• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Reps push for new law to curb illegality in maritime sector

Reps push for new law to curb illegality in maritime sector

The House of Representatives Committee on Shipping Services and Related Matters has said that the passage of the Nigerian Shipping and Port Economic Regulatory Agency Bill into law would curb arbitrary charges and other illegality by service providers in the nation’s maritime industry.

At a public hearing on the repeal of the Nigerian Shippers Council Act, on Monday, Abdussamad Dasuki, chairman of the committee, said they were collating memoranda from various stakeholders on the bill before presenting their report to the House for the third reading.

According to Dasuki, the next process would be to present the report to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“The public hearing today showed that every stakeholder in the Nigerian maritime industry wants an economic regulator for the industry. The era of impunity has to stop. The stakeholders’ inputs are useful and educative, Nigeria’s maritime industry is overdue for this, and we will see to its implementation,” he said.

He bill seeks to repeal a law that prevents the Nigerian Shippers Council from enforcing a presidential directive concerning economic regulation of the ports.

Also speaking, Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of marine and blue economy, said the new bill, when passed into law, will enthrone a regulatory framework in the maritime industry.

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Represented by Olorunola Olufemi, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Oyetola said that the ministry was willing to partner with all stakeholders, especially the National Assembly to design a regulatory framework for the marine and blue economy industry.

“We are eager and happy to be a part of a process that will reform the sector. The ministry is in the process of collating its considerations on this bill and will submit it accordingly. We will encourage all stakeholders to also contribute their quota towards the actualisation of this process for the interest of the nation,” he said.

Pius Akutah, executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, said that concerns raised by some stakeholders would be looked into.

“It is also one of the key performance indicators that we signed with the minister. We will look into the concerns raised by some stakeholders. We are not bringing in a law that will strangulate the sector. The intention is to bring sanity to the sector and to ensure that the sector is booming,” he said.

Tajudeen Abass, speaker of the House of Representatives was represented by Sada Soli at the public hearing which was witnessed by stakeholders from the shipping, freight-forwarding, and legal sectors of the maritime industry.