National Assembly to strengthen maritime laws

Ms Lynda Ikpeazu, Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration on Tuesday said that the National Assembly would strengthen maritime laws for economic growth and development.

Ikpeazu made this known at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Internatinal Maritime Summit (NIMS) held in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the summit was: “Becoming a Significant Maritime Nation.”

She said that they would work with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to actualise the objective.

She added that they would critically review the legislation on Cabotage.

“We will also be engaging stakeholders with their input to ensure that these legislative initiatives will reflect industry expectations and realities,” Ikpeazu said.

She noted that the theme of the summit had crystalised the undisputed fact that the maritime sector needed to be properly positioned.

Ikpeazu said that the sector needed to be positioned to take its rightful place as the country’s key foreign exchange earner.

“Nigeria is blessed with human capital and good coastline, but despite these features, struggles to achieve its collective dream for a developed maritime sector.

“The comparative advantage must be harnessed, the private sector is deep with untapped potential capable of driving economic growth and phase out the ravishing impact of the pandemic,” she said.

Also, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Emmanuel Jime, encouraged participants at the conference to deliberate on how Nigeria could boost its economy and create massive opportunities for employment within the maritime sector.

“60 per cent of Nigeria’s population of 200 million are youths and the nation also has a huge economy that ranks 20th in the world by trade volume, these indices show that the nation can become a maritime hub in the African region.

“I believe that this summit is timely structured and so it is imperative for Nigeria to provide a strong maritime logistics platform that will spur international trade and position it for African Continental Free Trade Agreement,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairperson of NIMS, Mrs Mfon Usoro, stressed the need to bring the necessary ministries together in bid to get them in sync to adopt a holistic maritime national strategy.

According to her, collective approach to strengthen the maritime industry growth is key to attaining the anticipated goals of the shipping sector.

The NIMS is the only whole-of-value-chaim business event for international organisation, policy makers regulator and others in the Nigeria’s maritime industry that highlights the most important issue affecting maritime investment and operations in Nigeria. (NAN)