Prioritise maritime bills, expert tells National Assembly

The Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC), Kunle Folarin, has urged the National Assembly to prioritise maritime bills to improve infrastructure in the port industry.

Folarin, a Maritime Economist, made the call, on Wednesday, in Lagos.

He said “these are bills that are strategic to Nigeria’s economic development.
“The bills are strategic to Nigerian maritime security and I believe there is something wrong somewhere for the National Assembly not passing the bills.
“We need to persuade and beg the legislators to pass the bills but the bills can only be passed if they are prioritised.
“More than 10 maritime bills have lying at the National Assembly, since the past 12 years and if they decide to pass five of the bills during this 8th Assembly, that would be good.”
Folarin added that Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) could not fully answer the questions of port concession, noting that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), too, could not move on with maritime security and the coast guard due to non-passage of the bills.
He explained that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) was still waiting for full implementation of its port economic regulatory role.
He said that presently Nigerians were suffering due to non-passage of many maritime bills.
He stressed the need to position an umpire that would look into port charges, as well as create equity in business to transform Nigerian ports to ports of origin and ports of destination.

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