- Minister commends NIMASA’s development, harps on revenue generation
The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has stated that the country shouldn’t spend revenue on wreck removals as partnerships could be struck with private companies who need the wrecks for their services.
Sambo made this remark on Friday when he inspected facilities of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
According to the Minister, there are pressing needs for revenue within the Ministry and other aspects of governance; hence, regulators should explore other avenues to get things done without expending scarce resources.
His words: “Does NIMASA carryout wreck removals on no cure no pay basis or money is expended? Carrying out wreck removals on no cure no pay basis saves the nation’s scarce resources. There shouldn’t be need for budgets for wreck removals because there are more pertinent areas in need of this revenue.”
“From my experience at the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), I know that NIWA doesn’t spend money to remove wrecks within the right of way. NIWA uses the no cure no pay method and after the wrecks are removed, the agency shares the proceeds with the contractor.”
While commending NIMASA for its significant improvement in operations and customer service, the Minister admonished the regulatory body not to shy away from its responsibility in the area of revenue generation.
Sambo also encouraged the leadership of NIMASA to play a crucial role in ensuring the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF), stressing that it will be a huge accomplishment for the agency, its supervisory ministry and the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
In his response, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, assured that the agency doesn’t trivialize revenue generation, revealing that NIMASA paid over N32billion into the federal government covers in 2021.
“Sir, because our core function isn’t to generate revenue, we don’t always mention it as it may divert the attention of the public. Already, some of our stakeholders are complaining that some of the charges are uncalled-for and double taxation. We try to encourage them because we are very vigilant about revenue generation. Revenue is very important and even as an agency we can do nothing without revenue,” Jamoh said.
The NIMASA boss stated that in the area of capacity building, the agency had trained more than 2000 Nigerian seafarers, adding that most of them are working in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) vessels while others are working with different international maritime agencies.
He noted that the agency has secured zero Customs duties for new vessels and newer vessels also get very low duties, while NIMASA is currently engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enable ship owners get forex at the prevailing CBN exchange rate for acquiring ships and spare parts.