Business Hilights
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Minister silent on controversial Israeli security deal, assures secured maritime domain

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has assured stakeholders in the maritime sector that the Federal Government will leave no stone unturned in actualizing its goal for a safer and more secured maritime domain in the Nigeria.

Speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ interactive forum held in Warri, Delta State with the theme; “Implementation of Executive Order One (1) – Ease of Doing Business in a secure maritime environment”, he noted that one of the factors militating against the success of the maritime sector is insecurity in the Niger Delta region, which he said is also hampering the growth and development of the region.

Though participants had expected the Minister to give an overview of the veiled Israeli firm contract to secure Nigerian waterways which had been queried by the National Assembly, Amaechi used the opportunity to charge the Stakeholders to join force together with the government to frustrate efforts of saboteurs who are bent on distorting government’s efforts of realizing a robust and crime free maritime domain.

The minister said “We must resist the efforts of some unscrupulous individuals trying to frustrate government’s efforts in ensuring safety and security of our maritime domain, because private interest should not and cannot supersede national interest. On our part as government, we will do all we can to ensure we secure the Nigerian waterways”.

He also commended the efforts of the Agencies under the watch of the Ministry of Transportation for their astuteness in ensuring that the sector gets the desired attention and challenged them not to rest on their oars in ensuring that the Federal Government’s policy on ease of doing business is realized.

In his goodwill message, the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside called on the industry players to continue to support government policies.

He said it is a fact that because of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy (NCCS), in the past six months we have had over 200 seafarers’ onboard different Cabotage vessel, amongst other developmental initiatives.

While maintaining silence on the disbursement of both The Maritime Fund (TMF) and the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), NIMASA DG hinted that the Agency is in talks with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for the engagement of over 100 brand new Cabotage vessels in the oil and gas industry.

The event had in attendance the Chairman House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon Umar Bago who also stated that the Legislative House will do all it can within its powers to ensure the ease of doing business in the maritime sector. Also present at the event are; the Chairman of the NIMASA Governing Board, Maj. Gen Jonathan India Garba (Rtd.), the Chairman, Board of  the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), Mr. Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ms Bala Hadiza Usman, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello. Other stakeholders from the private sector present at the event include, President Nigerian Shipowners Forum,Margaret Orakwusi, Ify Akerele as well as the Chairman, Truck Owners Association, Chief Aderemi Ogungbemi amongst other notable stakeholders.

Business Hilights recalls that the maritime Stakeholders’ interactive forum is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transportation geared towards bringing the government to the people so that challenges and solutions will be discussed and brought to a roundtable, all with the sole aim developing the maritime sector for greater efficiency and all-inclusive participation. The 2018 edition is the 2nd in the series.

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