The Federal Government will float a new National Shipping Line at the end of June .
Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi revealed this at a Maritime Technical Summit organized by the Association of the Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) held in Lagos.
Amaechi confirmed that against the expectations of Nigerian shipowners, the new national carrier will not be funded through the cabotage vessel financing fund.
The Minister said government would supervise a partnership between foreign investors and shipowners in Nigeria to ensure successful take-off of the process.
“I have been given an approval by the President to carry out a performance audit of the maritime sector, this is to ascertain why we are not where we are supposed to be and how much we have invested into the sector, who is with the money and what is the way forward”
“I have also given myself a target that by June 2016 we should be talking about concluding our plans on the process of floating another national carrier”
“I have consulted experts and auditors to advice in the regard” “When the performance audit is over, I will not make the decisions alone, I will sit with the professionals in the industry and share this view with them” he said
“I will not disburse the Cabotage fund, I don’t have the guarantee that anybody will refund the money, they are yet to refund the one government disbursed in the aviation sector.
I have not seen anybody who have refunded and the money spent on the aviation sector is very huge, 230billion was approved” “What I will do is help Nigerians partner with foreigners to establish a national carrier and they must tell me when they will refund the money”