Reps Committee Proposed Establishment of Maritime Bank

The House of Representatives Committee on Shipping Service has proposed the establishment of a maritime bank to boost the nation’s shipping industry and the maritime sector as a whole.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Shipping Services, Mr Abdulsamad Dasuki, said this when his team paid an oversight visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council’s (NSC) headquarters on Thursday in Lagos.

Dasuki said that the establishment of the maritime bank is a proactive approach that would stop capital flight and also help toward enhancing the maritime sector’s efficiency and sustainability. He hinted that the committee’s planned meeting with the ship owners underscored its commitment to ensuring effective service delivery within the maritime domain.

“The committee is looking at the possibilities of establishing a maritime bank, so that the maritime sector and ship owners will have their bank, and this will help to stop capital flight,” he said. Dasuki said that the transformation of NSC into a robust port economic regulator, facilitated by the impending legislation, is a crucial step toward maximising the agency’s regulatory capacities.

“The bill is to give the council backing as a port economic regulator, and it has passed a second reading in the House of Representatives. The bill will be a catalyst for changing the nation’s economy. The council will perform exceptionally well when the bill is passed into law.

“We have taken note of most of the issues the NSC highlighted; both the successes and challenges,” Dasuki said.

The chairman said that the progression of the bill through the legislative process and upcoming public hearing indicated a concerted effort to enact reforms that could drive economic growth and foster a conducive environment for maritime activities.

“The passage of the bill will enable the Shippers’ council to perform better when the law is passed,” Dasuki noted.

Dasuki said that the freight stabilisation fund remained a strategic financial mechanism to support the council’s operations and mitigate revenue challenges. He assured the council of the committee’s assistance to get the fund and its dedication to empowering the NSC to fulfil its mandate effectively.

“We expect you to deliver more and bring more money to the Nigerian Government as the council has assured an increase in GDP with their contributions by the end of 2024. Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Pius Akutah, urged the committee to assist the council in getting approval for the one per cent freight stabilisation fee, statutorily embedded in the council’s act.

Akutah said that once the Oronsaye report was fully implemented, the council would no longer get its two per cent statutory share from the seven per cent Port Development Levy. “There is a need for us to implement our statutory funding, which is the one per cent Freight Stabilisation Fee. I think this is very pivotal at this time that the Oronsaye Report is being implemented.

“Once the Oronsaye report is implemented, the seven per cent Port Development Levy which the Shippers’ Council gets two per cent from, may no longer be available.

“So, I think we need to work very hard to ensure that the Nigerian Shipper’s Council funding position is secured,” he said. Akutah also disclosed that since the council’s mandate has been expanded to be the port economic regulator, there was a need for a law to back up its new mandate.

According to him, the council has been at the forefront of facilitating trade and also ensuring the efficiency of the port for businesses to thrive and for the government to make more money.

”Today is a very important day, first of its kind, especially since I resumed here. The mandate of the council has been expanded, and we are to do more as a port economic regulator.

“We have a lot to do to regulate the sector, and President Bola Tinubu has created Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy with the mindset to focus on the blue economy and to diversify the nation’s economy from crude.

“Our mandate is to facilitate trade and ensure the efficiency of the port for businesses to thrive and for the nation to make more money, create opportunities for youth empowerment, job creation, and others.

“Now that we have a committee for shipping service and with their collaboration, we will see rapid development in the sector. We are grateful to receive you today, and we know that the impact of the visit will live with us for a long time.

“We need to contribute to the GDP, and to achieve this, we need your protection,” Akutah said. The NSC boss said they had some bills before the National Assembly such as repealing the council’s act to be the port economic regulator, adding that the council had tried to see to the passage or the bill. #Reps Committee Proposed Establishment of Maritime Bank Nigeria Bonds, Treasury Bills Yields Collide at 17.2%

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