The Nigerian Shipping sector may soon have a ministry of its own after stakehokders and National Assembly members have agreed that the creating a ministry from the sector will generate more funds for the federal government as well as phase out the myriad of problems bedevilling the industry.
The suggestion was made by Barrister Olisa Agbakoba, SAN at the Lunch with the Senate event organised by the Senate Committee on Marine Transportation held in Lagos, yesterday.
Agbakoba who wondered why the aviation industry is a full fledge ministry while the shipping industry which is bigger is submerged under ministry of transportation.
Senators Mao Ahaubunwa and Samuel Anyanwu, on behalf of other members of the committee, corrobated the suggestion pledging to table the matter in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Accordibg to both parties, the creation of shipping ministry will help a long way to solve majority of the problems in the industry.
Recall that the maritime industry is currently under the supervision of the Ministry of Transportation but the stakeholders maintained that the industry is big enough to stand on its own.
Agbakoba said, “I just want to say some general things. I have always wondered why the maritime sector which is bigger than aviation doesn’t have a ministry. It is always a surprise to me because I think it is a thing we must consider. Shipping is bigger than aviation
“We can have a ministry of shipping because we are a coastal state and because most coastal states do have a ministry of shipping . Aviation is a small sector and why then do we have ministry of aviation and no shipping ministry?” He queried.
Senator Mao Ohaubunwa, member of the senate committee supported the suggestion saying it is an eye opener for the senate to legislate on it as well as expedite action on.
He stated further that even after the passage of the bill, if the president refuses to assent to it, the senate would overrule the president because according to him, the creation would yield more income for the country.
“Things are created from legislative perspective, we will go back and put the bill and onceit is assebted or even if the president refuses assent, thank God we have right to override that veto once we agree that it is somethibg right for the industry.
“I believe with Mr Chairman, we are totally in agreement and by the grace of God, we will get that one done as soon as possible even now that we know that the shipping industry is bigger than the aviation industry and we can make more money from there
Also speaking, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, aligned with the proposition, pledging that the Senate would consider the suggestion.
He added that the establishment of the ministry could actually lead to the end of the myriad of problems the maritime industry is fraught with.
He however maintained that the National Assembly would go back and legislate on the matter assuring to make substance out of it before the termination of the 8th senate.
His words, “All the problems in the maritime will be solved if there is the ministry of maritime. Our own is to go back and do our job,” he stated.
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