17 December 2015, Lagos – The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has promised to ensure that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council is empowered to regulate all the stakeholders in the maritime sector.
He said this during a visit to the council’s office in Lagos.
He charged employees of the council to support the government in its fight against corruption.
He also advised other parastatals in the transport sector to take a cue from the council in terms of organisation and management.
Amaechi said, “You appear more organised and I am impressed with the environment. I hope others will learn from you; it can’t be poverty that is making the other agencies look dirty. Government has spent billions of naira on them and nothing to show for it.”
He added that the government was confronted with financial constraint due to the fall in the prices of oil and was trying to manage its lean resources to achieve its objectives.
“It is difficult for the government to rehabilitate the rails because of the fall in crude oil price. President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to pay $2bn to a Chinese company to construct the rail line from Lagos to Kano,” Amaechi said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the council, Mr. Hassan Bello, had said only the maritime sector could fill up the revenue gap and financial pitfalls that Nigeria was facing.
He appealed to the minister to provide the council with the political will and encouragement required to carry out its regulatory role effectively.