By Godwin Oritse
THE National Assembly is still indicating it will pass the legislation on the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences 2018 before the end of this year.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport Senator Ahmed Sanni Yerima who disclosed this at a meeting tagged “Lunch with the Senate” held at Eko Hotel in Lagos, also said that though the Bill on Ports and Harbours has been passed it is still awaiting conferencing.
Conferencing in legislative parlance, mean that both the lower and upper chambers of the National Assembly meet for harmonization of the bill before it is sent for assent.
The Committee Chairman explained that the meeting with stakeholders is a platform for both operators of the industry to lay the foundation for the next legislative agenda for 9th Senate.
Yerima who also outlined maritime bills that are either awaiting Presidential assent or undergoing legislative process to include the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, National Inland Waterways Act, Nigeria Coast Guard Bill, United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Others, according to him, are Maritime Security Administration and Safety Agency, Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill.
The Committee’s chairman also said the Senate will continue to collaborate with executive arm of the maritime regulatory agencies to grow the maritime industry.
He said, “As a Committee, we are committed to the ideals of achieving our constitutional and legislative mandates, we have not just sat down in the confines of our chambers, we have been hands on cooperating and collaborating with regulators from the Executive Arm to make sure that we are on the same page.
“We have gone out of our way to be abreast with the industry’s interests as every bill must go through the proper legislative process”.
He lamented the return of some maritime bills that have passed but refused Presidential Assent.