Ministerial Committees to develop strategies for growth of Nigeria’s maritime industry

Transportation Minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi and Engr. Olu Akinsoji at  a Maritime Technical Summit  in Lagos recently.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday set up two committees with specific responsibilities to develop key areas of the nation’s maritime industry.

The two sub-committees were formed from an initial committee set up by the minister barely a week earlier, to address challenges restricting growth and development of the industry.
One of the committees, with its members including the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council among other big-time industry operators, is saddled with the responsibility of working out modalities for the establishment of a national shipping line.
The other committee with the responsibility to rejig the Nigerian maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) to reposition in line with its establishing act for economic benefit, has among its members the Maritime Academy of Nigeria(MAN) Oron.
Other members of the second committee include NIMASA, the National inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and other high-flying industry operators.
Top on the issues discussed bordered on giving complete training to the nation’s cadets, which includes the fundamental sea-time that would make them employable across the world.
They discussed the challenge of capital flights through freight, which could otherwise be avoidable if and when the cabotage begins to be truly operational.
Other highlighted issues are carriage of goods on Cost, Insurance and Freight, away from the current Free on Board regime.
On the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund(CVFF) the minister insisted that the fund would not be disbursed to individuals, but that its administration would follow a structured system to serve the purpose for which it was established.
Members of the committees are former Chairman, indigenous Ship-owners Association(ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo; Former Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria(MAN) Engr. Olu Akinsoji; President, Association of Marine Engineers and Surveys(AMES) Engr. Charles Uwadia; Lloyds Ambassador, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori, and Executive Director Marine and Operations, Engr. David Omonibeke.
Others are President, Ship Owners Association(SOAN) Engr. Greg Ogbeifun; Chair of the Shipping Forum, Mrs Margaret Orawkusi; former Director-General of NIMASA, Mrs Mfon Usoro; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barr. Hassan Bello; Director-General NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Sahara Oil Boss, Mr Tonye Cole and Ship Finance Expert, Sir Peter Olorunfemi.

Also present are renowned Marine Engineer and Surveyor, Engr. George Agbajo; Engr. Kuzi onyibe; Master Mariner, Capt. Wale Ishola; President of Nigerian Ship-owners Association(NISA) Alh. Aminu Umar; Secretary to the African Ship-owners Association(ASA) Ms Funmi Folorunsho and Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA) Mr Danladi Ibrahim.