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Stakeholders advise Buhari on strategies to revamp N7trn maritime sector

By on May 21, 2015

Disturbed by the alleged neglect of the maritime sector worth about N7 trillion by previous administrations, stakeholders have proposed a strategic action plan to president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, as he gets set to take over the country’s mantle of leadership on May 29.
The plan, among several issues, is pushing for the de-listing of maritime matters from the Ministry of Transport, while a specific ministry, Ministry for Maritime Trade, is created to organise a viable revenue generating maritime sector, with massive economic contribution towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In a three-page letter to the president-elect, the Maritime Stakeholders Forum (MSF) also raised the need for a total review of the existing legal, institutional and regulatory framework in the sector.
This, the stakeholders said, will help create an enabling environment for economic growth, job creation and revenue generation.
They also noted that though previous governments have failed to recognise the great potential for revenue generation, economic growth and job opportunities afforded Nigeria as a coastal state, it would be detrimental for the new government to tow its predecessors’ path.
“The new government will be challenged to diversify the economy by identifying sectors that can be re-organised to generate huge sustainable revenue for the country,” the stakeholders said.
According to them, there is also an immediate need to implement the policy for Inland Container Depots (ICDS), pointing out that the country boasts of six ICDs spread across the geopolitical zones that can generate at least 15,000 jobs for different levels of manpower if effectively utilised.
However, due to lack of infrastructure to support business and operations by the concessionaires of these depots, their usage has visibly remained low, as much as 80 percent of the country’s trade is currently being diverted to ports in other West Africa countries.


[Business Day]