Transport Minister Mu’azu Sambo on Wednesday received a progress report on the establishment of a strong and sustainable national fleet by the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC).
The Minister, who received the report from the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, said that Nigeria, as a maritime nation, must maximize the potentials in the maritime sector l
The minister said, “Nigeria is a maritime country and if Nigeria gets its act together, the country will have no reason to seek money from the oil sector as a contribution to the country’s GDP.”
Speaking on how the project can be done immediately, the Minister said, “I am not sure if during the Committee’s consultations with other stakeholders you may have had conversations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) because, If NNPC can give 100% support, this case can be closed in two months.
Earlier, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and chairman of the NFIC, Emmanuel Jime, said the committee had been set up by former Minister of Transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to implement the recommendations of the report. a previous ministerial committee on the modalities for the establishment of a Nigerian fleet.
Jime, who was represented by Managing Director of Sea Transport Group and NFIC member, Umar Aminu, the initiative was a way to address the non-participation of Nigerians in the transport of Nigerian international cargo as well as the loss of freight income, jobs and other benefits that the country would otherwise enjoy.
He also said: “During the execution of the mandate, lessons have been learned and some modest achievements have been registered. These have been captured in this interim report that we are submitting today. The work is still ongoing and the goal of creating an enabling environment for the growth of a sustainable Nigerian fleet will be achieved in due course.”
Jime noted, “There were challenges that hindered the rapid completion of the project as previously envisioned. Shipping is international and competitive in nature and Nigeria cannot operate in isolation, hence the need for an operating environment similar to what exists elsewhere.
“This has been a major challenge for the growth of the sector in Nigeria. The review of certain trade policies, access to funds and technical/human capacity are issues that need to be resolved. »