-by our correspondent.
The National Maritime Transport Policy being developed by Nigeria would lead to improved Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow and the ability of the Nigerian maritime sector to compete internationally.
Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, who said this in Lagos at the opening of a stakeholders’ validation forum on the draft policy would Nigeria’s positioning in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“It is encouraging to know that the maritime policy is coming up at a time when Nigeria has ratified the AfCTA Agreement and deposited it with the AU Secretariat. This is an agreement that will place Nigeria in place of leadership if we adequately prepare for the protocols.” Saraki said.
She underscored the strategic economic importance of maritime transportation, saying adoption of the transport policy would mark a paradigm shift in Nigeria’s economic competitiveness.
“The National Maritime Transport Policy is a framework that will guide and sharpen the activities, actors and modus operandi in the maritime sector. It is an all-encompassing document that will skyrocket the sector to compete favourably in the global market.” The Minister said.
Pix 1: L-R: Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman; representative of Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Danjuma Goje, Senator Ibrahim Yahaya; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani; Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education, and Administration, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu;Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu; representative of the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the Agency’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Chudi Ofodile; and Chairman, National Maritime Transport Policy Committee, Dr. .Paul Adalikwu, during the Stakeholders Validation Forum on the Draft National Maritime Transport Policy held in Lagos recently.
For his part, Chairman of the National Maritime Transport Policy Committee, Dr. Paul Adalikwu, said, “The maritime sector cannot be administered successfully without a policy document that contains genuine, reliable and updated data” that can stand the test of time.
Adalikwu, who is also Director in charge of Maritime Safety and Security in the Federal Ministry of Transportation, said the maritime transport policy document aimed to develop “a maritime industry that is income generating, self-sufficient, competitive with comparative advantage in the regional and global markets.”
The meeting was organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to get stakeholders’ input, as the policy document was being fine-tuned. The transport policy is expected to usher in a regime of robust maritime transport system in the country in line with international best practice.