Stakeholders commend achievements of transport sector in 2021
Stakeholders in the transportation industry on Thursday said there were tremendous improvements in all sectors under the Ministry of Transportation in 2021.
The stakeholders said this during the Annual Ministerial Press Briefing on Landmark Programmes, Projects and Activities of the Ministry and its Agencies, in 2021 in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the forum is to inform the general public on the achievements attained by the Ministry in the implementation of the erstwhile Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP 2018 to 2020).
It also aims at informing the public on the strategies and interventions devised for the execution of the Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP 2021-2025).
The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, said the agency had recorded great success during the period in the fight against insecurity in the nation’s territorial waters.
According to Jamoh, many countries in the Gulf of Guinea are now taking a queue from Nigeria to create a stand alone law that can address maritime insecurity.
He said due to the law enacted by the Nigerian government, about 25 criminals who were perpetually disturbing the Nigerian waters were arrested.
He said 20 criminals comprised 17 Nigerians and three foreigers were convicted and sent to prison, thus sending a strong signal of deterrent to other offenders.
Jamoh said that the recently commissioned Deep Blue Sea Project was another milestone that would help address insecurity in the Nigerian waters.
He appreciated the various security agencies in the country in their efforts towards the realisation of the deep blue sea project.
“I will like to sincerely thank my supervisors, the ministry of transportation for given us the needed support to achieve and put Nigeria in greater height in terms of this recorded success.
“As I’m speaking to you, we have the European Union waiting to have a dialogue to see how we can continue to sustain the records we have made in terms of Maritime insecurity, which will be holding tomorrow.
“Part of the ways we get funds is from donations from international communities.
“We have been receiving this from UNODC, we are happy also to announce that the Korean government donated maritime security ships to Nigeria.
“Just few days ago, the Japanese government donated an equivalent of 2.4 million dollars for us to buy additional patrol ships,”Jamoh said.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, said its mandate was to moderate cost and ensure business was conducted at the ports in a cost effective manner, while maintaining standards.
He said during the period under review, the council was able to harmonise tariff heads, and reduce its number from over 21 to less than 10.
He reiterated that the Nigerian Port Process Manual being implemented by the port standing task force had helped in reducing cargo dwelling time at the ports.
He said the importance of dryport in the country could not be overemphasised as “it brings shipping closer to the people and help to decongest the sea ports among other things.”
He said that the council was able to achieve the great milestone due to the support it got from the ministry of transport.
Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said the mandate of the authority was to ensure functional ports, facilitate trade and provide maritime services in the country.
While stating achievements of the authority within the period, Bello-Koko said the authority had been able to reduce truck turnaround time, ensured improved port security and licences for private jetties to meet the standard requirements.
He said there was reduced traffic in Tin Can and Apapa ports and improvement in activities of various ports among others.
Other heads of parastatals including MAN, Oron, NIWA, CRFFN, and NIIT among others also spoke on their various achievements within the period under review. (NAN)