NIMASA not a revenue-generating agency – FG clarifies
The Federal Government has said Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was set up as a regulatory agency to ensure maritime safety and generation of revenue is not enshrined in the Act establishing the body.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who made the clarification at the final session of the five-day National Council on Transportation (NCT), held in Kano, said: “People put NIMASA under pressure that it must make money. Make money for what? NIMASA is actually a regulatory authority. So, it is not in position to go and look for money. The organisation that should be making money is the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA). It is its responsibility to make money.”
He, therefore, enjoined the agency to focus on regulating and ensuring safety and security of waterways.
While expressing dismay over the inability to convene the NCT for the past three years, due to economic downturn and advent of COVID-19 pandemic, Amaechi expressed optimism that critical decisions bordering on transportation would be addressed at the summit.
“Transportation is essential to sustainable development, as it enables access to employment, business, education, health services and social interactions. The prosperity and well-being of developing and developed worlds are inseparably linked to transport. As such, President Muhammadu Buhari has made issues relating to transportation one of the topmost priorities of his administration,” he said.
On the state of the Dala Inland Dry Port, Amaechi said the Federal Government would not commission the project, if he does not see a completed primary school offering free education to the many out-of-school children in the area.
“I want NSC to note this because that was the agreement we had with the concessionaire. Shippers’ Council can charge whatever it likes for the dry port. But part of the profit made in the dry port will go into the upbringing of those children,” he said.
In her address, Honourable Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said: “Since the last time the Council met, Nigeria has ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), which marked a new dawn with significantly positive ramifications for our collective future.
“Nigeria has an opportunity to leverage its geographical position, its large domestic market and industrial capacity to become the Transportation Hub for Africa. But this prize will not be easily won and there is much work to do to actualise this potential. It will require smart, rigorous, foresighted planning and swift, diligent execution across all modes of transportation.”
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