NIMASA can’t speak on national fleet, only serving Minister can decide—Expert
Since the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside addressed a media breakfast meeting on the sideline of the ongoing Nor Shipping Conference and Exhibition in Oslo, Norway, saying arrangements are nearing conclusion on floating of new national shipping line, maritime stakeholders have been reacting.
In an interview, an industry stakeholder, who pleaded anonymity, chided the political appointee, arguing that “Only a serving minister with a clear mandate from the presidency will talk authoritatively on floating a new national carrier”.
“We all saw the endless promises made by the former Minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi on the matter and nothing happened at last, rather he kept on pursuing endless railway project from Lagos to Ibadan till the last Federal Executive Council meeting.
“Both Amaechi and Peterside are birds of the same feather in the habit of raising hopes of maritime stakeholders’ only to become mute when it is time for action.
Continuing, experts said “Until a new minister which we expect must come from the industry is appointed, cleared by Senate, sworn in speaks to us on new national fleet, whatever an agency official is saying on the matter is playing to the gallery”.
In his media address in Norway, Peterside claimed that the new national fleet will be owned 49 per cent by a technical partner and the balance of 51 per cent by Nigerian investors. According to the plan, the Nigerian investors will hold equity in lots, so there will be no domineering shareholder. He said the planned national fleet will be private sector led for sustainability and profitability.
According to him, and just like what the former Minister used to say, “The national fleet is part of the country’s new strategic direction on the blue economy, which is designed to tap its maritime potentials”.