The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has expressed optimism that within 90 days, the ministry will secure accommodation to enable the take-off of the Regional Maritime Development Bank (RMDB).
Sambo said this in a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Media and Public Relations, Mr Eric Ojiekwe on Wednesday.
He made this known when he received the Secretary-General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, (MOWCA), Dr Paul Adalikwu at the ministry.
According to Sambo: “When I resumed here, I realised immediately that the Regional Maritime Bank is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very short time. In fact, 90 days is too long.
”I observed that all efforts towards getting accommodation via the Central Bank of Nigeria have not yielded any outcomes.
”So I will approach the Attorney General of the Federation to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank.”
Sambo encouraged the Secretary-General, to leverage MOWCA as a regional organisation to push for Nigeria’s intent of becoming a member of Category C in the International Maritime Organisation( IMO).
Speaking earlier, the Secretary-General of MOWCA, Adalikwu, stated that the idea of RMDB was conceived 11 years ago.
He said it was meant to facilitate single-digit interest loans to provide leeway to key players in the sector and enable them to compete favourably with their international counterparts.
Adalikwu said:” Eight countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank.
”Two weeks ago, DRC Congo also signed making it nine countries. One above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act.
”The organogram of RMDB as adopted by council members has positions of President of the body, Company Secretary and a seat on the board ceded to Nigeria.
”Cameroun is to produce the Vice President 1, and Ivory Coast, Vice President 2, while other member countries are to provide board members for the maritime bank.”
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, commended Adalikwu on the forthcoming regional meeting scheduled for Abuja in November.
Ajani said during the meeting, that the Secretary-General of IMO, Kitlack Lim, would seek to prevail on the 25 member states to adopt the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act.
She explained that the Act would enable the trial of piracy cases within the MOWCA sub-region, irrespective of whichever sub-region the crime was committed.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Director, Maritime Services, Babatunde Bombata, Deputy Director, Cabotage and Shipping, Rita Zoaka and others.