By Ignatius Ushie.(Abuja)
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has expressed the hope that within 90 days the Ministry will be able to secure accommodation to enable the take-off of the Regional Maritime Development Bank. In a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja, the Minister made this known when he received in audience the Secretary-General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, MOWCA. Dr. Paul Adalikwu at the Ministry.
According to Mu’azu, “When I resumed here, I realized 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”. He said.
Muazu said that all efforts towards getting accommodation via the Central Bank of Nigeria have not yielded any outcomes, so he will approach the Attorney General of the Federation to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank, adding that the Secretary-General, should leverage on MOWCA as a regional to push for Nigeria’s intent of becoming a member of Category C in International Maritime Organization, IMO.
Earlier, the Secretary General of MOWCA, Dr. Paul Adalikwu, stated that the idea of a Regional Maritime Development bank, RMDB, was conceived 11 years ago to facilitate single-digit interest loans to provide leeway to key players in the sector and enable them to compete favorably with their international counterparts.
According to Adalikwu, “8 countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank. Two weeks ago, DRC Congo also signed making it 9 countries. One above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act”.
Adalikwu informed that the organogram of RMDB as adopted by council members had positions of President of the body, Company Secretary, and a seat on the board ceded to Nigeria while Cameroun is to produce the Vice President 1, and Ivory Coast, Vice President 2, adding that other members countries are to provide board members for the Maritime bank.
The meeting had in attendance the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adewole Adegoroye, Director, Maritime Services, Babatunde Bombata, Deputy Director, Cabotage & Shipping, Rita Zoaka and others.