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Transportation Minister wants immediate implementation of report by National Carrier Committee

 

(File copy) Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi and Engr. Olu Akinsoji at an event

 

Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi
Amaechi has directed the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council; Mr
Hassan Bello to begin immediate implementation of the report of the committee
on establishment of a national carrier.
The Minister gave the directive while
receiving the committee’s report in Abuja .
The committee which draws its membership
from across the maritime industry is headed by former Administrator of Maritime
Academy of Nigeria in Oron Akwa Ibom state and former Government Inspector of
Ships; Engr Olu Akinsoji.
Receiving the report, the Minister pledged
to provide the necessary instrument for the implementation of the
recommendations of the committee.
He also approved the report of the Committee
even as he disclosed that part of the fund to be used in the implementation of
the report will come from the Cabotage Fund.
The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)
was created by the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, to promote
ship acquisition by supporting ship owners.
Section 42, Part VIII of Section 44 of the
Act empowers NIMASA to collect and administer the fund, under guidelines by the
Minister of Transport, after approval by the National Assembly.
He said,  “let me say that you are
more serious than I am on this and that I will give you people the necessary
instrument to implement it; part of the fund we will use is the Cabotage
Fund.’’
The minister warned that the criteria for
choosing who should benefit must be transparent.
“How do you choose those qualified to
access the fund because in the 60 per cent you would have, I am sure that most
of you will want to access the Cabotage money as part of your equity
contribution?
“If you are selfish, I will pull it out; it
means that I must not see your private interest; you must ensure that
everybody’s interest is involved, otherwise you will tear the maritime sector
apart.’’
While submitting the report earlier,
Chairman, Ministerial Committee on Modalities for the Establishment of Nigerian
Fleet for the nation’s shipping sector; Engr Olu Akinsoji, has said that
Nigeria lost 2.2 billion dollars in 2014 due to the lack of ships.

Akinsoji said
this while submitting the committee’s report to the Minister of Transportation,
Mr Rotimi Amaechi in Abuja.
He said that in 2014, over 5,000 ships
sailed into Nigeria, but noted that most of them were not owned by Nigerians.
“If 50 per cent of the number of ships that
came to Nigeria in 2014 were Nigerian ships, earning 3,000 dollars per person,
Nigeria would have generated 2.2 billion dollars in that year.
“That is apart from the freight that is
accruable by carrying Nigerian cargoes; the seafarer who would have worked on
those ships, would have earned 2.2billion dollars.
“Every family of that seafarer would have
benefited from the cargoes; so, these are the kind of losses we are making for
not having ships that are carrying our tag.
“All the international cargoes we generated
were carried by foreigners; we do not have ships in international waters
carrying dry cargoes. “
According to him, if Nigeria has ships in
international waters carrying dry cargoes, the country will generate huge
financial resources and create jobs for youths in the maritime
sector.  

Source: Shipping Position

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