By Uche Usim
TRANSPORTATION Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, has received a written approval from President Muhammadu Buhari to carry out a comprehensive reform and audit of the nation’s maritime sector.
Amaechi on assumption of office late last year said the maritime sector was grossly under-performing, stressing that it ought be a strong alternative to the dwindling oil sector if its fortunes were well harnessed. At a ceremony of a regional training course on Port State Control organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for West and Central African region, the Minister said a lot of influential Nigerians are milking the sector to the detriment of the entire nation.
He said such a development was inimical to the growth of the country, adding that the reforms will address a lot of lopsided issues.
“I don’t want to step on too many toes. I want to make sure that for every step I take, I have facts for that inform my actions and I have just received a written presidential approval to commence an investigation and performance audit of the Nigerian maritime sector.
“So NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) will be audited from next week,” Amaechi stated at the forum.
He said, “there will be changes, there will be improvement, and there will be need for all Nigerians to benefit from the maritime sector, instead of the current situation where very few people are benefiting.