FG Committed To Optimising Nigeria’s Maritime Sector – Perm Sec

Transport Association
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Oloruntola Olufemi (middle) with members of the National Association of Maritime Transport Operators at the ministry headquarters in Abuja.

The permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy/Transportation, Olufemi Oloruntola has affirmed the ministry’s dedication to revitalising and enhancing the sector. 

In a meeting with the executive members of the National Association of Maritime Transport Operators (NAMTOP) in Abuja, Oloruntola emphasised the ministry’s commitment to ushering in significant improvements at the nation’s ports.

Established with the mandate to address, harness and reposition the maritime sector, the ministry pledges to engage purposefully with the responsibility of overseeing substantial advancements. Oloruntola assured stakeholders in the maritime sector of the ministry’s accessibility and openness to formal correspondence, welcoming facts and propositions to enhance the sector’s efficiency.

Highlighting the commendable collaboration of approximately 20 associations working under one umbrella, Oloruntola stressed the importance of effective communication and dialogue. While commending the unity of these associations, he encouraged NAMTOP to pursue its mandate through non-antagonistic dialogues with relevant government bodies, facilitating constructive engagement to achieve its goals.

The permanent secretary committed to presenting the complaints, suggestions and outcomes of the meeting with NAMTOP to the minister promptly, demonstrating a proactive approach to addressing industry concerns.

The national president of NAMTOP, Adeyinka Aroyewun led the delegation and conveyed the association’s critical role at the ports, particularly the Lagos ports. The visit aimed to provide the permanent secretary with accurate information about developments within the ports, correcting potential misrepresentations originating from Lagos to Abuja.

Aroyewun highlighted several challenges faced by the association, notably the issues surrounding the Nigerian Ports Authority’s electronic call-up system (ETO). He expressed concerns that the ETO policy, intended to streamline truckers’ access to port terminals, has fallen short of its objectives. Aroyewun criticised the NPA for allegedly charging truckers N25,000 instead of the approved levy of N10,000 for the use of the truck transit parks.

According to Aroyewun, the ETO system lacks a complete electronic approach, with only the payment aspect being electronically addressed. He underscored the need for the ministry’s intervention to rectify these challenges, which adversely affect their businesses.

Another significant concern raised by Aroyewun was the proliferation of fake minimum safety standard (MSS) stickers, allowing unauthorised access to ports and disrupting the operations of legitimate truckers. He appealed to the ministry to prioritise addressing these challenges, recognising their detrimental impact on the business activities of NAMTOP members.

The meeting between the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy/Transportation and NAMTOP signifies a collaborative effort to address critical issues within Nigeria’s maritime sector. The commitment to open communication channels and the proactive approach of the ministry demonstrates a collective determination to optimise and shape the future of the maritime industry.

Oluchi Okorafor
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