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Senate, FMoT, stakeholders push for maritime-led economic devt.

…as Dakuku calls for synergy among sister agencies

By Godwin Oritse

The Senate Committee on Marine Transport and the Federal Ministry of Transportation, FMOT, in conjunction with other stakeholders, are pushing for repositioning of the maritime sector as an alternative strategy for the development of the nation’s economy.

The Red Chamber

The Senate, at a one day maritime stakeholders’ assembly, organised by the committee in conjunction with the FMoT last week, called for more attention to be paid to the sector because of the resources that can boost the economy of Nigeria.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Ahmed Sani Rufai, stated:  “One of the reasons we are here is to bring the parliament to the stakeholders and discuss the progress, challenges and the way forward for the realisation of a robust maritime sector in Nigeria.”

Ahmed said the Senate was willing to partner with stakeholders in the sector through proper legislation to find ways of harnessing the opportunities that abound in the maritime sector for the country’s economic prosperity.

He listed some maritime industry-related bills under consideration in the National Assembly, including the Nigerian Ports Authority (Act repeal and re-enactment) Bill 2016; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018; Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage Act) Bill, 2018; and Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill 2018.

He said the committee will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that every bill relevant to the growth of the maritime sector got the required attention and legislative backing within the shortest time possible.

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On his part, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, noted that the Federal Government was committed to the growth of the maritime sector, but said this could only be achieved through proper legislation. Amaechi, pledged the commitment of the ministry to partnerships with the Senate and industry stakeholders to enable the Nigerian maritime sector fully realise the enormous opportunities within it.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who delivered a goodwill message at the occasion, commended the Senate Committee on Marine Transport for its doggedness and patriotism in ensuring that the sector took its rightful place in the comity of maritime nations through the legislative backings, among other efforts.

Dakuku reiterated the Agency’s commitment to the realisation of a robust maritime sector in the country through collaboration with the committee and other stakeholders. He called for synergy among sister agencies in the maritime sector, saying it is the only way to fully harness the opportunities in the sector.

“Collaboration is the only way our country will grow and the maritime sector must not be left out. Let me therefore state categorically that through synergy with relevant stakeholders, there will be massive boom in the maritime sector and, by extension, the entire economy”  Dr. Dakuku said.   He appealed to the Senate to ensure speedy passage of the anti-piracy bill to provide a legal backing for the prosecution of issues relating to piracy and other criminal activities on the country’s territorial waters.

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