated on products and services that are available for funding by  the financial institutions.
Also giving a vivid background about the fair, he noted that the Nigerian maritime industry is the country’s second largest revenue earner after oil and provides the easiest form of economic diversification for the country as the agricultural sector.
” The industry holds combined revenues and job opportunities from activities of NPA,NIMASA,Customs and others.
Whereas the maritime industry operate in sync with oil and gas sector,it holds potential to sustain not less than 100,000 Small, Medium and big businesses at various sub- sectors of the industry.
He added that hundred of individuals and companies involved in these businesses are in dire need of funding for starts ups or expansions of existing outfits, ,pointing out that findings have shown that many of the operators are ignorant about the various opportunities for funding to grow their businesses in the maritime industry.
He  called on all stakeholders including the banks to support the program as AMJON promises to organize it on a yearly basis to continually expose the numerous investment  opportunities and funding windows that will rapidly lift the Nigerian Maritime sector to its expected height.
The theme of the fair is tagged
” Banks/Private Sector Participation as Panacea for Dearth of Investments in Nigeria Maritime Industry” and is expected to hold at Rockview Hotel in Apapa, Lagos State.

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