Amaechi inaugurates board of proposed regional Maritime Development Bank

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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.