The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo has disclosed that the Federal Government will harmonise taxes paid by jetty operators to address double taxation and promote ease of doing business in the country.
Mu’azu, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja in a meeting with the technical sub-committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ), led by its chairman, Engr. Joseph Ororo, noted that operators are made to pay multiple registration fees by different regulatory agencies such as the National Inland Waterways (NIWA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Speaking on the committee’s mandate of licensing jetties and closure of illegal platforms, Sambo appreciated their exploits while advising that their inspections not be restricted to timelines but should include unscheduled visits to jetties to ensure compliance with extant laws and regulations.
Earlier, Ororo said the committee was created in 2004 to checkmate security breaches, economic sabotage, gun-running and other criminal activities traced to private jetties.
According to him, the sub-committee is the expert arm of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ) and, before its constitution was drawn up, there was a directive to shut down all private jetties across the country due to the intractable illegalities associated with them.
Ororo went ahead to list the terms of reference of the committee to include “Re-opening all jetties deemed vital to the economy of the country, as well as examining all the remaining closed jetties and recommend those to be retained and those to remain permanently closed.
“The committee meets from time to time to consider applications for operating licences for jetties and recommend those to be issued new licences by the Honourable Minister of Transportation.
“Also, the Minister of Transportation [will] continue to issue licenses for the operation of jetties on the recommendation of the standing committee, prepare and present a note to Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the activities of the standing committee for its information, the minister is also to keep the President fully informed on the work of the standing committee.”
Ororo further elaborated on how the work of the sub-committee has contributed to increased revenue generation for the various regulatory agencies and the Federal Government, as well as bringing about a high level of safety at the respective private jetties.
Similarly, he pointed out that other derivatives from the work of the committee is that multi-national companies no longer own or operate jetties if they do not possess valid license duties.
He observed the improved relationship between the companies and host communities due to [the companies’] cooperate social responsibility projects and job opportunities made available to them and Nigerians by extension.