The Federal Government has stated that it plans to open up Nigeria’s maritime sector for investment opportunities as it reduces bottlenecks in the sector, including wrecks along the creeks.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, on Friday in Lagos, at the official launch of the removal of wrecks along the Badagry creek from Tincan Island to Navy Town, Lagos, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The Minister praised the DG of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, for launching the scheme, citing that the venture of clearing Nigeria’s waterways of wrecks, apart from guaranteeing better safety of navigation, opened up the prospects of many new investments in the maritime industry.
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Amaechi said, “The exercise would tremendously enhance the Federal Government’s economic diversification drive and enhance Nigeria’s standing in the global maritime community.”
He urged for the autonomous status of each of the agencies under the Federal Ministry of Transportation, adding that all the heads of the agencies were appointed on the basis of their competence and expertise. He said that he would always support “imaginative ideas from the Chief Executives of the agencies, adding that it was the NIMASA DG’s idea that wrecks should be removed from our waters.”
NIMASA boss, Jamoh stated that successful removal of the wrecks and derelicts would restore confidence in Nigerian waters, as well as eliminate obstacles to smooth, safe, and profitable navigation.
He added that the wreck removal exercise is a milestone in the incremental achievement of the Triple S strategy of the current Management of NIMASA, anchored on Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Shipping Development.
“These wrecks inhibit the operation of shipping companies, which constantly strive to increase efficiency in order to remain in business.
“As a result, most of the shipping companies usually avoid operating or investing in areas where navigational hazards are identified due to high insurance premium charges,” Jamoh said.
Jamoh also disclosed that the cost of shipping would drop for the benefit of mariners and other stakeholders in the maritime industry with the elimination or reduction of the costs associated with insurance, survey and charting of wrecks.
“In line with this mandate and in recognition of the importance of safety of navigation in maritime administration, the agency has established the need for the removal of critical wrecks along the Badagry creek,” he said.
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Recall Nairametrics reported in March that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) stated that stakeholders in Nigeria’s Maritime sector should suggest and identify projects in the sector for Public-Private Partnership as it has been entrusted with PPP responsibilities by the Federal Government.