A former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mrs. Mfon Usoro identified funding as a critical to the NSC’s survival, urging the government to address the issue for the ports’economic regulator.
She said NSC needs to be armed with powers of the law to execute its statutory functions. She called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the transport minister to pursue the passage of the bills as soon as possible so that the Council can succeed.
Also, the President of the Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Mr. Louis Mbanefo (SAN) and other legal experts called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to pursue the issue of legal backing for the NSC as an important instrument for it to play its role well.
The stakeholders said the passage of the Ports & Harbours and the National Transport Commission (NTC) Bills as important for the ports industry, as well as to aid the NSC operations as the ports regulator.
He identified the need for law for the NSC, adding that it should have been the first thing. He said the government to expedite action on the issue.
Another maritime lawyer, Mr Chidi Ilogu (SAN), however, said the council can operate as a Regulator with its current law, adding that the need for urgent passage of the necessary bills for the regulator to operate cannot be over-emphasised.
Its Board Chairman, Lt Gen. Salihu Ibrahim and Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, had during the meeting with stakeholders assured that the Council will not disappoint operators, including providers and consumers of shipping services in the discharge of its duties.
– The Nation