The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has said that Nigeria’s effort toward a sustainable national fleet implementation is subject to support from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, (NNPC).
Disclosing this in Abuja, on Tuesday, when he received an interim report on the need to establish a strong and sustainable national fleet by the Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee, the minister stated that, “Nigeria is a maritime country, and if Nigeria gets its acts together the country will have no business looking for money from the oil sector as a contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country”.
Speaking on how the project can be immediately realised, he said: “I don’t know whether in the course of the committee’s consultations with other stakeholders you were able to have some conversations with the NNPC; because, if NNPC can give 100 percent support, this matter can be closed in two months”.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, and Chairman, Nigerian Fleet Implementation Committee (NFIC), Emmanuel Jime, said the Committee was constituted by the immediate-past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to implement the recommendations in the report by an earlier Ministerial Committee on Modalities for the Establishment of a Nigerian Fleet.
Jime, who was represented by Managing Director, Sea Transport Group and member, NFIC, Umar Aminu, stated that the initiative was a way of responding to the non-participation of Nigerians in the carriage of Nigeria’s international cargo as well as the loss of freight revenue, jobs and other benefits which would otherwise have accrued to the country.
He also said: “In the course of carrying out the mandate, lessons have been learnt and some modest achievements have been recorded. These have been captured in this interim report that we are submitting today. The work is still on-going and the goal of creating an enabling environment for the growth of a sustainable Nigerian fleet will be achieved in due course”.