Chinazor Megbolu |
Transport Ministers in West and Central Africa are strategizing on setting up maritime bank in the region.
This was disclosed in a signed statement at the weekend by the Media Aide to Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Mr. Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, saying the country’s Transport Minister, Hon Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, and his West and Central Africa colleagues are strategizing on establishing a Maritime bank.
The statement noted the idea was conceived when the ministers met in Lagos last Friday during a day conference of Ministers of Transportation, under the umbrella of the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA).
He explained that the setting up the bank had become necessary for maritime development in the region.
The statement buttressed further that Nigeria will make her financial contributions as soon as other countries paid up, especially given the fact that government had already made provisions for the bank in the 2020 budget.
According to the statement; “we couldn’t have been pushing and nobody is responding the way we thought everybody should respond, we will make our contribution when others have made theirs.
“I wish we could make our contribution this year because we have budgetary allocation for it, but if it is next year, I can’t guarantee that we will have the budgetary provision. We believe that this bank is a necessary tool we need for maritime development in our regions, both West and Central Africa”.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport and Communication, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chairman of MOWCA, Master Didier Mukanzu, in his remarks, lauded the initiative by showing gratitude to the 25-member states and Nigeria as well.
“Indeed, the Committee of Experts of MOWCA met in Lagos from September 15-16, 2020, on the project to set up the regional maritime bank of development.
“The Minister of Transport of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has taken upon himself the commitment to speak with his counterparts from other Member States to convince them to support the project. The aim is to particularly approve the Charter and get the States to express their commitment to the project.
“So for more than 20 years, many initiatives have been taken. But this time, the partners are there and ready to invest in the project.
“I, therefore, recommend that these partners should not be won over by doubt, on the real desire of the sub-region to equip itself with an institution. Great achievements in the world have always begun with reservations at the beginning.
Ministers, we are at a decisive turning point in this project.
”I hope that the will of the sub-region, expressed overwhelmingly, align so that we can take a big step forward,” he said.
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