2016 Budget: Council Urges FG to Develop Maritime Agenda

The Chairman Nigerian Port Consultative Council of Nigeria (NPCC), Kunle Folarin, on Thursday said this was a critical time for the Federal Government to develop a maritime agenda.

Folarin, who spoke against the backdrop of the National Assembly’s passage of the 2016 budget on Wednesday, said the maritime industry had been neglected and not focused as it should.

The maritime economist explained that the Federal Ministry of Transport’s allocation was high in the budget.

He, however, said that he did not know whether substantial financial provision was made for the rail sector.

According to him, the Federal Ministry of Transport consists of rail and maritime and one also expects the focus to be on maritime.

Folarin also said that maritime agencies under the Federal Ministry of Transport should also try to generate enough revenue for the government and discharge their mandates which he described as ``critical’’.

``Once the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency is developed, it should give maritime security and development of the nation’s shipping industry the deserved priority.

``We shall also see when the proposed national carrier will come up.

``The Nigerian Shippers’ Council should also create a platform for moderate shipping costs, freight administration and access to real freight transit,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria.

The NPCC chief also mentioned the need to build the ``critical’’ pillars of the economy consisting of: human capacity development, shipping development, port infrastructure and super superstructure.

Folarin said that these would make Nigerian ports more competitive in the sub-region to be a hub.