Worried by the high costs of utilizing Nigerian seaports and the numerous challenges in port operations, African Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigerian chapter, has beckoned on the Minister for Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola to work towards a reduction in cost of doing business at the nation’s seaports.
Speaking to journalists recently during a press conference themed, “The Marine & Blue Economy Ministry: A Call for Heedfulness”, the President of WIMA-Nigeria, Mrs. Rollens Macfoy, lamented that the multiple charges, bureaucracies and other issues have made port business too complicated.
Macfoy noted that barge owners were being subjected to multiple registrations with different agencies including; Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) among others.
She complained that there are other difficulties in registering vessels and barges in the country and urged the Minister to ensure Ease of Doing Business (EoDB), in the maritime in dustry.
Macfoy argued that multiple registrations would affect the cost of doing business, which would eventually be transferred to the ordinary Nigerian citizens via inflated prices of imported products.
Her words: “The agenda we have for the new Minister is so numerous but let me mention a few, one is the ease of doing business. It is the A-Z of any economy. In a situation where it is so difficult to register barges, it is so difficult t register barges up till the last time I checked, barge owners register with the NSC, NIMA SA, and NIWA, and all these things cost money”
“Why can’t we register with one agency and then avail other agencies the copy of the registration copies, this will enable the operators to have a soft landing. With all these multiple registrations, the end users bear it all because all the costs will be transferred to them.”
Macfoy also urged the Minister to look at the issue remuneration for Nigerian seafarers with the view of ensuring that it meets global best standards.
She equally assured that the newly created Ministry for Marine and Blue Economy has a strategic partner in WIMA+Nigeria as the association is fully committed to the optimization of the nation’s coastal assets.