Senate yesterday fast-tracked the passage of a Bill for an Act to provide for the ownership, management and development of Ports and Harbours from second reading to a public hearing.
The central theme of the Bill revolves around the efficient and more profitable management of the Nigerian Maritime space, as enunciated in Section 1, Sub-section 1, Paragraphs (a) to (d), of the proposed Bill.
The Bill titled Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority was sponsored by Senator Emmanuel Andy Uba (PDP- Anambra South) and read for the first time on the floor of the Senate on Thursday, 26th May 2016.
While presenting the lead debate Senator Uba informed that the bill seeks to repeal the Nigerian Ports Authority Act, Cap 126 LFN 2004 would equally establish the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority.
He said the Bill when it becomes law would provide an appropriate institutional framework for the ownership, management, operation, development and control of ports and harbours, in a bid to ensure the integrity, efficiency and safety of the Ports, based on the principles of accountability, competition, fairness and transparency.
According to him, the bill essentially encourages greater private sector participation in the Maritime Industry, through avenues for private investment in Port Infrastructure, Provision of Port Services and facilities.
He added that when it becomes law the Bill would transform this critical sector of the economy as well as promote internal and international trade, aimed at job creation, efficiency, productivity and improved service delivery.
He said:”The enactment of this very important Bill into law will transform this critical sector of the economy and as well promote internal and international trade.
“It will give the proposed Authority, the requisite regulatory powers to manage and develop Ports and Harbors in Nigeria by providing adequate enabling environment for the private sector to operate, as against the extant requirement in the principal Act, which merely mandates the Authority to provide services as an operator.
“I am confident however, that this investment of time and resources in the creation of the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority (if approved), will in no distant future, be a major driver for the recapitalization of the Nigerian Economy, particularly in its quest to transmute from a mono-sectoral to a multi-sectoral economy.”
The Bill received massive support of Senators present at the plenary as many saw its passage as a major step in addressing the current economic recession.

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