• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Agbakoba urges FG to appoint minister of maritime


Chief Olisa Agbakoba, a maritime lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to appoint a minister of maritime.

Agbakoba, while making the appeal at a news conference in Lagos organised by his Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL), said that the office of a maritime minister would enable all issues concerning the sector to be given the needed attention for the benefit of the economy.

“The sector should push for a minister; someone who can be at that level to talk with the President. It will help to establish what the industry truly needs to generate huge revenue for the economy,’’ the maritime lawyer said.

He noted that maritime stakeholders had come under the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as the ports economic regulator, to devise a plan called the ‘Maritime Action Plan 2015’ to look at critical sectors of the industry.

Agbakoba said that arbitrary increase in port charges by terminal operators had made the ports uncompetitive.
He urged that this should stop in the interest of the economy.

“Because of the dependence on oil for revenue, we have forgotten agriculture, manufacturing and shipping.

“Key players in the maritime sector have a role to play to continue to bring to government’s attention, the capacity of the sector to generate jobs, revenues and wellbeing of the country.

“We must call the attention of policy makers to the big opportunities available in the industry. It is a big challenge,’’ he said.

On the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), Agbakoba said that stakeholders must address the constraints of disbursement.

He remarked that funding was required to help the industry to grow, adding that workable ideas were required to boost local content and cabotage administration. (NAN)