By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has called on regulatory agencies to reduce the cost of doing business by checkmating exploitation of operators at seaports.
According to the statement signed by Director (PPR), Eric Ojiekwe, the Minister made the call at the 2020 World Maritime Day Celebration with the theme: ‘Sustainable Shipping for Sustainable Planet: The Nigerian Dimension:’ held in Eko Hotel, Lagos yesterday, pointed out that the objective behind the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA) has been defeated with the exorbitant charge of $1500 a vessel per day.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, urged,“ participants and resource persons not to see the annual event as mere celebration for congregation of who is who in the maritime industry, but should be taken as a reflective period to focus on developing the maritime sector”.
In the keynote address, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, disclosed that it’s been five years since President Buhari, joined other world leaders at the 70th Session of the UN to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of 17 SDGs on universal call to end poverty, safeguard the planet and ensure peace and prosperity by year 2030.
She called on stakeholders in the sector to capitalize on available local resources and invest in infrastructure and machinery that are economically and physically in line with the aspirations of the SDGs.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Maritime Transport, Sen. Danjuma Goje, who was represented by Sen. Tolu Odebiyi, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Linda Ikpeazu, in separate remarks advised that the recommendations reached be backed by policy and action.
The Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashiri Jamoh, in his presentation assured International community that with the Anti-piracy Act, Nigeria is now repositioned to fight piracy and change the narrative following recent statistics by IMO that the country’s waters are the most dangerous to trade in.
Other presenters encouraged development and coordination of the Blue Economic policy, use of scientific and verified information for development of the maritime sector.
They further pointed out that the major threat to marine life emanates from land, adding that the country should consider turning the land wastes into recyclable and reusable energy.
The participants came out with a communique which among other things emphasised that SDGs are germane to the maritime industry and in this regard, urgent measures towards diversifying the economy away from oil revenue is apt.
They also reiterated the need to develop regulations for the implementation of relevant IMO instruments to forestall effects of climate change and pollution on marine environment.
NIMASA was directed to provide platform for marine incident reporting and information sharing; training and retraining of seafarers in line with international acceptable standards; collaboration between government and privately owned maritime training institutions was advised.
The event had in attendance the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chairmen and Board members of agencies, representatives of Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders in the maritime sector.