Steps to improve the maritime sectorFebruary 27, 2023
Adie Bassey, managing director of Loyz Marine Services, talks to The Energy Year about the steps the government has taken to improve the business environment in Nigeria’s maritime sector and new opportunities in the market. Loyz Marine Services provides marine logistics support and security operations in the oil and gas industry.
How do you assess the efforts made by the government to develop the maritime sector?
There have been substantial efforts made by the NCDMB [Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board] to increase indigenous ownership and capacity, especially through the introduction of funding opportunities. Additional efforts have been made by the government to tackle security challenges in the maritime sector.
NIMASA [Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency], has developed a great initiative to combat piracy through its Deep Blue project. However, we need to focus on the multidimensional aspects underlying these security issues, such as the reasons behind these insurgencies and the behaviour of pirates. The Nigerian Navy has partnerships with private security companies to co-operate, share intelligence and provide logistics support to their personnel to carry out their duties. NIMASA has also developed the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme, which provides training opportunities abroad.
Moving forward, the country should focus on developing policies that promote the ease of doing business in the sector, specifically related to indigenous ownership capacity and shipbuilding.
Can you give us an overview of Loyz Marine Service’s marine operations in the oil and gas sector?
Loyz Marine Services is an indigenous oil and gas services company that operates in the maritime logistics domain. Our background is in shipping and maritime operations. We also provide security services to our clients.
We believe security to be a crucial aspect of the energy infrastructure network and necessary for sustaining operators’ activities, which is why we deliver the most intricate projects on time and to the satisfaction of our clients.
We currently focus on the downstream sector by providing tanker escort and security vessels for companies such as Oando, Nordic Shipping and other international vessel owners. These companies have high compliance standards, and one needs to qualify to provide all their necessary services.
The second aspect of our services involves technical support and the implementation of digital systems such as tracking and surveillance equipment. We use software to assist our clients in our operations and maintain direct communication with them. Our partners provide support by monitoring expiration dates, assisting in preventive maintenance, verifying the state of assets and vetting the crew for quality standards.
We provide critical maritime assets to our clients as required on-demand to support their operations. We also provide sales and purchase of maritime assets, due to our network of shipowners, both locally and internationally.
How has the company positioned itself as a newcomer in the oil and gas sector?
As a new company entering this space, it has been important to prioritise compliance, capability and process. Our greatest asset so far has been our people. We have a dynamic corporate culture and make sure our people deliver on our services in order to build trust with the clients. We took the time to reflect on the industry dynamics and the added value we could bring to the market.
We understand the importance of digital integration and are now moving towards developing this area, especially in the maritime sector. We have ensured that compliance is prioritised. Getting the necessary certifications and documentation to provide our services has been our top priority. Within a year, we are already implementing our quality management system as well as securing other international certifications and approvals.
What key focus areas is Loyz Marine Services looking into to expand its operations?
We intend to grow in the LPG space and, for that vision, we have developed an application that provides LPG retailers with potential data on the utilisation of gas. This device will assist companies in never running out of gas and also help them be on track with their customers’ consumption levels.
We have also developed an app called Neptune to help bridge the gap between demand for various vessels and international ship owners. This brokerage platform uses our worldwide connections to help clients gain access to assets using a database and an online logistics management system.
What challenges does the company need to overcome to reach its diversification goals?
One major challenge we face in growing our LPG operations is funding. We currently seek investments and partnerships to develop our LPG smart monitoring operations further. Other challenges we have encountered are developing the right logistics infrastructure and capabilities to support our LPG retail services and getting the right power strategy for our deployed devices. In the meantime, we are now looking to shift from lithium batteries to solar-powered solutions, and we have changed the designs to be more portable.
In developing our integrated marine database platform, we want to develop partnerships with vessel owners and provide our logistics and operations management services to clients. Our focus is on the African market. The African Continental Free Trade Area will boost maritime activities, and we intend to position ourselves with the Neptune platform to bridge the gap between African demand for vessels and both international and local shipowners.
In the day-to-day marine operations, the main challenge we face is not having our own fleet at the moment. As a result, we do not have access to certain opportunities. International co-operations such as Columbia Ship Management predominately do not own the assets they operate, but they provide technical and commercial management of the assets as required. This is one area in which we require more opportunities and support in order to grow.