By Seun Ibiyemi
The Minister of Transportation, Honorable Rotimi Amaechi has inaugurated a board of the proposed regional Maritime Development Bank, which will cater for Maritime development across the region.
On his Twitter handle, the Minister said “I have just declared open the inaugural board meeting of the proposed Regional Maritime Development Bank taking place in Lagos, Nigeria under the auspices of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) which will cater to Maritime development across the region.
“The decision for the establishment of this Bank must be assented to by all member states before take-off, and I’ve called for timely and absolute commitment to the project by member states.
“The ongoing inaugural meeting also involves stakeholders and bureau of experts.
“We have resolved to move the board meeting to a later date to give room for all 25 member states to sign the agreement adopted by the committee of experts and for representing ministers to get their various cabinet contributions and approvals within a stipulated timeline.”
It would be recalled that MOWCA member states having identified the major deficit in the development of indigenous participation in the regional maritime sector and associated value chain, had via a resolution at an annual general session, resolved to establish a maritime bank focused on the growth and development in West and Central Africa with a view to raising debt and equity capital of $850million and $150 million respectively.
Consequently, the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation was then mandated to take all necessary steps to bring the bank to actualization.
“Whatever decision we reach here is subject to approval and confirmation of every member states in writing. I will not convey whatever decision reached here to the President until I have the binding of two-third of the members organisation because if we take it to the President and the President approves and every other person backs out, are we going to establish a maritime bank of Nigeria? That is not the intention! The intention is to establish a maritime bank that cuts across West and Central Africa.
“Nigeria is going to sign for being part of that meeting and we are willing to make our contributions but we will not make those contributions until the two-third of the member states have accepted the decision and have agreed on a timeline which they will make their contributions. I’m willing to participate, we can’t have just six countries passing a law on behalf of over 20 countries in the region,” he said.