The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has expressed the hope that within 90 days the ministry will be able to secure accommodation to enable the take-off of the Regional Maritime Development Bank.
Sambo disclosed this during a courtesy visit by the secretary-general, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr. Paul Adalikwu to the ministry.
In a statement signed by the director of press and public relations, Eric Ojiekwe, Sambo said: “When I resumed here, I realised immediately that the Regional Maritime Bank is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very short time. In fact, 90 days is too long.”
He observed that all efforts towards getting accommodation via the Central Bank of Nigeria have yielded no outcome. He said he would approach the Attorney General of the Federation to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank.
Speaking further, Sambo encouraged the secretary-general to leverage MOWCA as a regional bank to sell Nigeria’s intention of becoming a ‘Category C’ member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The meeting had in attendance the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye; the director, maritime services, Babatunde Bombata; the deputy director, cabotage and shipping, Rita Zoaka and others.
Speaking earlier, Adalikwu stated that the idea of a Regional Maritime Development Bank (RMDB) was conceived 11 years ago to facilitate single-digit interest loans to provide leeway to key players in the sector and enable them to compete favourably with their international counterparts.
“[So far] 8 countries have signed the charter as required in the document establishing the bank. Two weeks ago, DRC Congo also signed making it 9 countries, one above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act,” he said.
Adalikwu further informed that the organogram of RMDB, as adopted by council members, had positions of president of the body, company secretary and a seat on the board ceded to Nigeria while Cameroun is to produce the vice-president 1 and Ivory Coast vice-president 2. Other member-states will provide board members for the bank.
Also speaking, the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani commended Adalikwu over the forthcoming regional meeting scheduled for Abuja in November 2022, where the secretary-general of IMO, Kitlack Lim will seek to prevail on 25 member-states to adopt the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act to enable trial of piracy cases within the MOWCA sub-region, irrespective of which sub-region the crime was committed.