Maritime Sector Bills Marooned At NASS | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Maritime Sector Bills Marooned At NASS

Posted: Jul 13, 2015 at 2:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Andrew Airahuobhor Lagos

With the myriad of bickering among federal legislators over leadership positions, what is the fate of business of lawmaking? Maritime stakeholders are gradually mobilising to engage the 8th National Assembly inaugurated on Tuesday June 9, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The stakeholders want the legislators to pay attention to a plethora of untreated Bills, some of which are critical to the development of key sectors of the economy and have more or less been abandoned. Some of the Bills are: National Transport Commission (NTC) Bill; Port and Harbour Bill, Chartered Institute of Shipping of Nigeria Bill, Maritime Zone Bill and the Nigerian Merchant Navy Security and Safety Corps Bill. They have all been subjected to the mandatory first and second readings and virtually abandoned by the 6th and 7th Assembly.

West Coast Business Support Services organised a Thematic session on the National Transport Commission Bill over the weekend. The Bill was put together following the Port Concession exercise of 2006; it was aimed to provide for the establishment of the NTC as an independent multi-modal economic regulator for the transport industry.

The Port and Harbour Bill (which ought to have been enacted alongside the 2006 port concession programme) is still pending at both chambers. This is equally shameful because the Bill would have preceded the concession exercise and created an Independent Port Regulatory Commission; the absence of which is currently causing friction among providers and users of port services in Nigeria and giving successive ministers of transport the leeway to commit illegality.