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Amaechi expresses frustration at continuous SAA operations — blames stakeholders for their inaction

Peter Olaniyi    |   The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has expressed frustration mixed with anger over the continuous operations of the Secured Ancourage Area(SAA) despite his order to the contrary.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), acting on the order of the Minister, had directed that the SAA be dismantled as it was illegal and constitute security threats as well as additional shipping costs.
But after protracted controversy rooted in a war of attrition between the NPA and the operators, OMSL, which dragged on to the National Assembly, the SAA still continued operations.
But Amaechi, while speaking at the global celebration of the World Maritime Day (WMD), frowned at the continuous patronage of Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) in the country.He noted that the SAA poses colossal fiscal losses for the shipping sector and the nation at large as ship owners pay over $1200 daily for secure Anchorage in the country.

Amaechi, who was speaking via a virtual platform during the event, admonished shipping stakeholders to kick against SAA.

He said, ” There is a crisis in the Maritime sector. The crisis is between the Minister of Transportation and the issue of security. The Minister of Transportation has the responsibility to set up the secure anchorage area.

“Today, we have a single individual partnering with the military that is collecting $1,200 (merchant ship) to the detriment of shipping companies.

“That one individual to the detriment of our shipping industry is still in existence and still managing the business with support of other institutions.

“The stakeholders are doing nothing to the individual and he has become so rich as a result of exploiting the industry.

“We are saying this is the time to say enough is enough. Government will not be collecting money.

“No individual has the right to collect money,” he said.

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