The Federal Government has said that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is not mandated to generate revenue.
It said the mandate of the agency was to act as regulator of maritime safety and security.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, explained this in a statement by the ministry ‘s Director of Press and Public Relations, Eric Ojiekwe on Saturday.
Amaechi reportedly made the disclosure at the final session of the 5-day National Council on Transportation (NCT), held in the commercial city of Kano, Kano State.
He said, “People put NIMASA under pressure that they must make money. Make money for what? NIMASA actually is a regulatory authority, not for them to go and look for money.
“The people that should be making money and they must hear it now is the Nigerian Ports Authority. It is their responsibility to make money.
”NIMASA should therefore focus on being a regulatory authority on issues of safety and security of our waterways.”
The minister expressed dismay over the inability to convene the NCT for the past three years due to economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic.
He expressed optimism that critical decisions bordering on transportation would be addressed at the summit.
“Transportation is essential to sustainable development as it enables access to employment, business, education, health services and social interactions.
”The prosperity and wellbeing of developing and developed world are inseparably linked to transport.
”As such, President Muhammadu Buhari has made issues relating to transportation, one of the topmost priorities of his administration,” he said.
On the state of the Dala Inland Dry Port, the minister said the Federal Government would not commission the project, if it did not see a completed primary school offering free education to the many out-of-school children in the area.
“I want NSC to note this because that’s the agreement we had with the concessionaire. Shippers’ council can charge whatever you want to charge for the dry port but part of the profit that they make in the dry port will go to the upbringing of those children,” Amaechi said.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki said, “After the last time the council met, Nigeria ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA). The ratification of the AfCTA is a new dawn with significantly positive ramifications for our collective future.
”Nigeria has an opportunity to leverage its geographical position, its large domestic market and industrial capacity to become the transportation hub for Africa.
”But this prize will not be easily won and there is much work to do to actualise this potential. It will require smart, rigorous, foresighted planning and swift, diligent execution across all modes of transportation.”
Saraki was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who was represented by his Deputy, Nasiru Gawuna, expressed satisfaction with the theme of the event, which was Sustainable Development as a Panacea for National Development.
”The theme gives me the impression that we are on the path of overcoming national development challenges. This is based on the fact that the transport industry is one promising sector that if exploited optimally, will stimulate the needed economic transformation in our country,” he said.