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Authors: ASOLUKA, C. C.
Keywords: Implementation process
Shipping development policy
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Abstract: In Nigeria, policies have often failed to achieve set objectives. Although implementation studies have sought to explain policy failures in broad areas of the economy, the shipping sector has often been ignored. This is because such policy studies are largely embedded in the framework of national political economy and public administration. Shipping is located in the interface between national and international political economy. This study investigated the policy dynamics and implementation process of the Nigerian National Shipping Policy and its effects on shipping development in Nigeria. The study adopted survey and case study methods. A questionnaire was administered to 400 purposively selected stakeholders (Shipping companies and banks, Nigerian shippers’ council, Nigerian Merchant Navy, Nigerian chambers of shipping, Nigeria Customs Service, sea farers, importers and exporters). Additional Primary data were derived from in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 former members of Armed Forces Ruling Council, legislators, ministers, ship-owners, navigators, marine engineers, lawyers, academics, bankers and former Chief Executive Officers of key government agencies. Ten different Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) involving relevant shipping stakeholders were also conducted. Secondary data were drawn from various libraries, commissioned reports and documents from regulatory agencies and the National Bureau of Statistics. Data were subjected to descriptive and content analysis. Policy intervention to induce shipping sector development has remained constrained by domestic and international factors. The implementation of the National Shipping Policy Act, 1987 and the Cabotage Act, 2003, suffered from poor conceptualization and design of programmes, weak execution and monitoring mechanisms. Given the complexity and risks inherent in shipping and the storm of resistance against the policy, it would have required courage, decisiveness, financial and managerial capacity and foresight to successfully implement the policy through carefully thought-out programmes with the backing of stakeholders. National Maritime Authority (NMA), now Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, represented a direct opposite. Respondents observed that uncertainty regarding the autonomy of NMA and political interference in its operations (92%), conflicting State policies (86%), corruption and patronage system (89%), hostility of the international community on cargo allocation (89.5%) and capacity of, and instability in the leadership of NMA (87%) weighed heavily, and indeed constituted a cog on the implementation process. Other factors that adversely affected implementation included the political culture of the target group (85%), the near absence of notable shipping entrepreneurial class (75%), effective leadership (70%), technical knowledge and skill (70%), lack of commitment and political will (89%), low level of inter-agency cooperation (86%) and paucity of resources (76%). Poor advocacy strategy by the key stakeholders failed to achieve sustained interest, attention and support of government. The implementing agency of the national shipping sector development policy was unable to actualise the objectives of increasing national fleet, enforcing Nigerian carriage rights and developing maritime manpower. Policy action deviated from policy intention and national shipping promotional policies were used for patronage. The entire policy cycle suffered from an interaction deficit among public officials, target groups and the broad stakeholders.
Description: A thesis in the Department of Political Science Submitted to the Faculty of the Social Sciences in Partial fulfilment of the Requirement for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY of the UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
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