FG committed to building capacity for transport sector, says Minister
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi has assured that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch would stop at nothing in its renewed zeal and commitment to building capacity for all the segments of the transport sector as part of efforts to grow Nigeria’s economy.
He said that the shipping business stands on a tripod of funding, right policies and proper technical direction, assuring that the government is doing everything within its powers to ensure that the maritime industry in Nigeria takes its pride of place among comity of maritime nations.
The Minister while speaking at the 2nd edition of the Nigeria Maritime Technical Summit organised by the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors AMES, with the theme: ‘ Ship Operations in Nigeria: Policy, Technical, Financial Challenges and Solution’, held in Lagos recently, noted that the government was committed to evolving policies that would enhance the growth of the entire transport sector.
Represented at the event by the Director General Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside; the Minister also said that Marine Engineers and Surveyors are crucial to the growth of the maritime industry, as they play major roles from the building of the ships through the entire lifespan of the vessel.
“Marine Engineers and Surveyors are at the very heart of shipping, the life of a ship begins on the table of a marine engineer and the surveyors and they continue to play a role on the ship through the entire life span of the vessel.
“The Federal Government has taken a bold step to audit all agencies and parastatals under the transport sector in order to strengthen them to perform optimally”, the Minister said.
He commended AMES for championing the reforms in the sector stating that the Government has continually relied on the Association’s counsel and advises to move the maritime sector forward. He charged industry players to continue to patronise AMES stating that in the Association the Country possess the best hands in the continent.
It was also gathered that efforts are in top gear to resuscitate the National Fleet, as the implementation committee for the re-floating of the national fleet made up largely of stakeholders in the industry will soon submit its report and recommendations that would culminate in the eventual setting up of a National Fleet.
While also informing the audience of the ongoing reforms in the maritime industry, the Minister also hinted that the government has taken steps to develop the port master plan. He stressed that the Federal Government have also mandated NIMASA to invest in manpower development that would raise successors for the experienced practitioners in the industry.
Meanwhile, President of AMES, Engr. Charles Uwadia, who spoke earlier at the event, said he was moved by the enthusiasm of the President Buhari- led administration to revamp the maritime industry and therefore pledged the commitment of the association to continue to work with the government in order to ensure that the maritime industry reached its full potential to the benefit of the Nigeria’s economy and the wellbeing of the citizens.