The Federal Government has said that Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was set up as a regulator of maritime safety and security outfit and that generating revenue is not enshrined in the Act establishing the body.
Eric Ojiekwe D, PPR disclosed this to journalists in a press release he signed on Saturday stating that the Minister who made the disclosure at the final session of the 5-day National Council on Transportation (NCT), held in the commercial city of Kano, explained that “People put NIMASA under pressure that they must make money; make money for what because NIMASA actually is a regulatory authority, not for them to go and look for money”.
According to him: “The people that should be making money and they must hear it now is NPA. It is their responsibility to make money”.
He, therefore, enjoined the agency to ‘focus on being a regulatory authority on the issue of safety and security of our waterways”.
While expressing dismay over the inability to convene the NCT for the past three years due to the economic downturn and advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister expressed optimism that critical decisions bordering on transportation will be addressed at the summit.
“Transportation is essential to sustainable development as it enables access to employment, business, education, health services, and social interactions. The prosperity and well-being of developing and developed world are inseparably linked to transport as such, President Muhammadu Buhari has made issues relating to transportation as one of the topmost priorities of his administration”, he said.
On the state of the Dala Inland Dry Port, the Minister said the Federal Government will not commission the project if he does not see a completed primary school offering free education to the many out-of-school children in the area.
“I want NSC to note this because that’s the agreement we had with the concessionaire. Shippers’ Council, you can charge whatever you want to charge for the dry port but part of the profit that they make in the dry port will go to the upbringing of those children”.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, read the address of the Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki, who was unavoidably absent.
According to Saraki, “Since the last time the Council met, Nigeria has ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA). The ratification of the AfCTA is a new dawn with significantly positive ramifications for our collective future.”
In addition, she said Nigeria has an “opportunity to leverage its geographical position, its large domestic market, and industrial capacity to become the Transportation Hub for Africa, but this prize will not be easily won and there is much work to do to actualize this potential. It will require smart, rigorous, foresighted planning and swift, diligent execution across all modes of transportation.
Speaking also, the host Governor, Umar Ganduje, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Gawuna, Ganduje said: ‘I am greatly impressed by the selection of the theme of this year’s Council on Transportation meeting. The Sustainable Development as a Panacea for National Development. The theme gives me the impression that we are on the path of overcoming national development challenges. This is based on the fact that the transport industry is one promising sector that if exploited optimally, it will stimulate the needed economic transformation in our country.