Saraki to supervise Maritime Transport affairs

.Shippers’ Council warns Buhari over harsh business environment

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi, has concluded plans to hand over the affairs of maritime transportation sector operations to his counterpart in the Ministry of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Sakari.
Ameachi, who disclosed this on Thursday in Lagos at a stakeholders meeting put together by the Ministry, further called on parastatals, agencies and department under him to improve on government reforms ,warning that he would sanction any of the Chief Executive Officers that failed to live up to expectations.

According to him, the state ministry will henceforth run the affairs of the maritime sector, while he is expected to oversee all mode of transportation operations.

He noted that ” I am not going to abandon maritime sector for the minister for state alone but I will simply oversee issues affecting the sector.”
On the failed port access roads linking the two seaports in Lagos, the Minister maintained that the Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) is committed to ensuring rail network connection to the ports adding that at least 200 wagons would be stationed to move cargoes in and out of the ports.
He noted that the existing Inland Dry Ports within the six geopolitical zones of the country, will further complement easy flow of cargoes in and out from the ports.

The minister pointed out that the Lagos – Ibadan railway would be commissioned to further boost free movement of cargoes up to the hinterlands and other parts of the country.

Stakeholders who spoke at the event have highlighted some of the problem affecting the maritime sector , in a bid to ameliorate the suffering of port operations.
The Minister also urged truck owners to source for alternative measures to improve on their business, as rickety vehicles would soon fizzle out of port operations.

Ameachi who was also responding to questions from the maritime stakeholders, said the federal government was determined to fight insecurity and the maritime industry would not be an exception.
Also at the forum, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello called on the federal government to create a conducive environment for business at the seaports to thrive.

Bello maintained that lack of port infrastructure has affected trade facilitation, stressing the need for the reduction of government agencies at the ports.

He also lamented that the deplorable conditions of the access has impeded effective and smooth running of business at the ports.

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