31 May 2016, Lagos – Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says the Federal Government is marshalling out ways of encouraging the establishment of a National Shipping Line to ensure maximum exploitation of the potentials in the maritime industry.
Amaechi also said the Federal government is making efforts at improving business in the country’s maritime sector especially in the areas of establishing a deep sea port for modern mega ships as well as the establishment of dry ports such as the Kaduna inland dry port among others.
Amaechi spoke in a keynote address he delivered at the 14th Maritime Seminar for Judges organized by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (a Parastatal under his ministry), in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
According to the Minister, “The present administration is looking into ways of encouraging the establishment of a national shipping line to ensure maximum exploitation of the potentials in our maritime sector”.
“The Federal Government is doing a lot towards improving on the ease of doing business in Nigeria especially in the maritime sector. The Federal Government effort towards trade facilitation includes modernisation of transport infrastructure such as establishment of deep sea ports to attract the patronage of our seaports by modern mega ships and the establishment of dry ports such as the Kaduna inland dry port and others all over the country to decongest the seaports and facilitate expeditious evacuation of cargo from the seaports among others,” he said.
While also suggesting that maritime laws should be made compulsory courses in tertiary institutions, Amaechi called on the chief Judge of the Federal High court to consider the creation of a maritime or admiralty division in the federal high court to specially handle maritime cases.
Also, considering the crucial role of the maritime sector in the development of the economy, Amaechi said “May I remind you of the need for capacity building in the maritime industry. It is of general knowledge that most of our maritime trade is carried by foreign ship owners, thereby limiting the economic benefits accruable to the nation such as creation of jobs, freight and insurance earnings.”
Amaechi said the maritime seminar will equip the judges and Justices of superior courts of record as well as relevant stakeholders in the maritime industry.
In his own address, the honorable Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute, Hon justice Mahmud Mohammed said the seminar has contributed immensely to deepening the synergy between the judiciary and the maritime sector.