Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has assured the maritime stakeholders that his ministry will go into collaboration with the National Assembly to ensure that the four sectoral bills before the lawmakers are passed into law and implemented accordingly.
The bills are the Nigerian Ports and Harbour Authority Bill (2015, the National Inland Waterways Authority Bill (2015), the Nigeria Railways Authority Bill (2015), and the National Transport Commission Bill (2015).
Besides, the minister assured that the Federal Government remains committed to radically improving ports services through improved provision and maintenance of Port Terminal Infrastructure , improved operational efficiency at the ports and further increase in cargo throughput, streamlining of agencies that operate within the maritime sector for a more effective and efficient performance to meet the expectation of all stakeholder s.
The minister who spoke at a a two-day seminar organized by the Maritime Correspondents’ Organisation of Nigeria (MARCON) held at the Rockview Hotel, said the present administration is committed to discouraging the long haulage of containers through the highways, Amaechi said , the Federal Government will not relent in its efforts to ensuring that goods are cleared within 48 hours in the ports.
“The gridlock constantly experienced by trucks and motorists going to and from the road to the Nigerian Ports Authority in Lagos is unacceptable”, he said adding that “government is determined to revamp the railways sector to further encourage shippers to utilize the railways in order to avoid the proliferation of privately owned and operated road haulage services which has resulted in the unregulated and chaotic situation on roads that lead to the ports”
Amaechi also said it is the desire of the government to decongest the overstretched existing Ports in Lagos hence a number of Deep Sea Ports are being developed in deferent locations. They Lekki and Badagry Deep Seaport in Lagos, Ibom Deep Sea Port in Akwa Ibom State, Greenfield Port Development, Ogidigbon (Delta State} Agge(Bayesa State) and Olokola (Ogun and Ondo States).
The port in Onitsha has been completed and commissioned while the process for its concessioning is in progress.
“The overriding objectives of all these efforts are to ensure cost effective and efficient port service s comparable to what to what obtains in advanced maritime nations and also make Nigeria the hub for movement of goods and passengers between the West and Central Coastals Regions and the rest of the world”, he said.
The president of (MARCON, said in his opening speech that Ship registration, Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) Maritime Fund also constitute pressure points in the pursuit of increased capacity and growth.
According to him industry stakeholders’ expectations from these laudable government initiatives are still high as they are widely believed to have performed below expectations in terms of implementations and benefits to the country.

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