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Reps to explore possibility of Maritime Banks to stop capital flight

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By Abiodun OBA

 

Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Shipping Services are to consider the possibilities of maritime banks for stakeholders in the sector to stop capital flight.

The Chairman of the Committee, Abdussamad Dasuki, who dropped the hint during an oversight visit to the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), added that the maritime sector will have its own bank and the shipowners will have their own banks.

Dasuki, also said the bill to give the Council backing as a port economic regulator has passed a second reading.

According to him, the bill will be a catalyst for changing the nation’s economy, and the Council will perform exceptionally well when the bill is passed into law.

“The NSC is the port economic regulator that is operating under regulation, and by God’s grace, the bill to make the agency a true regulator has passed the second reading, and we will soon call for a public hearing. That bill will be the catalyst for changing the economy. Also, the Shippers’ Council will do better when the law is passed,” Dasuki stated.

The committee chairman also spoke about the one per cent freight stabilisation fund, saying there is a need for Nigeria to have a Marítime bank.

“We have taken note as well of the current issues that are happening with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMOF).

“With 50 per cent of your revenue, you will get support to get the funds due to your agency. We expect you to deliver more and bring more money to Nigeria.

“You said NSC will ensure that the GDP of Nigeria goes up through your contributions by the end of 2024. The committee will look at possibilities of maritime banks so that the maritime sector will have its own bank and the shipowners will have their own banks, as this will stop capital flight,” he added.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary/CEO of the NSC, Pius Akutah, explained that with the implementation of the Oronsaye Report, it is very important that the NSC gets its funding priorities right.

“Mr Chairman Sir, there is a directive from Mr President and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to implement the Oronsaye Report, and as this concerns the Nigerian Shippers Council, the report says we should be self-funded.

“Therefore, there is a need for us to implement our statutory funding, which is the 1 per cent freight stabilisation fee. I think this is very pivotal at this moment that the Oronsaye Report is being implemented.

“Once the Oronsaye Report is implemented, the 7 per cent Port Development Levy, which the Shippers Council gets 2 per cent from, may no longer be available.

“So, I think we need to work very hard to ensure that the Nigerian Shippers Council funding position is secured.”

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