THE Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, in a meeting with maritime journalists on Friday expressed her concern about the dilapidating state of the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports, and promised to begin rehabilitation of the decaying ports.
“I want you to know that fixing of the port is given. Its state is unacceptable and we have to do something about it. We are taking stock and we will be back to implement solutions that are immediate, short, medium and long term.”
The minister promised to modify the high cost of running a business at the seaports and also work with stakeholders to reduce cargo dwell time at the port to improve communication and productivity.
“The maritime industry is a major engine room in our national economy and as such, we must ensure that infrastructure is adequate and that there’s synergy across the industry while providing access to all our stakeholders.
“The enterprise architecture we plan on implementing will ensure that the communication is dynamic and not stagnant and integrate into the ministry’s plan. At Federal Ministry of Transportation, we value all our stakeholders as partners in governance and business.” Saraki said.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, also present at the event, said that the agency has partnered with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow for payment of zero duty on the importation of ships into the country.
He said “We have partnered with the central bank of Nigeria, CBN to allow payment of zero duty by vessel owners and our partnership will cover spare parts that could be gotten at the official CBN exchange rate of N411 per dollar, to cushion inflationary and stock exchange effects.”