Â By Ifeyinwa Obi
ABUJAâ€”The House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport has said the various bills on maritime sector that are before the House have reached the final stage of considerations in the National Assembly.Â
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who disclosed this in Abuja while addressing the Maritime Reportersâ€™ Association of Nigeria, MARAN, said these bills include the maritime security bill, maritime zones bill, the port amendment bill, Chartered Institute of Shipping of Nigeria, CISN, bill, NIWA amendment bill and National Transport Commission, NTC, bill.
He explained that following an observation by the Federal Ministry of Transport on the vacuum in International Ship and Port Facility Security, ISPS, code implementation the maritime security bill was initiated to fill the vacuum, adding that the job of the legislative arm of government is to provide a viable and sustainable framework that ensures that the ships, ports and the nationâ€™s waterways are safe.
He recalled that the executive forwarded the bill to the National Assembly seeking to establish a Maritime Security Agency, principally to tackle the ISPS code and maritime security generally.
Ugwuanyi said the bill was referred to the Committee and a public hearing was held.Â
On ship piracy, he said the House of Representatives has set up an ad-hoc committee to take a holistic look at the issue, saying the Committee on Marine Transport is represented on the committee which would report to the House.Â
Ugwuanyi also said the maritime zones bill seeks to merge the continental shelf and economic exclusive zones, noting that the committeeâ€™s report on the ports amendment act bill had been submitted to plenary for consideration. According to him, the highlight of the bill is that it sets up a maritime regulator for commercial activities.