Stakeholders salute Amaechi on Regional Maritime Bank

... As Bureau of experts and stakeholders meet on take off of Regional Maritime Bank

By Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Media Office

Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has been hailed as a beacon of development, following his efforts towards the realisation of the proposed Regional Maritime Bank.

The Regional Maritime Bank (RMB) is being established to serve as an instrument for Maritime development across West and Central Africa.

At the inaugural Stakeholders and Bureau of experts meeting held in Lagos, Tuesday, Representatives of member states present, under the umbrella of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), commended Amaechi's efforts and commitment to making sure the idea of the bank sees the light of day.

Speaking at the meeting, the Minister who sought for postponement of the initially planned inaugural meeting of the board of the RMB noted that all member states must be committed to the establishment of the bank to make it work.

He said, “this is not an all Nigerian thing, it is a maritime bank for West and Central Africa, therefore, I would suggest that the board meeting should not hold now. Let the committee of experts attend to all concerns from member states. Once that happens, a virtual meeting should take place between the ministers of those countries. After that meeting, then we can carry on, because at the end of the day it is the ministers that would go to the cabinet and the cabinet will go to the parliament.

“So my idea is, I need this speed, but these things must be organised in a manner that complies with the law. By the end of September, let's make sure that we have gotten all the countries to sign. Even if we don’t get all the countries, if we get two third of the countries to sign it with commitment to bring in their funds, then we are good to go. After that, we can hold a virtual meeting and give ourselves a timeline to go to our different cabinets and National Assemblies to get approval.

Cameroon Consul general to Nigeria, Bessem Manga whose delegation from Cameroon were still in transit to the meeting, commended the Minister for his drive towards the actualisation of the project and held the same opinion that member states should be given more time to assent to the document.

Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, while noting that the RMB would be a regional tool for maritime development, appreciated the Minister, for seeing to the realisation of the establishment.

He said, “history will have it on record, you are not only leaving a legacy, but at the end of the day, a heritage for the maritime industry to use forever. It is very clear that the responsibilities given to an institution like NIMASA in terms of funding infrastructural development in the maritime sector may not be realised to the fullest without a private financial institutional support. So to me, the realisation of the regional maritime bank is a very good step ahead to the development of our own maritime industry. Again, I would like to thank our Honourable Minister of Transportation for seeing to the realisation of this meeting to ensure that we get to the final stage of establishing this regional maritime bank.”

On his part, Chairman of the meeting and Director of Maritime Safety and Security at the Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Paul Adalikwu thanked the minister for ensuring that the idea of the RNB came to life in his administration after 10 years of incubation.

He urged all participants to be open minded to the deliberations in contribution to the realisation of the laudable project.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2020