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FG sets annual revenue target of N500 bn for maritime sector

 The Federal
Government has instructed heads of maritime agencies in the country to meet up
with a new revenue target of N500 billion for 2016 or be shown the way out.

 The
Transportation Minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this on Monday during the
opening ceremony of a two-day maritime summit organised by the Nigerian
Shippers’ Council (NSC) in conjunction with Tell Magazine at the Federal Palace
Hotel, Lagos.
Amaechi
said the shipping sub-sector had the capacity to generate the revenue,
describing it as a crucial sector to the nation’s economy and the second
revenue earner for government.
He said,
“My target to the agencies in the maritime sector is N500 billion.
You will
see changes in the sector if that target is not met by the end of the year.
“The only
way there won’t be reform in the maritime sector is if they give me
N500billion.
“If we
achieve it, we set for ourselves another target for next year.
“The only
way we can achieve it is to put in place proper reforms. If they don’t achieve
that target, I will ask Mr President to allow me hire another set of heads of
agencies that will give me what I want.’’
 The
minister also explained that the change mantra of the current administration of
President Muhammadu Buhari was institutional.
“The kind
of change we are expecting is how the transport sector can generate more revenue
for government,’’ he said.
 Amaechi
said that the petroleum industry which had been the mainstay of the economy
depended largely on shipping, without which the product evacuation would be
impossible.
He also
said that shipping was the backbone of oil and gas productions and marketing.
‘‘Statistics
has shown that over 80 per cent of global oil trade is transported by ships,
while in the case of Nigeria, it is 100 per cent.
“The
shipping sub-sector of the maritime industry is estimated to be worth over 3
billion dollars annually.
“It is
therefore expedient to stress that transport is demand-driven and government in
its commitment to shipping will consider growth and development of the industry.”
He urged
the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Mr Hassan Bello, to organise a Stakeholders
Forum before July to move the sector forward.
The
minister also said that government was recording success in the railway sector
with the railway contract between Abuja and Kaduna, which will be commissioned in
May.
He
disclosed that by March, the railway contract would be test-run. He also said
that before the end of 2016, there would be normal operation of rail line
between the South-South and the South-West, which is expected to reduce traffic
on the road.

Amaechi
also said that the Federal Ministry of Transport was working with the National
Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to move cargoes through Lagos to Calabar,
Akwa-Ibom, Lokoja and other seaports in the country.

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