Transportation Minister, Rt.Hon.Chibuike Amaechi

By Maritime Security News

The federal government says the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) should not be expected to generate revenue for the government since its mandate was to act as a regulator of maritime safety and security.

The minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in a statement by the ministry’s director of press and public relations, Eric Ojiekwe on Saturday, stated this at the final session of the 5-day National Council on Transportation summit in Kano state.

According to him “People put NIMASA under pressure that they must make money; make money for what? NIMASA actually is a regulatory authority, not for them to go and look for money.

“The people that should be making money and they must hear it now is the Nigeria Ports Authority. It is their responsibility to make money.

“NIMASA should therefore focus on being a regulatory authority on issues of safety and security of our waterways,” Mr Amaechi said at the summit.

The minister said that the failure to convene the national council on transportation was due to Nigeria’s economic downturn and the advent of COVID-19, adding that decisions reached would be utilised by the federal government.

“Transportation is essential to sustainable development as it enables access to employment, business, education, health services and social interactions.

“The prosperity and wellbeing of developing and developed world are inseparably linked to transport. As such, President Muhammadu Buhari has made issues relating to transportation, one of the topmost priorities of his administration,” he said.O

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 what ever you want to charge for the dry port but part of the profit that they make in the dry port will go to the up bringing 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’.

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