Maritime agenda for President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari

At last, Nigerians finally spoke through the ballots, they made up their mind to change the present government at the top through the ballots for the first time since the start of the fourth republic.

Though, the victory that brought in General Muhammadu Buhari may have been fought and won with Nigerians being the hero but the president elect should know that there are tall expectations.

If possible, Nigerians want him to transform the country from its present state within six months of being sworn into office.

Also, doing this may not be as easy as we think especially with the dwindling oil price in the international market and fallen or nothing to write home external reserves.

However, having identified that the country is broke, we expect the President elect and his economic team to focus more attention on the maritime industry that expert believes can generate about N7 trillion annually.

By focusing on the industry, we expect the incoming government to reviewed or if necessary suspended the obnoxious policies of the current government on fairly used vehicles and imported rice .

This is because the Nigeria economy on daily basis loses several billions of naira to neighboring countries through these inhuman policies.

In addition, the Nigerian Customs Service must be reformed from harping more on revenue generation to trade facilitation.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) must also be unbundled with immediate effect for it to be efficient. The agency is overwhelmed with so much responsibility that it could not perform optimally.

The present NIMASA should be left with safety while security, environmental and domestication of IMO conventions should be given to another agency.

Also, presidential pronouncement making the Nigerian Shippers’ Council the economic port regulator is not enough, we suggest there should be a legal backing and if possible, the council should be transformed into National Transport Commission (NTC).
The passage of the port and Harbor Bill should also be accelerated to give port reform legal backing.

Other maritime and transport bills that may not be passed or accented to in this 8th assembly should be given accelerated hearing for early passage into law in the 9th assembly.

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