Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has disclosed that as part of the efforts of the House to improve Nigeria’s revenue sources, 8 laws related to the maritime sector are undergoing amendments to position it for optimum performance .
Speaking at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways on 8 Maritime Industry related Bills in the National Assembly, the Speaker noted that when passed, they will address issues that have impeded on its ability to be a major source of foreign exchange that the country is in dire need of.
He explained that “these Bills are indeed very important and more so now that we as a country are rethinking our economic master plan with the aim of avoiding a future relapse into the kind of nail biting recession which we have just exited from by identifying and strengthening other sources of government revenue.
“The Maritime sector is one such key source of huge revenue especially of the much needed foreign exchange, whose potentials have, unfortunately, been grossly under realized. This explains the importance which the present Assembly attaches to Maritime Sector reform Bills, 8 of which this committee is presenting to the public for scrutiny and input today. It is evident that the determination of this House to re-engineer and reposition this sector for optimum performance is not in doubt.”
Speaking to the intendment of the bills, Dogara added that they will “position our maritime sector to deliver efficient services in a safe, secure and customer friendly environment, generate employment as well as develop capable local manpower, which will contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP and provide a formidable alternative to oil and gas in terms of revenue.”
He also noted that the 8 Bills undergoing public hearing, in addition to the recently passed National Transport Commission Bill, is a fulfilment of the 8th Assembly’s Legislative Agenda, which was adopted by the House as a working and guiding document.
The eight Bills under consideration to include the following: