Nigeria lost about $40 billion to foreign ship owners between 2018 and last year.
Sources at the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning which stated this at the weekend said between 2015 and 2017.
it was gathered, the country also lost about $25 billion to foreign ship owners.
A senior official said over $10 billion was paid as freight for dry and wet cargoes to foreign ship owners in 2018 due to the absence of Nigerian-owned fleet plying the international route.
The official said the trend had been recurring over the years till date, adding that in 2019, over $9 billion was estimated as opportunity loss.
According to him, about $9.60 billion was freight opportunity loss from import and export of dry and wet cargoes in 2020.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the official said, needs to encourage subsidiaries to engage indigenous shipping companies in their businesses.
NNPC, he said, needs to grant local shipping companies the right of first refusal in crude oil lifting contracts, saying it would help grow the economy and sustain their businesses.