Transport Minister,Amaechi Challenges Private Investors On Investing In Maritime
…Says NIWA Is Working In The Right Direction
Minister for Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has challenged private sector to take advantage of the huge and un-tapped potential in the maritime sector and invest in the industry.
This is just as he stated that the National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA) was working in the right direction with the progress it has made and the equipment it had acquired for the clearing of weeds and other obstacles from the waterways.
He spoke at the 2nd International Conference and Exhibition(ICE)2017 held at the Oriental Hotel ,Lagos yesterday.
Amaechi described the theme of the conference, “Improving Navigability and Inland Port Development for Sustainable Investment on Nigerian Waterways” as apt and very topical for the self sufficiency of NIWA, adding that deliberation on the topic at the conference would help to further proffer solutions to some of the challenges facing marine business.
He stated that the conference would provide opportunity for Public Private Partnership(PPP),adding that the huge potential in the Nigerian Inland Waters had not been harnessed, calling on private investors to take advantage and invest in the business, as they would not regret they did.
To buttress his point,the Minister pointed out that already the Senate had passed NIWA Amendment Bill that would provide a turning point for the administration of inland waterways in the country.
He also said the that bill when assented to by the President, Muhammadu Buhari would further help to shore up the revenue profile of the agency.
Also speaking at the forum, the Chairman ,Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Ahmed ogembe, said that the conference received the support of the National Assembly because of the commitment and seriousness of NIWA to be self sustaining.
He added that efforts of the Red Chamber to support inland waterways transport system cannot be over emphasised, adding that NIWA is presently in good shape.
Re-echoing the minister’s submission, the Senator called on investor to tap into the potential in the inland waterways and invest in them .
He also called on the Federal Government to support NIWA in building capital intensive infrastructure to further boost the agency’s operations and to also encourage both local and foreign investors.
On his part, Chairman, House Committee on Ports, Harbour and Waterways, Dr Patrick Asadu , stated that the House gave its support to NIWA because of the Managing Director of the agency, Boss Mustapha invigorate the organisation.
According to him, “We in the House of Representatives see huge potential in NIWA . We see NIWA competing with Nigeria Ports Authority(NPA)and even overtaking it if we do the right thing.”.
He assured NIWA that the Green Chamber would continue to support it in its actions .
The law maker urged NIWA to always let the House know any time it is not satisfied with whatever issue the law makers are debating on so as to add their inputs to it .
According to him, “We advice you engage us if you are not comfortable with our position on issues. NIWA should always feel free to invite us .”
He commended NIWA for its efforts at organising the conference, adding that the outcome of the deliberation would further strengthen the organisation.