Joints Reps C”ttee Task Minister Of Blue Economy on Utilization of $1.8t

From Lateef Taiwo

Senators and members of the House of Representatives yesterday tasked the Minister of Blue Economy, Chief Adegboyega Oyetola on the need for Nigeria to tap into the $1.8 trillion Blue Economy potentials in order to improve the revenue generation through the Maritime industry.

The lawmakers under the Joint senate and house of representatives
joint Committees on Ports & Harbours and other Standing Committees,
gave the charge during the 2024 budget defence held at the National Assembly Complex, in Abuja.

Meanwhile lawmakers jave also expressed regrets over the report on the loss of over N1 trillion revenue due to poor infrastructure in the maritime industry in the country.

They equally expressed concerns over the activities of shippers/importers who abandoned Nigerian Ports to berth at the ports owned by neighbouring countries, as well as roadmap towards addressing myriad of challenges facing the industry.

During the scrutiny of the 2024 budget proposal, the lawmakers also demanded for breakdown of the lump sum of N1 billion proposed for procurement of official vehicles for the Minister, permanent secretary (2 Toyota Landcruisers), 7 Innoson Pickups for Project vehicles and 7 units of 28 seater CNG buses for the new ministry.

The lawmakers also queried the Ministry over the underutilization of N130 million released for rehabilitation, utilisation and patronage of eastern ports (N10 million); monitoring for navigational channels Calabar River Port (N15 million); Women empowerment on maritime related activities, world seafarers day and world women in maritime international day (N25 million); Coordination of process of establishing/designating a National Career (Shipping) – N20 million; International seabed Authority (ISA)/United Nations Convention on law of the sea (UNCLOS) and Development of Inland Dry Ports including Ministerial Standing Committee on delivery of Inland Dry Ports (N10 million), respectively.

Speaking earlier, Minister of Blue Economy, Chief Adegboyega Oyetola explained that the total capital appropriated for Marine related programmes in 2023 was N777 million, out of which N448,027,468 has been utilised as at the end of November, 2023.

According to him, from the sum of N382,185,472 was appropriated for overhead expenditure, out of which N254,790,314.70 was released as at 29th November, 2023.

In the proposed 2024 budget proposal, the Ministry proposed N10,781,130,916 as total capital budget while the sum of N191,086,917 as overhead expenditure.

He observed that three of the agencies under the ministry, namely NPA, NIMASA and NSC are fully self-funding and make reasonable remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF/TSA) while National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron and Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) derive their funding from both the Federal Government Budget and Internally generated revenue.

While responding to various questions from the lawmakers, the Minister disclosed the Ministry’s plans to dredge some of the existing ports while efforts are being intensified to build new ports in various locations across the country, including Badagry in Lagos State and Ondo State.


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