Sambo Receives Interim Report On National Fleet Implementation

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The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo.
The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has received an interim report on the need to establish a strong and sustainable national fleet by the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee.

Sambo, who   received the report at the ministry in Abuja, said it is one he is keenly interested   in reading, as “Nigeria is a maritime country and if Nigeria gets its acts together, the country will have no business looking for money from the oil sector as a contribution to the GDP of the country”. 

In a statement signed by the director of press and public relations, Eric Ojiekwu, Sambo said: “I don’t know if, in the course of the committee’s consultations with other stakeholders you were able to have some conversations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). If NNPC can give 100 per cent support, this matter can be closed in two months. 

“How can we be an oil producer – I think we are the sixth largest oil producer in the world –yet, we have no boat carrier?” the minister asked, as he promised to approach President Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources on the prospects and implementation of the Nigerian fleet. 

Earlier, the executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and chairman, Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC), Emmanuel Jime said the committee was constituted by the immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to implement the recommendations in the report by an earlier Ministerial Committee on Modalities for the Establishment of a Nigerian Fleet. 

Jime, who was represented by the managing director, Sea Transport Group and member, NFIC, Umar Aminu, stated that the initiative was a way of responding to the non-participation of Nigerians in the carriage of the nation’s international cargo as well as the loss of freight revenue, jobs and other benefits which would have accrued to the country. 

“In the course of carrying out the mandate, lessons have been learnt and some modest achievements have been recorded. These have been captured in this interim report which we are submitting today. The work is still ongoing and the goal of creating an enabling environment for the growth and sustainability of the Nigerian fleet will be achieved in due course. 

“There were challenges that impeded the quick realisation of the project as earlier envisaged. Shipping is international and competitive and Nigeria cannot operate in isolation; hence, the need for the operating environment to be similar to what obtains elsewhere. This has been a major challenge to the growth of the sector in Nigeria. Review of certain trade policies, access to funds and technical/human capacity are issues that need to be resolved.” 

Oluchi Okorafor
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