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FG will not float National Carrier with CVFF–Amaechi

Transportation Minister, Hon.  Rotimi Amaechi

Pictures by Israel

The
Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Ameachi on Thursday stated that the Federal
Government was determined to float a new national shipping line with regards to
developing the shipping sub-sector.

 

Transportation Minister, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and Engr. Olu Akinsoji at the AMES event

The minister made this known while
speaking at a maritime technical summit organised by the Association of Marine
Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) in Lagos.

He gave assurance that he would not
disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to acquire the national
carrier but it would be driven through a Public Private Partnership(PPP)
initiative.
He
also restated the need for a performance audit of agencies in the sector to
ascertain what the challenges are with a view to addressing them with input
from experts.
“I am determined to ensure that we get a
new carrier and I will not disburse Cabotage fund for that. By next week, I
will be meeting with some experts and ship owners and make decision on
establishing the national carrier. We will also create a group that will move
it forward.
“The performance audit will tell you how
to move the industry forward. It makes you know what the problems are and make
possible suggestions on how to move forward.
“Even
when the performance audit is over, I will not make those decisions alone, I
will try and meet experts in the industry and we will share these views with
them,” he said.
Amaechi also spoke on the need to
upgrade the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron to strengthen its capacity
to produce skilled manpower for the sector.

According to him, the institution would
have been well equipped and developed by now if the fund invested to establish
the Maritime University, Okerenkoko had been put into it.
He said, “Anybody who has invested in
Okerenkoko should have invested the money in MAN Oron. That is why the
institution has not developed. We cannot continue to build another institution
when we have not equipped existing ones.”
Earlier in his address, President of
AMES, Charles Uwadia called for a holistic review of the maritime sector human
capacity development.
He said the failure of the sector is due
to lack of in-depth technical input in maritime policies and their
implementation in line with international best practice.

He added that the decline in standard,
quality and profitability of the ships of Nigerian flag is as a result of their
poor technical standards occasioned by the owner’s reluctance to comply with
national and international standards and regulations.
In his presentation, former Alternate
Permanent representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO),
Engr. Olu Akinsoji said individuals with specialised knowledge especially in
human capacity development are required to ensure policy formulation and
implementation to move the sector forward.
He said most of the challenges faced in
the sector are due to the deficit of human capacity development, which
according to him must be looked into before establishing a new national
carrier.
“There is deficit of human capacity
development which must be looked into before establishing a new national
carrier. We cannot build a nation if we don’t have the men to do it and in the
maritime industry, it is not everybody that can do everything. If you want to
do anything that is relevant to the growth of the industry, you need to be
specially trained.

“The consciousness for specialized
knowledge that is required in the industry has dwindled and as such we are
faced with mirages of challenges and problems that we have unconsciously
infringe on ourselves,” he said.

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