The Hon. Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, H.E. Adegboyega Oyetola, has presented a N10.9bn, 2024 budget for his Ministry to the joint House Committees of the Senate on Marine Transport and the House of Representatives Committees on Ports and Harbour, Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Inland Waterways and Shipping services.
The minister stated that the proposed budget is to enable the newly created Ministry performs its prime role of oversight and monitoring of the implementation of government policies across agencies under its purview in the marine and blue economy domain.
“You are aware that the 2024 budget is for economic growth, therefore, the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and its Agencies under the 2024 budget seek to consider and sustain on the achievements and performances recorded in the past years”, Oyetola outlined.
The Minister noted that the Ministry will place primacy on ports infrastructural development by way of modernization of the Apapa and Tin Can ports that are dilapidated and have almost reached end of life, while also having plans to rehabilitate the Eastern ports and equally dredging the inland and coastal waterways.
To realize these initiatives, Oyetola solicited the Committees to appropriate needed funds as proposed in the budget of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the National Inland Waterways to facilitate the projects.
On the need for rehabilitation of the ports, the Minister stated that as part of the 2006 Act, enabling concessioning of the ports, the Federal Government still retains ownership of these ports and it behoves on them as landlords to continually ensure that the ports are best maintained and kept in optimal state to enable usage and interest from the concessionaires.
Other focal areas the Minister noted would include maritime administration, building human capacity while also harping on an effective technical and economic regulation that will all ultimately ensure the strengthening of the Blue Economy in Nigeria.
Presenting the Ministry’s budget accompanied with those of the Agencies supervised by the Ministry namely Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron and Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Oyetola informed the committee that the NPA, NIMASA and NSC are fully self-funding and also make reasonable remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF/TSA).
The MAN, Oron, NIWA and the CRFFN derive their funding from the Federal Government’s budget and internally generated revenue.