Shippers’ Council seeks CBN’s intervention to realise N7tr maritime potential
FG unveils task force on full implementation of GIFMIS
The Nigerian Shippers Council (NCS) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene in infrastructure development of the nation’s maritime sector to enable the country to realise its economic diversification potential.
Executive Secretary of NCS, Hassan Bello, explained that the maritime sector, which contributes between N1.9tr and N2tr yearly to the Federation Account, could generate N7tr annually, but was being constrained by infrastructure deficit making the nation’s ports unable to compete with those of neighbouring countries.
Bello, who spoke in Abuja lamented that the Nigerian ports as presently constituted, were not configured for exports, but for only imports, because of the infrastructure outlay.
He pointed out that the development was responsible for the high cost of freight of Nigerian cargoes and the huge burden on consumers because ships bringing cargoes to Nigeria ports return empty without cargoes from Nigeria, which, he said was an abnormal situation.
He argued that to reverse the situation, the CBN should intervene in infrastructure development to promote exports and diversify Nigeria’s revenue base from over dependence on crude oil.
Bello pointed out that Nigeria has several quality non-oil products that could be processed and exported, thereby creating employment opportunities for Nigerians and higher revenues for the government.
He also canvassed expansion and decentralisation of the Lagos ports to decongest them, adding that the Deep Sea Port, Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State, the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Lagos, the Kano Dry Port and Ibadan dry Port would begin operations next year.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has inaugurated an inter-ministerial task force to fully implement Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
She explained that the programme was developed by different government agencies to enhance the effectiveness of the government’s financial activities.
“The programme is jointly developed by the OAGF, BOF, DMO, CBN and FIRS in consultations with other stakeholders. The GIFMIS is part of Pillar Three of the National Strategy for Public Service Reform aimed at improving the nation’s public service anchored on optimum service delivery.
“Government’s overall objective is to implement a computerised financial management information system for efficiency, effectiveness with capacity to increase Federal Government’s ability to undertake central control, monitor expenditure and receipts in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAS), as well as increase access to information on financial and operational performances.