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Bill to establish maritime security trust fund passes second reading in Reps

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed for second reading a Bill for an Act to establish Nigerian Maritime Security Trust Fund and other matters related thereto (2020) and referred it to the relevant committee for further legislative actions.

Sponsored by Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau), the chairman, House Committee on Navy, the Bill provides for the establishment of a special fund for training and retraining of naval personnel for optimum productivity.

The proposed legislation is also seeking funds for equipment and machinery that will aid the seamless protection of the nation’s waterways by the Nigerian Navy, thereby guaranteeing a robust economic development of the country.

Read Also: NSML: Driving sustainable shipping to transform Nigeria’s maritime sector

In his lead debate, Gagdi maintained that since the mainstay of the Nigerian economy (oil) is majorly sourced and moved through the waterways, while the largest chunk of our import and export of other goods are carried out through the seas, it was imperative that the Nigerian Navy is sufficiently equipped and routinely trained to curb the excesses of pirates, oil bunkerers and other illegal activities on our waterways that hamper our economic development.

Noting the importance of the Bill, all contributors to the debate lend their voices to the establishment of the fund and urge the House to pass the Bill into law without any delay.

The bill was first read on 15th March 2021 and seeks to exist for 8 years from the commencement date of the Act, (when finally passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President), unless it is further extended by an Act of the National Assembly.

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