- Urge FG to set up Maritime Bank
(Report by Udeme Clement):
Stakeholders in the maritime industry have scored Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN) high on the successful 2021 first quarter review of activities in the sector.
Stakeholders comprising of Freight Forwarders, Barge operators and Sea-Empowerment/Research organisation also commended MAJAN members on responsible reportage and consistent advocacy on important issues geared towards greater growth of the sector.
Speaking at the just concluded 2021 first quarter review of the sector, the National President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon Tony Iju Nwabunike, commended MAJAN members on their initiative to review activities in the sector, with a view to making recommendations that will help government reposition maritime industry for greater productivity.
According to him; “This programme is a good initiative. I am highly impressed wirh what MAJAN is doing.
This group is adding value to the maritime industry through its programmes. I will advise other associations to follow the example of MAJAN.”
Hon Nwabunike, highlighted numerous challenges facing Licensed Customs Agents and freight forwarders in the industry.
To him, policy somersault is one of the major issues in the industry. This, he said greatly impedes on maritime trade, thereby killing many indigenous companies.
Hon Nwabunike, who is a Maritime expert, is of the opinion that freight forwarders should be among those formulating policies for maritime trade, in order to look at issues that must be put into consideration during policy-making process for the interest of local companies
In the same vein,
the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of Nurwags Integrated Services limited, Alhaji Nura Wagani, urged the Federal Government to establish Bank of Maritime, for barge operators to access loan without stringent conditions.
His words; “Foreign companies are taking over our businesses because they have sophisticated equipment and easy access to funds. So, we are calling on government to assist us in the barge sub-sector.
We need loan with single-digit interest rate to acquire modern equipment for barge operations.
“As such, we need Bank of Maritime where we can access interest free loan, or loan with single-digit interest rate for our businesses to thrive.
“At present, there is Bank of Industry (BoI). So. we need Bank of Maritime that will focus mostly on maritime activities.”
More so, MAJAN has been consistent on its advocacy for a better and productive maritime industry.
Recall that this year 2021 alone, MAJAN has done series of programmes strategically designed to move the sector forward.
For example, in January this year, MAJAN organised a special Congress on Apapa traffic gridlock, where stakeholders spoke exhaustively on the solutions. In February, MAJAN held a media round – table on African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
Only last month, MAJAN, organised a national maritime summit on perennial traffic gridlock along ports access roads, which attracted stakeholders from various departments in the maritime industry.
The just concluded sector review was one of MAJAN’s programmes to assess how the sector faired in the first quarter of 2021 and measures government should put in place to stimulate growth in the sector.